Many of the most prominent voices in the Democratic Party, led by Bernie Sanders, are advocating wealth redistribution through higher taxes and Medicare for all, and demonizing banks and Wall Street.
Memories in politics are short, but those policies are vastly different from the program of the party's traditional center-left coalition. Under Bill Clinton, that coalition balanced the budget, acknowledged the limits of government and protected the essential programs that make up the social safety net.
President Clinton did this, in part, by moving the party away from a reflexive anti-Wall Street posture. It's not popular to say so today, but there are still compelling reasons Democrats should strengthen ties to Wall Street.
As the party has left behind that version of liberalism, it has also found its way to its weakest electoral position — nationally and at the state level — since the 1920s. Hillary Clinton's lurch to the left probably cost her key Midwestern states that Barack Obama had won twice and led to the election of Donald Trump
If voters really hated ties to Wall Street and financial elites, Republicans would not enjoy such a commanding electoral position — or have elected a New York plutocrat president. Most voters' major problems with President Trump stem from his performance, not from his wealth or connections to Wall Street.
America is a center-right, pro-capitalist nation. A January Gallup poll found that moderates and conservatives make up almost 70 percent of the country, while only 25 percent of voters identify as liberal. Even in May 2016, when Senator Sanders made redistribution a central part of his platform, Gallup found that only about 35 percent of Americans had a positive image of socialism, compared with 60 percent with a positive view of capitalism.
This was written by a senior Democratic Bill Clinton political and economic adviser. Thoughts?
In an era when America is attempting to fight against the swamp, i am alarmed that this kind of article was so prominent on NYT's website.