The labels of progressives versus centrists or “New Democrats” over policy differences is meaningless in my humble opinion, at least as defined by the Media and the Beltway Establishment. I say this because I think — I could be wrong — that many moderate or even some conservative voters would agree that some of the positions taken by supposed centrists or New Democrats are not moderate at all. I am thinking of positions taken on economic policy.
First, several centrists and New Democrats went along with Trump’s weakening of finanical regulations of the banks. It was deregulation of the financial industries in the 1990’s that lead to the financial crisis of 2008 and the Great Recession. Dodd-Frank placed some limits on what banks and other lenders could do, but it was a moderate bill at best.
Now, it has been weakened.
How many moderate Daily Kossacks think this is a great idea? I’m betting not many. In fact, one of the few areas of agreement across the political spectrum is that the bankers got off scott free after the financial crisis. And they are correct.
So how is weakening of financial regulations a moderate political position?
And there are the centrist or New Democrat positions on free trade. Most are still for free trade. Several centrists argue that the problem is that the U.S. government has not enforced the rules that are in place. And centrists do have a point that the federal government is terrible at enforcing what few trade rules that are on the books. But many of the centrists and New Democrats still think the fundamental idea of free trade, as defined by multinational corporations, is sound.
And if you look at what voters think, embrace of free trade as always good is not popular nowadays.
In fact, many of these economic stances are conservative positions adopted by the Establishment and later by some Democrats. If you go back in time, you will see that no regulations of business and free trade were economic positions taken during the Guilded Age by the likes of Democratic President Grover Cleveland. So I take issue with the idea that New Democrats are proposing anything “new.”
Some do not like this, but economic stances taken by those wearing the label of centrists or New Democrats are just positions that their corporate donors are in favor of. And since when is empowering corporations or the wealthy moderation? This is why I think trying to frame the policy differences between progressives and New Democrats is not progressives vs moderates. It’s progressives against corporate interests.
Why do I bring this up? Simple. I think that progressives and moderate Democratic voters agree on some of these economic issues.
Or am I wrong?