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5/26/2005

Economic populism

I've been saying for a while now that the electorate is there for the Democrats' taking, if only they would work toward being the party of a credible economic populism ('credible' as in, more than just populist rhetoric every four years--I'm looking at you, Al Gore). So much hand-wringing over how the Democrats lost rural voters has ignored the most obvious answer: rural, working class voters do not believe that the Democrats are looking out for their economic interests. And with good reason, too.

The effect of this is that they feel like they might as well vote based on stupid shit like who they'd rather have a beer with--neither party is really going to do anything for them anyway, they figure. But their voting patterns would change in the blink of an eye if they could be convinced that Democrats would fight for the working and middle classes. More evidence of this comes via Sirotablog:

New Poll: Dems Must Fight for Middle Class

According to a new national poll, the American public desperately wants the Democratic Party to start showing some guts and stand up for America's middle class - something I and others have been screaming about for years ...

- 62% feel that our economy is not good for middle and working class people - here's where the record gets more mixed for Democrats. Supporting the bankruptcy bill and the class action bill, for instance, doesn't help Democrats make the case that they are listening to this 62%.

...

- 76% support guaranteeing health care to all through a program similar to Medicare - this is where Democrats have been largely absent, primarily pushing piecemeal programs that would address the health care crisis, but not in any fundamental, comprehensive way...

- 76% want action to end tax breaks to companies that move jobs abroad and to provide incentives for those who create jobs here and allow unions to organize - Again, Democrats have a very mixed record on this...

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