Common Dreams - October 29, 2019

"The real key to victory in electoral politics is the no shows. And with the majority of people holding progressive views, the way to get no-shows to show is not to back centrist policies, it’s to run on values that favor the people, and thatare supported by the majority of Americans."

Despite the yammering by the mainstream media and the neoliberals running the Democratic Party—not to mention Republicans and Fox News—the overwhelming majority of voters support progressive issues on a case-by-case basis, and the majority support the candidates who espouse them. Doubt that? See here, or here, or here, or any poll based the issues, not on political labels that—as a result of a four decades long branding effort funded by the oligarchy—have ceased to represent any real political perspective. 

As for the majority supporting the progressive candidates, Sanders’ and Warren’s combined share of the voters exceeds Biden’s by a factor of two, and both poll far better than Trump.

So you would think that Democrats would embrace progressivism and progressive candidates, but you’d be wrong. Instead, they’re mounting a campaign against them with misinformation, distortion, innuendo, and that old time favorite—fear.

Neoliberal centrists and their allies in the mainstream media are using three main arguments in their combined assault on progressives.

First, they say we can’t afford the programs progressives are advocating.

The two programs neoliberals most love to criticize as too costly are The Green New Deal and Medicare for All.

The notion that we can’t afford the Green New Deal is as ludicrous as it is dangerous. If temperatures are allowed to increase by 3.7 C—about what full implementation of the Paris Agreement would accomplish, and about what the centrists are pushing—climate change would still impose some $551 trillion in damages. So-called moderates are essentially saying we can’t afford to prevent $551 trillion in damages. This is madness, pure and simple, and there’s nothing “moderate” about it, with climate change already causing unprecedented flooding, wildfires, droughts, storms and heat waves.

In essence, the moderates are trying to portray policies allowing for the destruction of our planetary life support system as prudent.  The one thing science and reality is telling us is that climate change is here, now, and it will get worse far sooner than we’d previously predicted.

With the cost of renewable energy now less than fossil fuels in most cases, and with electric vehicles being as cheap as internal combustion cars, solutions are not only available, they’re cost effective. Combined with aggressive tree-planting and land management, we could dramatically cut carbon in the near term, at relatively little cost.

But somehow, avoiding $551 trillion in damages while working to assure the transition to clean energy creates jobs and prosperity isn’t “prudent” to moderates.

How about Medicare for All?  Well, as Stephen Marks showed in a recent article, it’s pretty easy to pay for it without imposing additional costs on low and middle income Americans.  In fact, the cuts Marks outlined came up with a surplus after paying for Medicare for all. Marks’ approach involved expanding the payroll tax above the current cap, and applying it to capital gains.  Others have shown how a more rational defense budget could make us safer while freeing up substantial amounts of money for M4A. ...
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