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Democrats must just bring down Trump -- for the sake of the world

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From The Guardian

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We do not need 20 candidates having confusing fights over healthcare. We need urgent action to defeat a would-be tyrant

Kamala Harris answers post-debate questions in the Spin Room California Senator Kamala Harris tackles reporters' questions inside of the Spin Room following the Democratic presidential debate in Miami on June 28, 2019.
Kamala Harris answers post-debate questions in the Spin Room California Senator Kamala Harris tackles reporters' questions inside of the Spin Room following the Democratic presidential debate in Miami on June 28, 2019.
(Image by YouTube, Channel: Miami Herald)
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Imagine an opposition political party in a land being taken over by an oligarchy, headed by a would-be tyrant.

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The tyrant and the oligarchy have convinced many voters the reason they feel powerless and economically insecure isn't because the oligarchy has taken most of the economic gains and overwhelmed the government with its money. It's because the country has been taken over by undocumented migrants, Latinos, African Americans and a "deep state" of coastal liberals, intelligence agencies and mainstream media. This is rubbish, of course, but the tyrant is masterful at telling big lies and he is backed by the oligarchy's money.

Imagine further that the opposition party will soon face another election in which it could possibly depose the tyrant and overcome the oligarchy. But at the rate they are consolidating power over the courts, politics and the media this could be the opposition's last chance.

What would it do?

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Would it allow virtually anyone to seek to be the party's candidate for president (and gain valuable brand recognition along the way), including spiritual gurus, one-issue entrepreneurs and minor elected officials who have never even run for state office?

I doubt it. The party would establish criteria to filter out those who had no real chance.

Would it let almost every one of them go on television to debate one other, thereby placing a premium on one-line zingers, fast talk and rapid-fire put-downs? Would it assign them randomly to one of two nights, so several candidates with the most support would not even get to debate one other?

Of course not. Instead, it would take the half-dozen who had the best chance and structure the debates so they could demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the forcefulness of their ideas in lengthy back-and-forth exchanges.

Would it encourage them to split the party over policy issues that almost no one understands, such as the meaning of "Medicare for all," thereby causing some voters to become alarmed about a government takeover of the healthcare system and others to worry the government won't go far enough?

No. It would encourage the candidates to emphasize the larger goal, in this case to provide health insurance to everyone, and have them explain that a so-called "public option" to buy into Medicare would eventually displace for-profit private insurers anyway, because it would be so much cheaper.

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Would it let any of this deflect attention from the tyrant keeping children in cages at the border, coddling foreign dictators and inviting them to help him in the next election, shattering alliances with other democracies, using his office to make money for himself and his family, lying non-stop, subsidizing fossil fuels and downplaying climate change, claiming the media is guilty of treason, and undermining other democratic institutions and norms?

Of course not. Although it would want its candidates to float some ambitious and sensible proposals that would get people hopeful about the future, it would also want them to keep attention on what the tyrant was doing and the dangers he posed.

Finally, given the extraordinarily high stakes in the upcoming election, would it decide on its candidate in much the same way it has done in the recent past, solely on the basis of who can attract the most primary voters and caucus attenders?

No. It would have its eye on the general election. It would be thinking strategically about how to attract voters in places the tyrant won in the last election but could swing back. In America, that would be Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and North Carolina.

This doesn't mean it would support a "moderate" or "centrist" candidate. These terms mean little in a land succumbing to tyranny and oligarchy.

It would do best with a candidate able to create a multiracial coalition to fight the tyrant and his oligarchy -- a coalition combining poor, working class and middle class whites, blacks and Latinos.

 

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Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.

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Janet Supriano

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The title of this piece speaks to Democrats in general. Why a picture of Kamala Harris?? A little mind bending much?

I object.

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 30, 2019 at 3:03:38 PM

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Lance Ciepiela

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This is the age of underdogs and dark horses. When the subject moved to Afghanistan and occupation, Gabbard was on confident and really on fire. This is significant because while historically Gabbard's anti-imperialist line on occupation would be associated with (normally later broken) Democratic Party talking points it was here that Trump defeated Clinton at the polls when Trump won the anti-war vote in 2016. #TradeBoltonForTulsi.

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 30, 2019 at 5:49:56 PM

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Yeah, right. Take down Trump and the War Against Iran will start before the White House door hits him in the ass on the way out.

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 30, 2019 at 9:25:17 PM

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First, "Democrats" have to be purged of the faction that gambled on Hillary vs Trump instead of taking a sure thing with Sanders. Then they might be trusted to govern for the people, not Wall St.

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 30, 2019 at 10:33:07 PM

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Here we go again. Trump, Trump, Trump, Bad, Bad, Bad.

Donald Trump did us all a service: he exposed the existence of a Deep State that controls most of the media and pushes the nation into endless wars.

You don't have to thank him - but at least wake up and realize that all Progressive hopes will be ruined if Perpetual War isn't stopped. Please wake up, Mr. Reich.

Submitted on Monday, Jul 1, 2019 at 12:52:51 AM

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There are twenty candidates Mr. Secretary to prevent any of the progressive candidates from winning a clear majority, allowing Party superdelegates to decide who wins the Convention next year. The corporocrats do not want a modern version of Henry Wallace, Adlai Stevenson, or George McGovern to win, much less a Franklin Roosevelt or Jack Kennedy. Their corporate masters have said no, just as they did with Bernie Sanders in 2016, and the Democratic Party moves heaven and earth to obey.

Submitted on Monday, Jul 1, 2019 at 10:46:28 PM

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