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A Progressive’s Answer to Trumpism


A Progressive’s Answer to Trumpism

Katrina vanden Heuvel

As election 2016 winds to an end, it’s hard not to begin looking beyond Nov. 8. With Donald Trump behind in the polls and lashing out at the media, there is rampant speculation that Trump is laying the groundwork to launch his own media empire in the wake of his likely defeat.


"New trade deals increase foreign competition" for factory workers but not doctors, and transfer regulatory authority from governments to corporate tribunals. The TPP blitzkrieg starts November 9.


Sorry Katrina, many progressives are going to vote for Jill Stein this time. Voting to put the Clintons back in the WH just rewards them and the DNC for all the bad policies and dirty tricks to marginalize Bernie Sanders. From now on, you and the DNC and all the operatives in the Democratic party need to know that it is not just Millennials that are angry, and will refuse to vote for the neoliberal DNC candidates anymore, it is also older progressives like me. I will never vote for a DNC candidate ever again until the DNC puts much more progressive and honest candidates up for a vote in the primaries.


After suffering serious buyer's remorse after voting for Clinton in 1992, I stopped voting for DNC candidates and would feel like a reformed alcoholic falling off the wagon if I ever voted DNC again or ever voted GOP (which i never have done).


Katrina is largely correct that many Trump supporters have flocked to him because of the (false) perception that he cares about is prepared to address their economic plight. But wait, aren't those mostly voters who would have been attracted to Bernie Sanders' populist economic message? Isn't it the Democratic Party who destroyed Bernie's chance to capture these voters? Why do we think Trump has been pushing an anti-trade deal agenda in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Why did Trump come out swinging against the ATT-Time Warner merger, followed almost immediately by Bernie's announcement that it should be rejected by the US government on antitrust grounds, all while Hillary remained silent and Senator Kaine said the proposed merger "raised concerns." In good measure, Trump has been trying to run Bernie's campaign.

Had Bernie been the nominee, Trump would have had little to campaign on other than his nativist appeals on immigration and would have attacked Bernie from the right on economic issues. Given the support for Trump on these economic issues, it is clear now that the polls were right and Bernie would have beaten Trump handily and secured these millions of voters for the Democratic Party. Now that these same voters feel abandoned by the elitist corporatists in control of the Democrats, what makes anyone think they will "see the light" and return home to the Democrats after the election? So they can be spurned again?


Excellent points. This shows how pathological the DNC and HRC are-----they could care less about the plight of the environment and 99% of the population.

CD needs to cover the latest on "Obamacare". This is a time bomb that is bound to explode. People are dying because of this. And as much as I despise (and I mean despise) Trump----he is reaching people on this because they can't afford 1,000 a month premiums, 5,000 deductibles and few doctors that will accept their coverage.

Trump could care less about the 99% as well. It is clear Sanders should have run against Trump and damn it----he should have broken from the corrupt DNC.

The shit is going to hit the fan.

I agree with what jrmoffett says above as well:

Anyone here really think Mrs. Oligarchy and promoter of fracking is going to do anything about this? No f----ing way. She is part and parcel of the oligarchy and hasn't a clue what 1,000 a month means to most people.


So the "progressive" plan is to hold Hillary Clinton, a corrupt, neo-liberal in sheep's clothing "accountable"?
Please, sign me up for 4 more years of war and austerity!



Wow, Katrina vanden Heuvel, you wrote a whole article that didn't say anything. Looks like you're too busy sucking up to the Clintons to put any effort into real journalism. I suggest you take up macrame.


" It's only a matter of time before a more polished, less toxic Trump emerges and threatens to drag us all back into the past."

Perfect description Katrina... of HRC!


A vote for HRC is a vote for death and destruction. Why don't her liberal apologists ever look at her record? She has zero progressive accomplishments and a long history of promoting one war after the other. Bernie will fade into senatorial obscurity just as Obama's primary challengers did ...Stein/Baraka 2016


It is going to take a lot to satisfy Trump supporters. They seem to not like people who talk as though they have law degrees running thing . The also have a strong preference for people in power who are white. And they don't like people who in any way suggest they take their military style rifles away so they can defend themselves against the government. Better trade agreements would help but much of their economic problems is due to increasing automation. That trend is almost sure to continue. People like those who support Trump are also rebelling against the established order in almost all of the European countries. It appears that rationality and intellectualism are now under attack in many places.


Thanks to the Clintons (and the Supreme Court) have we moved into a new era where the President, Secretary of State and others while in high political office can rake in millions for themselves and their spouses, now all in the open without fear of being locked up for corruption?

95% if what Bill and Hillary were selling, (and pocketing) they didn't own - we did.


"will be a political and moral imperative for Democrats to start paying attention to many of Trump’s supporters and working to advance an inclusive populism that gives them hope "

the neoliberal DNC better start with the real progressive they have dismissed telling them to Get a life" didn't work.


I have decided that not only am I voting for Jill Stein this time, but after seeing the Podesta emails that confirm the suspicions of most of us on the left - that the establishment Democratic Party absolutely hates and dismisses it's progressive/liberal base - that I am FINISHED with the Democratic Party generally. I am walking away and going to work to make the Green Party into a viable progressive alternative party, starting with Ohio in 2018. How about recruiting Nina Turner to be their candidate for Governor then? Since she's pretty much been read out of the Ohio Democratic Party for refusing to endorse Hillary and I'm sure been told that she will never hold office again, then I'm sure they won't mind her running as a Green and probably getting 20-25% of the vote for Governor! That is how you build a viable alternative party for the rest of us! Stein/Baraka 2016!


Couldn't agree more. It is time to ditch the DNC and go Green. It feels good.

The DNC thinks they can get progressives to vote for them with fear and lesser evil mantras. Not going to work for them anymore. I hated the Clinton policies in the 90s, and they have only gotten worse since then. So long DNC, see if you can get Republicans to vote for you now, they are a better match for you anyway.


It WILL be voters who mostly vote for GOP candidates who enable Clinton to cross the finish line in this election.

During the past eight years many right wing co-workers have told me how they can't believe how liberal they have become as they get older, having voted for Obama after always voting for GOP candidates for 30-40 years. Although I wanted to tell them that the Democartic Party is currently to the right of where the GOP was 40 years ago, in order to avoid disrupting the workplace, I just let them cling to their fantasies


Trump says a no-fly zone in Syria is a bad idea and will lead to WW3 with Russia! So, who’s the crazy one now, the dame who wants to blow up the world, or the dude who doesn’t??? Now that Trump has come out against WW3 and a no-fly zone in Syria, the Left had better re-evaluate its "lesser-evil” nonstrategy.


First, K. vanden Heuval needs to take a little time to read what a political progressive is. There is no organized progressive left in the US today, and regardless, our liberal bourgeoisie have dominated media/public discussion since the 1990s.

Secondly, the current kerfluffle over Trump's anti-women comments isn't going to change a whole lot of votes. Trump supporters write it off as mere locker room talk, the boys trying to out-macho each other. The Democrats' big problem is that so much of the Dem voting base so deeply opposes the Clinton agenda. They opposed it in the 1990s, part way through the Clinton administration. They opposed it in 2000, opposed it again in 2008, and even more oppose it in 2016. The Clinton wing threw the poor off the cliff, took the first steps to similarly "reform" Social Security (targeting the disabled), signed on to NAFTA, and before launching her campaign, H. Clinton was working hard on selling the TPP to Congress. Add this to Clinton's long record of support for military aggression. In short, they don't see either Trump or Clinton as being the lesser of the evils.


Could be, they're just clueless. We saw the dramatic changes in the Dem Party in recent decades. The Reagan Democrats of the 1980s leaned to the right to merge with the Clinton right wing in the 1990s. H. Clinton has supported military aggression for years. On core socioeconomic policies, H. Clinton is well to the right of former Republican presidents Eisenhower, Nixon, and even Reagan.


The thing I can't get out of my head is the distinction between Trump's message and the messenger, Trump himself. I get the appeal of the message to the white reactionary voter. It has surfaced time and again historically here and in Europe. What I don't get is how they can perceive Trump as their champion. To my mind you have to be both intellectually and emotionally stunted to believe that. One is not sufficient. The solution to that is intensive therapy and education.