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Bernie Sanders and the progressive renaissance of 2018 and 2020

By       Message Brent Budowsky       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   1 comment

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From The Hill

From flickr.com: Bernie Sanders {MID-214166}
Bernie Sanders
(Image by Gage Skidmore)
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The passage of the tax cut bill locks President Trump and Republicans in Congress together as the party of the rich and the rulers of the swampland in Washington. The stage is set for a historic progressive renaissance that will win the 2018 midterm elections and lead the nation after the 2020 presidential campaign.

The tax cut bill was designed to provide lavish financial windfalls to America's wealthiest citizens, largest multinational conglomerates, leading money center banks and most powerful Wall Street firms.

Many middle-class citizens will receive modest and temporary tax cuts, which were cleverly created by Republicans to expire, unlike the lavish benefits given by the bill to our largest corporations, which were cleverly created by Republicans to be permanent.

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However, between 5 and 10 percent of middle-class Americans, measured in the millions of voters, will be hit with a tax increase. What's more, countless Americans, comprising tens of millions of voters, will be whacked by insurance premium increases that will create anger against Trump and Republicans from these voters.

The tax bill has always been, and will remain, highly unpopular with voters who understand that this is "a tax cut for the rich" that offers them comparatively little benefit and imposes significant pain through insurance premium increases and, in some cases, tax increases.

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Beneath the surface of American politics is a powerful and profound trend creating broad support for a progressive renaissance of historic dimension.

The Gilded Age abuses of the late 19th century were followed by the progressive renaissance under President Teddy Roosevelt. The Wall Street frenzies and socially unjust policies of the 1920s were followed by the progressive renaissance of Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal.

The Wall Street scandals and financial crash during the presidency of George W. Bush were followed by landslide Democratic victories in congressional elections and the huge victory of President Barack Obama in 2008.

History will repeat itself. The stage is set for a potentially epic Democratic landslide that could bring a Democratic House and even potentially a Democratic Senate after the 2018 midterm elections. It is increasingly likely that a progressive Democratic president and strong Democratic majorities in Congress could lead and govern the nation after the 2020 presidential campaign.

If Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) decides to run for president in 2020, he would be the instant frontrunner for the nomination and favored in the general election against Trump or any other GOP nominee. If Sanders decides not to run, there is a strong likelihood that the ultimate nominee will campaign, win and govern as a true progressive in the Sanders mold.

When historians look back on the Sanders campaign in 2016, they will note two fundamentally important and lasting contributions that Sanders and his supporters made.

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First, the Sanders platform in the 2016 primaries, which was significantly but not fully included in the Democratic platform at the convention, will provide the policy blueprint for the next Democratic presidential campaign and the next great Democratic president.

The progressive populist policies of William Jennings Bryan evolved into the progressive populist presidency of Teddy Roosevelt. The populist policies of Teddy Roosevelt, when he campaigned to regain the presidency as the progressive candidate after abandoning the Republican Party, were largely incorporated by Franklin Roosevelt into his New Deal.

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Brent Budowsky is a regular columnist on thehill.com. He served as Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen, responsible for commerce and intelligence matters, including one of the core drafters of the CIA Identities Law. Served (more...)
 

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