Anybody that wants to know why Democrats keep losing elections should take a look at the U.S. Senate Democrats’ “manifesto:” A Better Deal.
Despite its’ name A Better Deal is nothing but a collection of recycled Clinton-era platitudes and half-hearted lip service to populist demands. What’s worse is that A Better Deal seems written to please big money contributors rather than attract working or middle-class voters.
No specific promises are made instead vague commitments to do something fill the document. Instead, it becomes clear that whatever staffer wrote this Pablum went out of his or her way not to commit anything.
After by reading A Better Deal I learned that Democrats are committed to infrastructure, a minimum wage, and “a level playing field” on trade. What I did not see was what action Democrats intend to take on those important issues.
For example, what is the minimum wage they want? What kind of infrastructure do the Democrats want? The only issue the document goes into is trade -offering such questionable solutions as: “New penalties for federal contractors that outsource jobs,” and “Buy America requirements for all tax-payer funded projects.”
What is missing from Democrats’ “Better Deal”
The truly disturbing aspect of A Better Deal is what it fails to address. Some of the issues that are missing include:
- Medicare for All
- Social Security. It simply mentions something about millions who “earned Social Security.” What do Democrats plan to do about Social Security? Increase it. I’d really like to know.
- Student Loan Debt
- Foreign policy
- The Afghanistan War
- College Costs
- The Housing Crisis
- Police Shootings
- Race Relations
- Civil Rights
- Voter Suppression
- Civil Forfeiture
- Climate Change
- The Environment
- Women’s Rights
What’s most frustrating is that all this is just a partial list of what’s not included. I am sure almost every progressive in the country can think of a dozen other important issues Democrats are not dealing with.
Judging by A Better Deal, the only thing Senate Democrats plan to do is take a few actions on trade. They have no plans, only platitudes which sound like the Republican leadership on the eve of last year’s Trump victory.
It looks as if Democratic leaders are setting themselves up for a Trump-style insurgency from the Left. My guess is that a lot of Senate Democrats are about to be swept away by a rising Populist tide.
Senate Democrats don’t want you to Vote for them
The worst crime of A Better Deal is that it gives nobody any reason to vote for Senate Democrats. They propose nothing, plan to do nothing and make no commitments.
A Better Deal is not a political manifesto it is simply a waste of time. Whoever thought this was a good idea should be fired now. The deadwood in the Democratic leadership needs to be cleaned out now, beginning with U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York).
What Democrats Should Do
What Democrats need to do is to learn from Donald J. Trump and make some simple promises that average people will understand. These promises should embody big ideas – but touch on issues that affect people’s lives directly.
A sample Democratic agenda embodying this methodology might include:
- A $15 an hour minimum wage that will rise to $20 an hour by 2025 or 2030.
- Medicare for all. Federally-funded health insurance for all citizens with a low premium.
- 100% government funded tuition at all public universities and community colleges for any US citizen.
- A $2,000 a month minimum Social Security and Social Security disability payment.
- $1 trillion investment in infrastructure. Hey, it worked for Donald.
- 50% income tax on all personal incomes over $1 million.
- A $500 to $1,000 a month housing voucher (rent or mortgage subsidy) for all persons that make under 150% of the federal poverty level.
- Premium free Medicare for all residents that make less than 150% of the federal poverty level.
- Student debt relief. Allow student loan debt to be written off in bankruptcy, or make it automatically disappear after 10 years.
- Commit to spending $1 trillion in federal funds on public education. (This would get the votes of all the soccer moms in America and many seniors with grandkids.)
These ideas are a little simple; and heavy on economic issues, but average people will pay attention to them – and vote for people that promise to fight for these things. Unfortunately fighting for such big ideas takes a backbone, something that appears to be lacking among Democratic leaders.
One thing is made clear by A Better Deal, new Democratic leadership is needed -now. If the people behind A Better Deal remain in office or in power, Democrats will keep losing elections.