Voters decided to reject Trumpism in the House
Democratic Party, many of them members of trade unions whose strength in numbers gave them an increasing share of the gains from economic growth. Their long economic slide has generated the kind of frustrations that demagogues throughout history have twisted into rage at “them.”
Meanwhile, most economic gains have gone to the top 1 percent, whose wealth is now greater than the combined wealth of the bottom 90 percent — giving them enough political muscle to demand and get tax cuts, Wall Street bailouts, corporate subsidies and regulatory rollbacks. These in turn have created even more wealth at the top.
These were all trends before Trump. Yet Democrats failed to reverse them, even though Democrats occupied the White House most of these years (and during four of them controlled both houses of Congress). Trump has worsened them by slashing taxes on the wealthy and corporations, whittling back the Affordable Care Act and loosening restrictions on Wall Street.
Jobs may be back, but they pay squat, especially compared with the rising costs of housing, health care and education. And they’re less secure than ever. One in 5 is now held by a worker under contract without any unemployment insurance, sick leave or retirement savings.
Which presumably is why Trump decided to focus the midterms on hate and fear rather than on the economy.
He thereby created a large opening for Democrats aiming for 2020. They can become the party of the bottom 90 percent by creating a multiracial, multiethnic coalition to wrest back control of our economy and democracy.
They would focus on two big things: First, raise the purchasing power of the bottom 90 percent through stronger unions, a larger wage subsidy (starting with a bigger earned income tax credit), and Medicare for all.
Second, get big money out of politics through public financing of elections, full disclosure of all sources of political funding, and an end to the revolving door between business and government.
The direction couldn’t be clearer. It is the Democrats’ hour.