Vote Socialist 2012!
A little stream of consciousness blogging. I normally try to include lots of research and documentation in my posts, but this time I'm just going with what's on my mind at the moment.
So here's my impression of the general direction in politics in the next couple years. The Republicans look like they'll take control of at least one branch of Congress, maybe both. And they promise to, um, shut down the government and cut taxes on the rich. In other words, instead of stagnating things will get quite a bit worse. The GOP will take November's results as an endorsement and run with it.
Meaning, when 2012 rolls around voters will be angry at them for screwing up and not particularly thrilled with the Democrats either. That could mean it'll be another big year for primary challenges by the base, this time on the left instead of the right.
But I also think it will create unusually fertile ground for a third party challenge, so please indulge me while I dream a bit.
The word "socialism" has been thrown around so freely the last couple of years that I think it's been de-mystified. Conservatives called Obama a socialist over and over and over again on the campaign trail and yet he won comfortably. Shouldn't that have been seen as an endorsement of it?
Same thing with health care reform. The constant refrain was socialism even though it was a modest tweak of the existing system and is such a big fat nothingburger that no one who voted for it is even hinting at it on the campaign trail.
In short, folks will be pissed off at both legacy parties and will be somewhat acclimated to Big Scary Socialism. Why not run on it? Not in a revolutionary way but a targeted one. Just a few big goals. For instance:
1. Medicare For All.
2. End The Wars.
3. Soak The Rich.
There you go. Nine words, three initiatives. Promise to rubber stamp absolutely everything else in DC. Keep the status quo everywhere else, but hammer those three things over and over. They would be big changes, but easily understandable, very popular, and not so ambitious as to scare off voters.
Medicare for all is easy enough. End the wars means not only bring all the soldiers home from Iraq and Afghanistan, but cut off the mercenaries and profiteers as well. Close down bases. Negotiate a peace treaty with North Korea (still just a cease fire!) and draw down our presence there. You get the idea.
For #3, propose a 70% marginal tax rate on income over $5 million per year. (Like the overuse of "socialism," if any modest tax increase at the top is called class warfare, why not embrace it with gusto?)
I'd be willing to bet the cost of #1 would be more than covered by 2 and 3. The deficit scolds wouldn't have any traction. It would be popular as well as a real alternative to what's currently on offer. The overheated rhetoric of the right is already deployed; it can't be ramped up any more than it already is. Why not run with it?
What do you think, Corrente?