Reprinted from Smirking Chimp
Democrats must embrace a pro-government platform, not run away from it.
Those were the sentiments of Sen. Chuck Schumer today, in a speech given at the National Press Club.
Talking about the reasons for Democrats' losses on Election Day, Schumer said that those losses were proof that the US public and middle class want a government that will work more effectively for them.
He went on to say that, for the first time ever, the middle class has lost faith in the American Dream, and that in 2014, Democrats lost because the US public has lost faith in the party and the government's ability to improve the lives of the middle class.
But it wasn't always like this.
As Schumer pointed out, a pro-government mentality dominated the US and the political landscape from the days of FDR until 1980 when Reagan came to Washington.
With FDR's New Deal policies and programs, the US public saw that government can strengthen the middle class, improve the economy and protect everyone's ability to live the American Dream.
For several generations, Americans trusted our government's ability to improve living conditions for the working class. As a result, Democrats stayed in power for a long time.
Then Reagan happened, and everything changed.
First, as Schumer points out, the Democratic Party veered way off course while Reagan was president, and abandoned its working-class base.
Second, Schumer says that because the Democratic Party had been so successful at creating a stable economy that worked for everyone for so long, people began to think that they no longer needed government, and were fine on their own.
Reagan capitalized on those sentiments, and was able to successfully create an anti-government mentality that exists to this day, and that helped fuel the Republican landslide on Election Day.
But this anti-government mentality that exists today isn't just some random phenomenon.
There are lots of reasons for it.
As Schumer said, "When government fails to prosecute those who work in financial institutions (some of which were propped up or bailed out by the government) for what seems, on its face, blatant fraud -- Americans feel that government is not working for them. When CEOs and executives pay less in taxes than their secretaries -- Americans feel that government is not working for them."