Peace in our time in the popularism wars?
Matt, you’re really not gonna share your 10??
I’ll take a stab.
1. National education reform. First two years of college or technical training free. Existing debt made eligible for bankruptcy discharge. Reform of future student loan system that gives schools skin in the game.
2. Increased national investment in research. Making the US technological leader.
3. National minimum wage raised to $14 and tied to CPI.
4. Program for energy independence. Massive spending on improving transmission lines, investment in solar and other new technologies. Investment in pipelines and refineries.
5. workplace reform. Lower standard work week to 36 hours. Toughen overtime rules so that time and a half required for all more people. Require schedules to be posted for two weeks. Require two weeks of paid vacation for any business with more than 10 employees.
6. Property freedom bill. Restrict the zoning requirements that states and cities can put on peoples property.
7. Increase federal taxes on a second homes.
8. Bring back monthly child allowance. Commit to childcare spending.
9. Increased background checks for guns. Toughen gun laws for people who commit crimes with guns. Raise firearm purchase age to 21. Increase spending on police and social services in areas suffering from gun violence.
10. Raise income and capital gains tax for all people earning more that one million a year.
Any platform that offers no material benefits to working stiffs but promises the moon to climate activists is not populist. Rather than promising net carbon neutrality, it should promise to build cool shit, like nuclear power plants, solar and wind generation and EV factories. At a minimum, it should do something to reduce the cost of health care.
I’m surprised an article titled, “A Democratic ‘Contract With America’ for 2022” doesn’t offer anything to address voter’s number one concern: inflation. In fact there is only a single brief mention of this issue:
> I intentionally didn’t include a lot of economic policies on this list. … Inflation, which I realize is a huge problem, poses a different kind of challenge. There is little evidence Democrats know how to address it, and even less that voters trust them on the issue.
Great! We’re admitting defeat on the number one issue on voter’s minds. We might as well forgo spending time, money, and effort on the midterms and just save all of that for 2024; hoping that inflation is no longer an issue.
Any serious plan for the 2022 midterms needs put inflation front and center. I guess the Biden administration’s inadequate attention and lack of a serious plan for inflation is leading others away from this focus. But we cannot secede this territory to the Republicans. We can’t let Republicans continue to reinforce the false narrative that they offer better economic policy.
We need to embrace something like Skanda Amarnath’s plan to rapidly expand the supply of key commodities, chiefly energy.  We need to let Americans know that we Democrats have a serious plan to address our urgent inflation challenges and are well executing that plan.
I dunno...these 10 points don't really address the things that are difficult in Americans lives. I agree with MY that the Democratic party needs to prioritize, support popular positions and focus on being a big tent.
However, the one thing I could say about the 2020 campaign (and can say it more so than previous Democratic campaigns) was that the Democrats were actually talking about the issues that make Americans' lives difficult and unaffordable--that is healthcare, housing, and higher education costs--and proposing concrete policies to address them.
And any platform that doesn't include these three things I think is out of touch with most Americans. I know MY said these weren't his 10, but I think that any list that doesn't cover the issues that main Americans care about the most is worse than no list at all.
Well, term limits are an inherently terrible idea even if seemingly popular, so get that off the list pronto.
I would substitute that one for a ranked-choice primary system (at least among Dems), which was my biggest beef with the 2020 primary. The ridiculous race to the left wouldn't happen if you had people like Cory Booker positioning themselves to be the reasonable second choice for people who wanted to take a flyer on someone like Kamala Harris. Actually this would've made even more sense for Republicans in 2016 (Rubio would've been in the driver's seat for all of the anti-Trump and anti-Cruz types) but here we are...
I am rather shocked that the abortion point doesn’t list the mother’s health. The fact that SCOTUS on its ruling (including Kavanaugh in his apologetic pseudo-appeasing narcissistic concurrence) didn’t rule or clarify that mother’s health or very life would nevertheless remain protected was particularly vicious, and any Democratic agenda ought to address the point head on: the current ruling puts women’s lives and health at risk.
I am on board with Bacon's 10 as long as the civics course is 90% critical race theory and the homework is taking puberty blockers
It's quite funny that Matt writes a column saying the important thing isn't what's on the list of priorities just that a list of priorities is written, and everyone responds by arguing what should be in the list of priorities. At some point you have to sympathise with political leaders lol
I think Democrats should adopt a similar emphasis on slimmed-down simplicity in actual legislating, given that they will need to make an end-run around the current Supreme Court.
In a lot of cases that would make the actual laws worse, but it renders them less subject to judicial oversight and less vulnerable to hyperbolic misrepresentation. Plus, under the current status quo, delegating complex decision-making to agencies is just a recipe for getting gutted eight different ways. It makes more sense in a sane world for technical experts to make decisions about the gritty details of regulatory questions, but we aren't currently in that world.
"Who does it? There’s no formal mechanism through which America’s loosely defined political parties can do priority setting."
The logical body to formally approve a list like this would be the party convention, since the convened delegates are the highest decisionmaking body in the party. And the logical document for setting forth the list would be the party platform itself, since that is supposed to be the document that tells voters what the party will do if it's elected to power.
And the way to enforce it would be to require any candidate who accepts the the party's nomination to pledge support for the narrow, core platform.
I'm not sure whether an Australian-style small-target campaign really translates to the United States all that well.
The level of party discipline exerted by Australia's political parties is extraordinarily strong by world standards. It's mind-blowing compared to the shambles that is the Democrats. Nobody really cares what a random newbie candidate for one of the major parties thinks about an issue unless they say something outrageous, because they vote with their party every single time. Sure, party platforms are a process of negotiation between factions, but even that is done in a far more top-down fashion and is far more geared to winning over the median voter (who, remember, is required to vote under Australia's compulsory voting laws) than exciting party activists.
Also, it's worth pointing out that the rough equivalent of the socialist wing of the Democrats is in a completely different party here (which also had a terrific federal election, partly on the back of Labor's small-target strategy leaving space for a more activist green/left party).
Arn't those mostly largely popular ideas? Other than proportional representation and the ambiguity of the climate plan these all seem like things that probably poll well.
What is the difference between this and popularism?
I blame the Why Not Both .gif kid for the entire discourse of the 2020 primary.
Isn't the correct "National marijuana legalization" simply "Turn this over to the states, officially"?
That's kind of what's happening informally and it just needs to be codified. If some states want to keep marijuana illegal, that seems within their rights...
There is so much language gaming going on left of center it makes my head spin. I know 70% of this is inevitable—this is wordcel politics—but it still makes me a bit Ill.
Anyway a ‘small target’ is great if what those words mean is that a pol doesn’t have to support too many toxically unpopular policies to be considered a ‘good democrat’. But as Matt says no one actually controls those perceptions. My memory of the last 7 years of left of center politics makes me skeptical. I highly doubt there is any list of policies that would replace ‘vibes’ (btw this word means 2016 presidential primary endorsement).
But apart from that look at the VA gov race. Maybe schools / ‘CRT’ swung it or maybe not. But what was needed there was a way of deciding if the R schools message was landing (or not) and a way of countering it. If it is landing, we can’t stick our heads in the sand with our ‘small target’. If keeping ‘CRT’ off the target means dem candidates are free to counter those attacks however they feel (including denouncing CRT!) then great. But it can also mean Dems deciding in advance what issues are ‘real’ and agreeing to ignore anything inconvenient that republicans manage to get in front of the public imagination. That’s not going to work!
Like for example in the coming midterms it’s great advice for Dems to try to focus on a list of issues where they are mostly united and people agree with them. But also they are going to have to discuss inflation! Saying ‘small target’ doesn’t change anything. We need to make some judgement calls here, and people who supported a different primary candidates 7 years ago will still tend to feel each other’s judgements are flawed.