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There is hard data that shows that a centrist Democrat would be a losing candidate

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Economist Thomas Piketty wrote a paper about this in 2018, though the Democrats paid no attention


KEITH A. SPENCER
JUNE 2, 2019 6:00PM (UTC)

The Republican Party has earned a reputation as the anti-science, anti-fact party — understandably, perhaps, given the GOP's policy of ignoring the evidence for global climate change and insisting on the efficacy of supply-side economics, despite all the research to the contrary. Yet ironically, it is now the Democratic Party that is wantonly ignoring mounds of social science data that suggests that promoting centrist candidates is a bad, losing strategy when it comes to winning elections. As the Democratic establishment and its pundit class starts to line up behind the centrist nominees for president — mainly, Joe Biden, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris — the party's head-in-the-sand attitude is especially troubling.

The mounds of data to which I refer come from Thomas Piketty, the French political economist who made waves with his 2013 book "Capital in the Twenty-First Century." This paper, entitled "Brahmin Left vs. Merchant Right: Rising Inequality & the Changing Structure of Political Conflict," analyzes around 70 years of post-election surveys from three countries — Britain, the United States and France — to comprehend how Western politics have changed in that span. (Note: I wrote about this paper in Salon last year in a slightly different context, before the 2020 Democratic Primary really got going.)

First, the sheer amount of data analyzed in Piketty's paper is stunning. He and his researchers analyze voters in those three countries by income (broken into deciles), education, party, gender, religion and income disparity. The final 106 pages of the paper consist of graphs and charts. This is a seriously detailed data analysis that took years of work, and any intelligent political party operative should take it very seriously.

Now, for the findings. Piketty's basic thesis is that poorer and less educated voters were historically the kind of voters who voted for left and left-liberal parties. These voters understood that their class interests did not align with the right-wing parties of the rich; thus, historically, the "high-income, high education" voters picked the right-wing parties.

This shifted in the past 70 years: "high-education elites now vote for the 'left', while high- income/high-wealth elites still vote for the 'right' (though less and less so)," Piketty notes. Note the scare quotes around "left": part of Piketty's point is that the so-called left parties, like the Democratic Party in the U.S., the Socialists in France and Labour in the U.K., have in the past two decades not really been that left, at least on economic issues. With the exception of Jeremy Corbyn's contemporary Labour Party, the aforementioned are aligned with the same kind of neoliberal economic policies that rich elites favor.

"This can contribute to explain rising inequality and the lack of democratic response to it, as well as the rise of 'populism,'" Piketty argues. "Globalization and educational expansion have created new dimensions of inequality and conflict, leading to the weakening of previous class-based redistributive coalitions."

Now, here's the line that should make the Democratic Party perk up:

Without a strong egalitarian-internationalist platform, it is difficult to unite low-education, low-income voters from all origins within the same coalition and to deliver a reduction in inequality. Extreme historical circumstances can and did help to deliver such an encompassing platform; but there is no reason to believe that this is a necessary nor a sufficient condition.

To translate from academese: An "egalitarian-internationalist platform" means the kind of political platform that articulates a shared, global struggle among all of the poor and working-class people around the world — in other words, a class-conscience platform that recognizes that rich people are not on the same side as the rest of us, and have different interests and are eager to exploit us. And egalitarian means the opposite of nationalistic or xenophobic — united in a common class struggle, you might say, towards a mutual goal of universal civil rights.

Democratic presidential candidates like Elizabeth Warren, Mike Gravel and Bernie Sanders fulfill this kind of platform to some degree. When Sanders uses terms like "99%" and "1%", or talks of universalizing abortion rights or healthcare or housing rights, he is articulating that "egalitarian-internationalist platform." Warren is interesting, in that she advocates for heavy regulation and taxation of the rich, though she is hesitant to disparage their right to actually be rich — and she is quick to identify as a capitalist. Still, her policies infuriate rich centrists like Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, so one could definitely count her as among the egalitarian-internationalists, or at least adjacent. Gravel, who has been under-covered by the press, is running on a crowdsourced platform that, in the words of Jacobin writer Branko Marcetic, "reads like a left-wing policy wish list."

Yet the Democratic Party and their mouthpieces at major newspapers are clearly not heeding Piketty's prophecy. Rather, TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

Piketty's paper is an inconvenient truth for the Democratic Party. The party's leaders see themselves as the left wing of capital — supporting social policies that liberal rich people can get behind, never daring to enact economic reforms that might step on rich donors' toes. Hence, the establishment seems intent on anointing the centrist Democrats of capital, who push liberal social policies and neoliberal economic policies.

History speaks to Piketty's truths. In the early twentieth century, the rural Great Plains states were hotbeds of socialism; Kansas and Oklahoma particularly had vast socialist movements, parties and newspapers. The demographics of these states weren't particularly different from now — lots of rural white people, many of whom are farmers. As the Oklahoma Historical Society notes:

In the first two decades of the twentieth century the Socialist Party of Oklahoma consistently ranked as one of the top three state socialist organizations in America. At the party's height in the elections of 1914, the Socialist Party candidate for governor, Fred W. Holt, received more than 20 percent of the vote statewide. In Marshall and Roger Mills counties, where the Socialist Party was strongest, Holt captured 41 and 35 percent of the vote, respectively. More than 175 socialists were elected to local and county offices that year, including six to the state legislature.

These rural whites saw their struggles and their oppressors reflected back in the rhetoric of the socialist candidates and thinkers that spoke to them, the "egalitarian internationalists" to use Piketty's language.

The type of people who live in these states haven't changed too much — but there is a vacuum where those politicos once were. Now, all they have is the right-wing explications of their struggles from Fox News and their ilk. Many of those red-state voters connected with Sanders in the 2016 primary, as we observed then.

Now, why hasn't the Democratic Party heeded Piketty's warning? I think you already know why. To quote Upton Sinclair: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." The donor base of the Democratic Party consists of a lot of pretty rich people who prefer the Democratic Party to be left on social issues but right on economic issues. The party elite see these wealthy folks as part of the party, and don't want to nominate a candidate who accurately sees them as class enemies. I wonder sometimes if there are Democratic Party eggheads working for the DNC who are aware of Piketty's prophecy but are not willing to risk evolving the party, lest they lose their benefactors.

https://www.salon.com/2019/06/02/there-is-hard-data-that-shows-that-a-centrist-democrat-would-be-a-losing-candidate/

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He put a lot of thought into that opinion piece. I didn't have to put much thought at all into this. I just clicked on the newest RCP ratings of candidates who may be running against Trump in 2020.
 Friday July 26

















[th]Race/Topic   (Click to Sort)[/th][th]Poll[/th][th]Results[/th][th]Spread[/th]
General Election: Trump vs. BidenFOX NewsBiden 49, Trump 39Biden +10
General Election: Trump vs. SandersFOX NewsSanders 46, Trump 40Sanders +6
General Election: Trump vs. WarrenFOX NewsWarren 41, Trump 42Trump +1
General Election: Trump vs. HarrisFOX NewsHarris 40, Trump 41Trump +1

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Oh yeah, and those are Fox News polls, so Biden may be even farther ahead than he looks.

From Real Clear Politics Polling site:
South Carolina Primary- Biden leads by 27
Ohio Primary- Biden leads by 17

July 23, Politico/Morning Consult poll of Dem candidates- Biden leads by 15
On the 24th, he only led by 7 in an Economist poll, if that makes anyone feel any better, but he was still ahead.

That's where it stands this week, and those state primaries matter a whole lot. Biden is even ahead in California right now, FYI. 

Just pointing out statistics.
And I'm pretty sure most people know who Joe Biden is by now. After the end of the month, the field will be way down from 20, because there will be no more free time debates for all the 1%ers in the group.

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I'll vote for anybody against Trump... even if it's Bernie, who I consider an absolute piece of shit. He'd disappoint and disillusion a lot of new Dem voters when his presidential term didn't accomplish any more than his senate career has (if you like renaming post offices, to to Bernie. If you like doing anything else, then go to absolutely anyone else).

If a farther-left candidate can beat Trump, then I'll vote for a farther-left candidate. Trump's tearing the country apart and handing our former world standing over to foreign enemy powers, getting that shut down is job one. Hell, I'd even take dumbass Dubya back over Trump. And there are farther-left candidates who I do like, such as Elizabeth Warren.

But I remain unconvinced that a farther-left candidate is more electable. Hard data says that they aren't. I know Daily Kos likes to think so, but Daily Kos has a terrible track record on predicting things... and I say that as someone who posts there. Just because we like something doesn't mean the rest of the country will, any more than it likes the kind of shit that excites Trump's conservative garbage cult.

Here's actual Gallup data. We dismiss it at our peril.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/183713/socialist-presidential-candidates-least-appealing.aspx

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zsomething wrote:I'll vote for anybody against Trump... even if it's Bernie, who I consider an absolute piece of shit.  He'd disappoint and disillusion a lot of new Dem voters when his presidential term didn't accomplish any more than his senate career has (if you like renaming post offices, to to Bernie.  If you like doing anything else, then go to absolutely anyone else).  

If a farther-left candidate can beat Trump, then I'll vote for a farther-left candidate.  Trump's tearing the country apart and handing our former world standing over to foreign enemy powers, getting that shut down is job one.  Hell, I'd even take dumbass Dubya back over Trump.  And there are farther-left candidates who I do like, such as Elizabeth Warren.

But I remain unconvinced that a farther-left candidate is more electable.   Hard data says that they aren't.   I know Daily Kos likes to think so, but Daily Kos has a terrible track record on predicting things... and I say that as someone who posts there.   Just because we like something doesn't mean the rest of the country will, any more than it likes the kind of shit that excites Trump's conservative garbage cult.

Here's actual Gallup data.  We dismiss it at our peril.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/183713/socialist-presidential-candidates-least-appealing.aspx




My heart and soul is with Harris but, if she doesn't win the nomination I will support the one who does. The nominee will be 100% better for our country than the fatal disease in our house right now. Twisted Evil

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Telstar wrote:
My heart and soul is with Harris but, if she doesn't win the nomination I will support the one who does. The nominee will be 100% better for our country than the fatal disease in our house right now. Twisted Evil

Truer words were never spoken. There is virtually no more abhorrent thought than that of Trump's possible re-election.

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RealLindaL wrote:
Telstar wrote:
My heart and soul is with Harris but, if she doesn't win the nomination I will support the one who does. The nominee will be 100% better for our country than the fatal disease in our house right now. Twisted Evil

Truer words were never spoken. There is virtually no more abhorrent thought than that of Trump's possible re-election.



If he manages to win in 2020 we will have to go with someone like Oprah in 2024, unless he is somehow removed before that. If he wins the 2020 election there will be nothing stopping him from announcing a third term run or even president for life. Nothing that his fellow kriminals and Moscow Mitch will not attempt to sidestep.

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zsomething wrote:I'll vote for anybody against Trump... even if it's Bernie, who I consider an absolute piece of shit.  He'd disappoint and disillusion a lot of new Dem voters when his presidential term didn't accomplish any more than his senate career has (if you like renaming post offices, to to Bernie.  If you like doing anything else, then go to absolutely anyone else).  

If a farther-left candidate can beat Trump, then I'll vote for a farther-left candidate.  Trump's tearing the country apart and handing our former world standing over to foreign enemy powers, getting that shut down is job one.  Hell, I'd even take dumbass Dubya back over Trump.  And there are farther-left candidates who I do like, such as Elizabeth Warren.

But I remain unconvinced that a farther-left candidate is more electable.   Hard data says that they aren't.   I know Daily Kos likes to think so, but Daily Kos has a terrible track record on predicting things... and I say that as someone who posts there.   Just because we like something doesn't mean the rest of the country will, any more than it likes the kind of shit that excites Trump's conservative garbage cult.

Here's actual Gallup data.  We dismiss it at our peril.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/183713/socialist-presidential-candidates-least-appealing.aspx

I thought I recognized your writing style. Laughing Laughing Laughing

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I think you are all 100% on target with this thread. The way to beat DJT is to focus on his hate and racism. People do not vote their pocketbooks, they vote with emotion. They don't wake up in the morning thinking about the Russian trolls on FB.

They do wake up loving the country and what it ideally stands for. The bottom line is we are better than this. I post part of this article from Tim Wise, who was part of the campaign against David Duke in Louisiana back in 1990. I lived just north of the Louisiana line and saw many bumper stickers, which I remember to this day: VOTE FOR THE CROOK: IT'S IMPORTANT! They were supporting Edwin Edwards, a crook no doubt but worse than Duke. Duke still got a lot of the white votes but it brought out everyone else including a record number of black voters.

This campaign is not going to be won on policy issues or even the Russia investigation or on Trump's financials, his tax returns. It will be won on the thought that we are better than this. Hammer this home over and over. This is not right. This is not who we want to be as a nation. He has to go.



The Choice in 2020 is Simple: It’s Trumpism vs. America

Playing upon white fears and hostility is one of the oldest plays in the American playbook. Unfortunately, it’s one against which those playing defense have often fallen short.
The good news is, there is an example from recent history that could serve as a guide for Democrats hoping to defeat Trump and the racial hostility to which he has given voice. But so far, few have applied its lessons to the present moment: namely, the 1990 and 1991 campaigns against white supremacist and former Klan leader, David Duke, in Louisiana.
I was centrally involved in those efforts, as a staffer for the Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism: the organization founded for the purpose of defeating Duke in his bids for the U.S. Senate and Governor. And what we learned in those years was rather simple: to deflate a movement whose yeast is racism, you have to make it clear that the choice for voters is a moral one. It’s about the kind of people they want to be and the kind of nation in which they want to live.
You can’t defeat such a movement with policy ideas. Even trying to do this normalizes the extremist by treating them like any other candidate. To debate David Duke on jobs policy or taxes would have been absurd. Likewise, to think one can defeat Trump with detailed plans for taking on Wall Street, college affordability, or anything else misses the point. His voters did not vote for him over policy. Most voted for him as a walking embodiment of their rage. He hates who they hate, and that is all that matters.

https://medium.com/@timjwise/the-choice-in-2020-is-simple-its-trumpism-vs-america-125b22976bba

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othershoe1030 wrote:I think you are all 100% on target with this thread. The way to beat DJT is to focus on his hate and racism. People do not vote their pocketbooks, they vote with emotion. They don't wake up in the morning thinking about the Russian trolls on FB.

They do wake up loving the country and what it ideally stands for. The bottom line is we are better than this. I post part of this article from Tim Wise, who was part of the campaign against David Duke in Louisiana back in 1990. I lived just north of the Louisiana line and saw many bumper stickers, which I remember to this day: VOTE FOR THE CROOK: IT'S IMPORTANT! They were supporting Edwin Edwards, a crook no doubt but worse than Duke. Duke still got a lot of the white votes but it brought out everyone else including a record number of black voters.

This campaign is not going to be won on policy issues or even the Russia investigation or on Trump's financials, his tax returns. It will be won on the thought that we are better than this. Hammer this home over and over. This is not right. This is not who we want to be as a nation. He has to go.



The Choice in 2020 is Simple: It’s Trumpism vs. America

Playing upon white fears and hostility is one of the oldest plays in the American playbook. Unfortunately, it’s one against which those playing defense have often fallen short.
The good news is, there is an example from recent history that could serve as a guide for Democrats hoping to defeat Trump and the racial hostility to which he has given voice. But so far, few have applied its lessons to the present moment: namely, the 1990 and 1991 campaigns against white supremacist and former Klan leader, David Duke, in Louisiana.
I was centrally involved in those efforts, as a staffer for the Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism: the organization founded for the purpose of defeating Duke in his bids for the U.S. Senate and Governor. And what we learned in those years was rather simple: to deflate a movement whose yeast is racism, you have to make it clear that the choice for voters is a moral one. It’s about the kind of people they want to be and the kind of nation in which they want to live.
You can’t defeat such a movement with policy ideas. Even trying to do this normalizes the extremist by treating them like any other candidate. To debate David Duke on jobs policy or taxes would have been absurd. Likewise, to think one can defeat Trump with detailed plans for taking on Wall Street, college affordability, or anything else misses the point. His voters did not vote for him over policy. Most voted for him as a walking embodiment of their rage. He hates who they hate, and that is all that matters.

https://medium.com/@timjwise/the-choice-in-2020-is-simple-its-trumpism-vs-america-125b22976bba

Racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and malignant narcissistic personality disorder.  Just the guy you don't want near your kids and grandkids.  

There is hard data that shows that a centrist Democrat would be a losing candidate 15chappatte-articleLarge

There is hard data that shows that a centrist Democrat would be a losing candidate Images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSgapFdyrPKoyB_XCs55sPBq63qrCEoE52MCHF24eOUCTJoJxqo

There is hard data that shows that a centrist Democrat would be a losing candidate 227844

There is hard data that shows that a centrist Democrat would be a losing candidate The_elephant_in_the_room_2856515

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Floridatexan wrote:
othershoe1030 wrote:I think you are all 100% on target with this thread. The way to beat DJT is to focus on his hate and racism. People do not vote their pocketbooks, they vote with emotion. They don't wake up in the morning thinking about the Russian trolls on FB.

They do wake up loving the country and what it ideally stands for. The bottom line is we are better than this. I post part of this article from Tim Wise, who was part of the campaign against David Duke in Louisiana back in 1990. I lived just north of the Louisiana line and saw many bumper stickers, which I remember to this day: VOTE FOR THE CROOK: IT'S IMPORTANT! They were supporting Edwin Edwards, a crook no doubt but worse than Duke. Duke still got a lot of the white votes but it brought out everyone else including a record number of black voters.

This campaign is not going to be won on policy issues or even the Russia investigation or on Trump's financials, his tax returns. It will be won on the thought that we are better than this. Hammer this home over and over. This is not right. This is not who we want to be as a nation. He has to go.



The Choice in 2020 is Simple: It’s Trumpism vs. America

Playing upon white fears and hostility is one of the oldest plays in the American playbook. Unfortunately, it’s one against which those playing defense have often fallen short.
The good news is, there is an example from recent history that could serve as a guide for Democrats hoping to defeat Trump and the racial hostility to which he has given voice. But so far, few have applied its lessons to the present moment: namely, the 1990 and 1991 campaigns against white supremacist and former Klan leader, David Duke, in Louisiana.
I was centrally involved in those efforts, as a staffer for the Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism: the organization founded for the purpose of defeating Duke in his bids for the U.S. Senate and Governor. And what we learned in those years was rather simple: to deflate a movement whose yeast is racism, you have to make it clear that the choice for voters is a moral one. It’s about the kind of people they want to be and the kind of nation in which they want to live.
You can’t defeat such a movement with policy ideas. Even trying to do this normalizes the extremist by treating them like any other candidate. To debate David Duke on jobs policy or taxes would have been absurd. Likewise, to think one can defeat Trump with detailed plans for taking on Wall Street, college affordability, or anything else misses the point. His voters did not vote for him over policy. Most voted for him as a walking embodiment of their rage. He hates who they hate, and that is all that matters.

https://medium.com/@timjwise/the-choice-in-2020-is-simple-its-trumpism-vs-america-125b22976bba

Racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and malignant narcissistic personality disorder.  Just the guy you don't want near your kids and grandkids.  

There is hard data that shows that a centrist Democrat would be a losing candidate 15chappatte-articleLarge

There is hard data that shows that a centrist Democrat would be a losing candidate Images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSgapFdyrPKoyB_XCs55sPBq63qrCEoE52MCHF24eOUCTJoJxqo

There is hard data that shows that a centrist Democrat would be a losing candidate 227844

There is hard data that shows that a centrist Democrat would be a losing candidate The_elephant_in_the_room_2856515





That last cartoon is hilarious FT. lol!

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