Guest post from Tim Urban
Donald Trump captured the anxieties of middle America with the theme MAKE AMERICAN GREAT AGAIN. America is already a great nation, but not for all Americans. President Obama and candidates Sanders and Clinton built their campaigns around minorities, immigrants, women and LGBT Americans. We assumed that these groups would outvote the shrinking White, male electorate. This divisive strategy is doomed if we continue to focus on wooing one set of Americans at the expense of others.
There is much hand-ringing by progressives what message will represent our political values and appeal to all Americans, not divided groups. There is consensus that the American political system is rigged for the rich and powerful. Party Super Delegates and an archaic Electoral College system deny the will of a voting majority. A money-is-speech interpretation of the Constitution buys politics for billionaires. The capture of social media by trolls and oppositional gamers has created politics of lies and echo chambers managed by big money players.
The American economic system is rigged as well. Obscene salaries in sports and corporate boardrooms has little to do with the value of the work by coaches, athletes and executives. These salaries are driven by huge media spending and collusion among blocks of shareholders who help each other acquire wealth at the expense of employees and consumers. Why aren’t multi-million dollar payments to our universities from sports TV and to coaches for endorsements used for lowering tuitions? Wealthy sports alums control the decisions of the universities and state politicians. A carefully planned attack on unions has kept workers from bargaining for fair wages and benefits and blue collar workers are angry and rebelling against the system. Minorities and women are impacted by these travesties as much as white male Americans, but Democrats have played one against the other.
Those of us who care about who we are as Americans and what we are as a nation must take America back from big money in our politics and economy. This is not a manifesto for socialism, but a call for fairness and re-building the power of voters, consumers and workers. The arc of history dismantled trusts run by oligarchs a century ago, followed by unbridled greed leading to the Great Depression. The success of Obama to overcome the Great Recession was coupled with disappointment by those left behind. As Trump voters learn that a Trump administration will only add to the increasing separation of wealth and power they will join a counter-revolution to Take America Back.
by Tim Urban