November 11, 2017


How to win like (Bill) Clinton (Rahm Emanuel and Bruce Reed, November 8, 2017, Washington Post)

Show Americans what you're for. Clinton understood that ideas are the most underrated weapon in politics and the best chance a party has to change minds. He ran the wonkiest campaign in memory and made real solutions to real problems -- sending young people to college in return for national service, rewarding work with the earned-income tax credit, steering capital to poor neighborhoods through community development banks -- the test for his opponents. Attacking "the brain-dead politics of both parties," he declared: "Americans know what we're against. Let's show them what we're for."

A quarter-century later, President Trump seems to be against everyone and everything. Republicans need to remember that whatever Americans may feel about how many National Football League players take a knee, they care far more whether their children can afford college or their employer will give them a raise.

In the Trump era of fake policy and fun-house mirrors, Democrats must be more focused than ever on real answers. Opposition parties talk about problems. A majority party has to make clear how it will solve them.

Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, George W. Bush, John Key, David Cameron, Barack Obama etc. all won the same way, by running on the Third Way--which focuses on using capitalist means to fund social welfare ends--and there is a wide opening there right now.  Here are a few policies they could make the center of a platform:

(1) Immigration reform--to allow the free movement of peoples subject to screening at borders

(2) Global free trade liberalization

(3) Universal health care based on HSAs

(4) Personal social security accounts

(5) Universal education savings accounts, government-funded from birth to 18

(6) Ending the taxation of income, profits, investment and savings

Of course, the key to the whole agenda is that Republicans can run on it and win too.

Posted by at November 11, 2017 6:47 AM


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