Errors of political labelism – OpEd – Eurasia Review
Alexander Burns is a leading political affairs analyst for the New York Times. Unfortunately, even he accepted the ill-defined political labelism swallowed up by his fellow journalists.
Words to describe Democratic politicians as “moderate”, “centrist”, “center-left”, “center-right”, “left” or chairman of the Democratic House caucus, the recent nomenclature denouncing Democratic candidates “d ‘far left’ by Hakeem Jeffries. are often recklessly overused.
Let’s start with the positions that invite journalists to label politicians as “moderate” Democrats. Representative Richard Neal (D-MA) is chairman of the Ways and Means Committee for the Tax Drafting. His first statement when he was appointed chair of the committee in January 2019 was that he was in no way going to accept Donald Trump’s massive tax cuts to super-rich and giant corporations. He agreed with no hearing and no program to end those $ 1.7 trillion, ten-year windfall, and lost revenue, that could have been put to good use to rebuild America’s infrastructure.
Nor has he acted vigorously to expand the IRS’s ability, which is under budget, to tackle the hundreds of billions of dollars a year in taxes evaded by wealthy corporations. For these reactionary and crypto-Republican positions, Neal, who also did not support Biden’s modest tax restoration on corporate profits to 28%, is called “moderate.”
The label “moderate” and “centrist” is routinely applied to Democratic members of Congress who oppose comprehensive medicare for all (which enjoys growing majority support in polls), oppose it. ‘raising the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour now, oppose corporate crime enforcement legislation and other corporate reforms adopted by President Biden, from labor law reforms to facilitate unionization and consumer protections such as cracking down on over $ 1 trillion a year in consumer billing fraud and other cheating. These “moderates” are out of step with polls showing Liberal and Conservative voters want these latest long overdue actions.
I would not call these voters other than to gradually support reforms that benefit the communities where they live, work and raise their families. If the Party-leading Employer Democrats keep these and other documented reforms off the table and marginalize candidates who marry them, they rule out great opportunities to bring down Trumpian Republicans.
The Trumpsters’ crazy positions (eg, “stop theft,” criminalizing and obstructing voting, claiming that Covid-19, its vaccines, and other protections are plots against freedom) should ward off reckless Republicans from electoral disputes. It’s the Democratic companies that undermine their progressive base that let these Trumpsters remain an electoral challenge. Democrats can’t even find the language to publicly dishonor those southern governors and lawmakers who deny reality (the truly “extremes”, “the fascist right”) and put them on the defensive.
Another topic largely overlooked among Democrats is the largest unpaid welfare system in decades, which is corporate welfare. Billions of dollars, directly and indirectly, go to subsidies, giveaways, giveaways, bailouts, and inflated government contracts, especially in military affairs with the Pentagon. Democrats who support this government-guaranteed corporate socialism are called “centrists” or “moderates,” while progressive lawmakers opposing such raids on the US Treasury are called “the far left.” Truly.
Progressive Democratic candidates have their flaws. One is that they have failed to effectively refute the charge of “socialism” as double talk as corporate CEOs cash gigantic checks from Washington. Biden’s human infrastructure proposals stem from ancient Rooseveltian New Deal traditions. Republicans outsourcing huge numbers of government functions to outsourcing companies are the real radical makers of what Roosevelt warned against in a 1938 message to Congress:
The first truth is that the freedom of a democracy is not secure if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where they become stronger than their democratic state itself. It is, in its essence, fascism – government ownership by an individual, by a group, or by any controlling private power.
As for the Republicans’ accusation against the Democrats that they want to “fund the police”, it was the song of desperation from the streets after the homicide of George Floyd. No candidate in congressional races has taken up this too general and categorical slogan. In contrast, the “centrist” Democrats have not moved to accuse the Republicans in the last election of “funding the tax police” to the IRS, since 2011, thus becoming “the accomplices” of a huge tax evasion, now estimated by the IRS chief appointed by Trump – Charles Rettig – should be trillion dollars a year !!!
Alexander Burns writes about Nina Turner’s loss last Tuesday in the primary race for an open congressional seat in Cleveland. The main reason she lost is that she let her campaign strategists spend a lot of money on unnecessary or even counterproductive repetitive TV commercials, instead of a field game to get the vote – notoriously. weak in most primary races.
Mr Jeffries, whose uncle was a genuine American radical decades ago, said that “the far left has failed to understand … that Trumpism and the radical right are the real enemy, not us”. Mr. Jeffries, you know who helped Trump win in 2016 – the blissful Democrat Party dominated by Hillary Clinton. It was not your despised “radical left” that voted for the “New Deal Democrat,” the independent Bernie Sanders.
Alexander, you can’t do your analytical mind justice if you don’t question those labels while acknowledging the exclusion by Corporate Democrats of the blatant corporate abuses your newspaper regularly writes about.