By Ralph Nader
January 31, 2020
It is remarkable how the Democratic Presidential candidates allow themselves to be pigeon-holed by the media as “moderate,” “centrist,” “extreme,” “left-wing,” and other abstract fact-deprived nomenclature.
It is also astonishing that the Democratic operatives have made something called “electability” a yardstick for deciding who to vote for in the primaries. This is particularly ironic considering the winner of the primary will be running against “crooked” self-enriching Donald and his brazen wrecking crew. Remember, Donald Trump was once considered unelectable.
Let’s start with the labels. Why are overdue and overwhelmingly popular proposals put forward by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren labeled “extreme?” What is extreme is the greed and power of the plutocrats and Wall Street, not advocates cracking down on corporate crime and ending corporate welfare. There is nothing extreme about supporting a living wage, universal health insurance, or big infrastructure investments funded by reforming the tax system.
There is nothing radical about preventing the super-rich and giant corporations from using tax havens and other tax escapes. The proposals to close the tax loopholes and properly enforce the tax laws would collect trillions of dollars over a decade and fund necessary government spending for the benefit of the American people.
Look at the Warren and Sanders proposals and see how they poll. Almost all have majority or overwhelming left/right support. What’s so radical about tuition-free higher education? From New York’s CCNY to University of California, after World War II, there was virtually no tuition. The same is true for many western European countries to this day.
What’s so “radical” about de-bloating the vast waste and redundancy of the military budget that now takes over half of the operating federal budget? Or opposing endless criminal wars of aggression like destroying Iraq?
On the other hand, what is so “moderate” about not taking these positions, or taking campaign money from fat cats and super-PACs or maintaining military contractor’s mega waste and crony capitalist handouts?
Why does Joe Biden’s history of coddling banks and credit card companies rather than protecting consumers make him a “moderate” or “centrist?” It is time to poll those retrograde, corporatist positions. What about Biden’s support of the Iraq war and other costly, brutal adventures of Empire? What about Biden’s defense of the “Delaware” corporation laws that rig the power of corporate bosses against shareholders, whether they be individual, pension, or mutual funds?
As to the issue of “electability,” that is just another name for the self-compromised Democratic Party’s defeatism and cowardliness. How can Democrats question someone’s “electability” when the opponent is the hateful lawbreaker Donald Trump?
Who wouldn’t be as electable as a Democratic presidential nominee this year? The Democrats have the money and even now the advantage in the polls.
How hard should it be up against Trump’s record of abuses, any one of which would have disqualified a person from even running for President a few years ago?
Shouldn’t it be easy to run against a brazen, serial sexual predator, whose lawyers are keeping him from being deposed under oath in numerous tort law suits by his victims? This is a time when powerful corporate chieftains, legislators, and other influential people have been forced immediately out of their jobs once exposed for doing a fraction of what the “sexual predator in chief” has done. A late November 2019 CNN poll had 61% of women wanting Trump both impeached and removed from office.
Shouldn’t it be easy to run against Trump’s actions reflecting his bigotry, racism, and daily stream of lies and fabrications about situations that matter? Shouldn’t Trump be held accountable for open incitement to violence, should he be convicted of flouting the Constitution and the rule of law?
What about Trump’s deadly undermining of life-saving government agencies? Trump and his cronies shredded health and safety laws that kept poisons from the air, water, and food. American families don’t want to breathe dirtier air and drink dirtier water. Trump is making America dread again.
What about the paltry, frozen federal minimum wage, stuck at $7.25 per hour? Workers make a pittance while Trump enriches himself and his cronies through tax cuts for the super-rich that he championed. Don’t forget the money the Trump family has made from its own hotels attracting courtiers for favors. Recall that in 2016, Trump said that American workers were overpaid. Under Trump, manufacturing jobs have declined and his regime’s attacks on worker rights have increased.
Both conservative and liberal voters get ripped off alike and bleed alike when Trump takes federal sheriffs off the corporate crime, fraud, and abuse beats. How hard is it to make a big issue of Trump’s abandoning ‘law and order’ when it comes to the corporate crime wave and letting the big boys get away with so much that seems very unfair to voters?
Most voters do not want a megalomaniac who courts foreign dictators and offends allies. Last year, Trump pontificated: “I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as President.” The American Revolution rejected King George III and his “King can do no wrong” doctrine. The conservative Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) ought to be worried about that Trumpian power grab.
Trump should be the most defeatable president in history. He is openly destroying the moral fiber of our society. In his business and political career Trump has regularly violated seven out of the Ten Commandments. Evangelicals take note!
Trump has continued the endless, illegal, brutal wars in several countries – wars that he pledged to end. He defies all Congressional subpoenas for witnesses and documents from committees that are investigating corruption, including his administration’s regulatory responsibilities to America. His actions are harmful to all Americans and threaten the health insurance of over 20 million people. As documented in earlier columns, a billion dollars of taxpayer and consumer health care dollars are being stolen every day. Trump does nothing to stop this commercial robbery. He doesn’t even give a “tweet” about this pillage.
Unfortunately, the entrenched corporate Democrats in Washington are just using the “electability” excuse to block the rising progressive presidential candidates who intend to upset the plutocratic applecarts and cushy fat-cat sinecures. The leadership of establishment Democrats has led to the loss of too many national and state elections to the worst Republican Party in the GOP’s history. It is time for these Democrats to shape up or ship out.