Using populist Trump against GOP Trump

January 10, 2017 at 12:20 pm

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

On Tuesday, Jan. 3,  Americans woke up to news that Republicans were going to gut the House Ethics Committee. The first thing I did was post the news to several groups, with a short ask for people to call their member of Congress.

I called Republican Steve Chabot’s office here in Cincinnati and actually reached someone. I told Steve’s aide I was calling to urge him to vote against gutting the Ethics Committee and commented that it seemed like a funny way to #draintheswamp. She was quick to tell me that Steve had opposed the committee vote and would vote against it.

The attempt at gutting the committee ended up going down like the Hindenburg.

More importantly though, it made something clear: The people who voted for Trump believed him when he said he was gonna fight for the little guy.

Here’s why this matters—and how to use Trump against Trump and the GOP Congress.

Only fundamental change, not micromanagement, will prevent more lead poisoning after Flint

February 14, 2016 at 1:49 pm

Claire McClinton Speaking after the Water March on August, 10, 2014.

What do excessive testing in schools, the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, speed cameras, and the recent lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan, all have in common?

They’re all symptoms of a new America. An America that is no longer a democracy. An America that is under the control of corporate special interest groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. And an America that is being micromanaged by a mid-level tier of bought-and-paid for politicians who no longer work in the interests of the public.

The media keeps presenting these crises as one-off events, singularities.

If you take a step back though, there are clearly common threads. The first thread is that corporate special interests keep buying themselves out of responsibility (privatize the profit, socialize the risk). The second is that in order to keep people in check and execute on these plans, increasingly they’re relying on a tier of mid-level micromanagers. The poisoning of Flint is just the latest symptom of a country that seems to be more and more under corporate special interest micromanagement.

What does this look like?

The case for Bernie Sanders: Is it time to get rid of the prevent defense?

January 27, 2016 at 1:28 pm

Screenshot from Bernie Sanders rally in Portland, OR.

On January 18, New York Magazine published Jonathan Chait’s article titled “The Case Against Bernie Sanders.”

After reading this piece, the entire premise is that Hillary is more likely to win because she’s more likely to win.

For the record, I’m a Bernie leaner. What’s bothersome about Chait’s piece is that he’s completely ignoring several significant trends, and this same surface analysis is appearing again (Michael Cohen in the Boston Globe) and again (Greg Sargent in The Washington Post) and again (Jonathan Martin in the New York Times).

Whether you’re a Bernie supporter or not, there are at least four critical trends that insiders aren’t writing about. Here are the four trends and why they’re important not just to Bernie, but to Hillary, to the Democratic Party, and to anyone interested in change in our country.

7 things it’s no longer possible to believe after Donald Trump

December 18, 2015 at 11:35 am

With the rise of Donald Trump, there’s certain things that have become almost laughable to believe. Here’s seven.

Donald Trump at CPAC. Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore. Donald Trump at CPAC. Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore.

Distribute it right to begin with

June 26, 2015 at 10:26 pm

Corporate special interest groups have hit upon a very powerful framing of the economy and government that involves something they call “redistribution”.

It has been played over and over in the media more than any annoying pop ballad I can remember. So much so in fact that I bet you could describe the framing w/o me saying a word.

It looks like this:

You earn your money. It is yours. Then the government takes it away in the form of taxes (often referred to as theft) and gives it to someone who hasn’t earned it (redistribution).

When people you know say “socialism,” it is this process of taking from the “deserving” to give to the “undeserving” they are talking about.

I state this argument as strongly as possible here because this is what we’re up against. Professional, audience-tested propaganda.

If we, when you are talking to people, fall into arguing the side that wants to “redistribute,” you will be seen as someone who wants to use government to take away and give to the “lazy” or “undeserving”.

There is an easy way to flip this framing and talk about the actual situation with people you never thought you could reach.

All you have to do is talk about distributing it right to begin with.

actualdistribwithlegend