Every once in a while the NY Times says something useful.
This is one of those times.
Yes, some of the data that support the following view is drawn from sources that I personally regard as suspect…polls that are regularly slanted towards the neoliberal/neocentrist Dems. But in this case, I think that they actually underestimate the discontent of the majority of residents in this country.
Why do I believe this?
Besides the undeniable fact that most of said pollsters had absolutely no clue about the 2016 presidential election?
Long and careful observation throughout just about every level of this society. Undercover work, if you will. I blend in; I watch and I listen.
And why don’t the pollsters get it? Besides the ever-present profit motive? Providing data that favors whoever it is to whom they sell?
Upper middle class privilege, basically. The unconscious entitlement of the supposedly “educated.” (See Booman’s recent post around that subject here.) Then go back and read the post that I made regarding how Beto O’Rourke’s campaign damned near upset Ted Cruz during the Texas senatorial race in a supposedly “red” state. They went to the people!!! (REAL “Grassroots.” How Beto O’Rourke Can Win.) House to house, door to door and neighborhood to neighborhood. In all kinds of neighborhoods.
Read on. (Emphases mine.)
By Tim Wu – March 5, 2019
We are told that America is divided and polarized as never before. Yet when it comes to many important areas of policy, that simply isn’t true.
About 75 percent of Americans favor higher taxes for the ultrawealthy. The idea of a federal law that would guarantee paid maternity leave attracts 67 percent support. Eighty-three percent favor strong net neutrality rules for broadband, and more than 60 percent want stronger privacy laws. Seventy-one percent think we should be able to buy drugs imported from Canada, and 92 percent want Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices. The list goes on.
The defining political fact of our time is not polarization. It’s the inability of even large bipartisan majorities to get what they want on issues like these. Call it the oppression of the supermajority. Ignoring what most of the country wants — as much as demagogy and political divisiveness — is what is making the public so angry.
In our era, it is primarily Congress that prevents popular laws from being passed or getting serious consideration. (Holding an occasional hearing does not count as “doing something.”) Entire categories of public policy options are effectively off-limits because of the combined influence of industry groups and donor interests. There is no principled defense of this state of affairs — and indeed, no one attempts to offer such a justification. Instead, legislative stagnation is cynically defended by those who benefit from it with an unconvincing invocation of the rigors of our system of checks and balances.
As the United States begins the process of choosing the next president and Congress, we need to talk more openly about which candidates are most likely to deliver the economic policies that the supermajority wants. Yes, the people can be wrong about things, but so too can experts, embedded industry groups and divisive political factions. It is not a concession to populism, but rather a respect for democracy, to suggest that two-thirds of the population should usually get what they ask for.
Tim Wu (@superwuster) is a law professor at Columbia, a contributing opinion writer and the author, most recently, of “The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age.”
The defining political fact of our time is not polarization. It’s the inability of even large bipartisan majorities to get what they want on issues like these.
There is a true supermajority out there, waiting…just waiting…for a candidate (and/or a political party) to agree with their opinions and reliably promise to provide for their needs. Only dependence on corporate monies…which have been needed for the old-school, essentially mass media-censored campaigns of the past 50+ years…is stopping the Democratic Party from accessing that supermajority.
I have been saying the following for years here. Reach a good percentage of the non-voting 40% or so while keeping most of the Dem base…and quite possibly getting many Trump voters as well, people who held their noses and voted for that dark sewer of a man, Donald Trump, because they heard some of his promises and hoped maybe (Just maybe!!!) he’d come through for them.
Plus…his sewage has overflowed into the lives and consciousnesses of just about every person in this country!!! I seriously doubt that there is even 30% of the possible electorate that is willing to continue to wallow in Trump’s stench for another 4 years.
The campaign tactics that the O’Rourkers used in Texas…a 50 state version of that campaign, publicized and funded through the internet…would provide a landslide!!!
But only if someone…Beto O’Rourke or someone else who understands the new sociopolitical paradigm and is willing and able to act upon it…can manage to get nominated by safely traversing the corporate DNC/mainstream media minefield that is already in the process of being laid out to protect the neocentrist duopoly.
Let us pray it so.