Simplicity is one of Bernie Sanders’ great strengths: Corporations and the rich have rigged the economy. His solutions sound simple, even when the plans behind them are complicated: college for all, health care for all, tax the rich, break up big banks. He trails Hillary Clinton in presidential delegates to this point, and he remains an underdog for the Democratic nomination, but Sanders has already pulled Clinton, and the party, toward a more populist, more socialist policy agenda, thanks in part to that clarity of message.
The centrist Democrats who oppose that leftward lurch have struggled to match his simplicity. They tend to view the economy through a lens of skills and adaptation, not power and treachery. Many of them pushed in the 1990s, under President Bill Clinton, to expand global trade and deregulate the financial sector. They now concede those efforts did not go according to script, particularly for middle-class workers, but they are not calling for a full rewrite in response.
Their risk, in this election and moving forward, is to define themselves solely as anti-Democratic-socialist – the folks who don’t like the stuff that a lot of Democrats like about Sanders.
The Progressive Policy Institute is the latest centrist Democratic institution to try to counter that image. Today it will release what its president, Will Marshall, calls a “radical” agenda to get America working for the working class again. The report is called “Unleashing Innovation and Growth: a Progressive Alternative to Populism,” and it is organized around a straightforward, if not perfectly simple, principle.
Read more at The Washington Post