The 2016 election featured a major revolt against runaway inequality and all

The 2016 election featured a major revolt against

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The 2016 election featured a major revolt against runaway inequality and all the elite corruption that goes with it. Sanders from the left and Trump from the right attacked the neoliberal order with considerable success. Hillary Clinton was viewed, perhaps by a majority, as an elite representative of the old order in league with her Wall Street friends and donors. A full court Trump defense can back us into defending the established order. The Affordable Care Act is such an example. Already progressive groups are rallying to defend it against the Trump/Republican attack. But defending the Affordable Care Act is also a defense of the private insurance and pharmaceutical industries. Our job is to fight in behalf of Medicare for All rather than defending a program that enriches the private health care establishment. But, if Obamacare is eliminated won’t millions of low and moderate income families lose their coverage? Isn’t it foolish in the era of Trump to press for single-payer? Long term movement building requires that we make the case for what we really believe in . As Trump reopens the health care debate, we need to clearly define and promote the progressive position , rather than accept the polls of a debate that claims the only real choices are Obamacare or something worse. We should be joining forces with Labor for Single Payer and others who continue to press for a rational single-payer system that eliminates the power of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. 3. Resisting Trump by itself will not win back swing states. It appears that the defense-only mode assumes that because Hillary won the popular vote, it’s not important to win over marginal Trump supporters who are seeking an alternative to the status quo. We have a national majority so there’s nothing lost by writing off Trump voters. But this is a very risky assumption . Key swing states may remain in Trump’s column if all we do is resist. A marginal voter could view progressive resist actions as simply disruptive if we don’t put forth a positive agenda that frames our resistance and expand s the debate . Impeachment efforts also have a way of back-firing. It’s important to recall that the impeachment of Bill Clinton made him more popular not less so. And Hillary’s barrage of anti-Trump ads had very little impact on marginal Trump voters. The future goes to whichever camp develops the most compelling vision for America. A negation of Trump is not a vision. 4. Resisting Trump on trade and the off-shoring of jobs is a big mistake. Progressives are sneering at Trump’s efforts to lure jobs back to the U.S., and using high tariffs to threaten companies that off-shore jobs to low wage areas. But attacking Trump for saving 850 jobs at Carrier, for example, is politically stupid, morally wrong and factually incoherent. Here are the simple facts we ignore at our own peril: Trump did indeed save those 850 jobs. There are 850 people and their families (half of whom are women and minorities) who have avoided disaster. It’s a sad commentary on establishment politics that Trump is the first president who has so intervened. But, it’s
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