The Democrats hate Donald Trump, but do they hate his policies? In some cases, sure. But many elements of Trumpism are actually congenial to Democrats who want to run to Trump’s left…or is it his right? A reader unpacks Elizabeth Warren’s speech on “A Foreign Policy that Works for All Americans.”
Setting the stage:
Mistakes piled on mistakes. Reckless, endless wars in the Middle East. Trade deals rammed through with callous disregard for our working people…Why? Mostly to serve the interests of big corporations while ignoring the interests of American workers.
We need to refocus our international economic policies so that they benefit all Americans…At the same time, we must refocus our security policies by reining in unsustainable and ill-advised military commitments…
Straight-up Trumpism, literally almost word-for-word:
Giant corporations have made money hand over fist. But our trade and economic policies have not delivered the same kind of benefits for America’s middle class. In fact, U.S. trade policy has delivered one punch in the gut after another to workers and to the unions that fight for them.
For decades, the leaders of both parties preached the gospel that free trade was a rising tide that would lift all boats. Great rhetoric – except that the trade deals they negotiated mainly lifted the yachts-and threw millions of working Americans overboard to drown.
Policymakers were willing to sacrifice American jobs-not their own, of course-in return for boosting sales at Walmart and gaining access to consumer markets around the world.
Washington had it all figured out. And this confidence spilled over into more than trade deals….They looked the other way as China manipulated its currency to advance its own interests and undercut work done here in America.
Trumpier than Trump! On NAFTA:
There’s no question we need to renegotiate NAFTA. The federal government has certified that NAFTA has already cost us nearly a million good American jobs – and big companies continue to use NAFTA to outsource jobs to Mexico to this day.
But as it’s currently written, Trump’s deal won’t stop the serious and ongoing harm NAFTA causes for American workers. It won’t stop outsourcing, it won’t raise wages, and it won’t create jobs. It’s NAFTA 2.0.
For example, NAFTA 2.0 has better labor standards on paper but it doesn’t give American workers enough tools to enforce those standards. Without swift and certain enforcement of these new labor standards, big corporations will continue outsourcing jobs to Mexico to so they can pay workers less.
NAFTA 2.0 is also stuffed with handouts that will let big drug companies lock in the high prices they charge for many drugs. The new rules will make it harder to bring down drug prices for seniors and anyone else who needs access to life-saving medicine.
Just beautiful! Perfect Trumpism. Keep out the cheap Asian and Mexican bras and panties, but you have a right to free trade in cheap Asian and Mexican drugs!
We need MORE Trumpism! MORE Syndicalism, protectionism and lemon socialism:
The President grabs headlines railing against GM’s plans to axe thousands of American jobs in Ohio and Michigan – but his actual policies aren’t stopping them or others like them from continuing to put corporate profits ahead of American workers. It’s time for real change.
We need a new approach to trade, and it should begin with a simple principle: our policies should not prioritize corporate profits over American paychecks. That should be true for NAFTA and true for every deal we cut.
It all comes down to “helping” “our” companies with Industrial Policy:
Investments at home strengthen the economy, but these investments also serve national security. A 21st century industrial policy, for example, would produce good jobs that provide dignity, respect, and a living wage, and it would also reinforce U.S. international economic power.
We should be on the side of American businesses, protecting them from unfair practices abroad. That means aggressively targeting corruption and pay-to-play demands from unscrupulous governments. It means fighting back against the threat of forced technology transfer in exchange for market access. And it means penalizing the theft of American intellectual property.
Except, of course, American intellectual property in drug patents!
And don’t forget neo-isolationism:
A foreign policy that lifts the fortunes of all Americans must also take an honest look at the full costs and risks of our military actions.
For nearly two decades, this country has been mired in a series of wars – conflicts that sap American strength.
The human costs of these wars has been staggering: more than 6,900 Americans killed, another 52,000 wounded. Many more who live every day with the invisible scars of war. And hundreds of thousands of civilians killed.
The financial costs are also staggering. The U.S. has put more than a trillion dollars on a credit card for our children to pay, a burden that creates a drag on our economy that will last for generations. Meanwhile, Congress has shirked its responsibility to oversee these ever expanding conflicts.
Despite America’s huge investment, these wars have not succeeded even on their own terms. 17 years later, the Middle East remains in shambles. …
And even with all the blood and money we have spilled, America still faces violent terrorist groups that wish to do us harm.
She’s running as…TRUMP! Hilarious! She has positioned herself to his left (or is it his right?) on free trade and NAFTA in particular. The new NAFTA isn’t protectionist enough! We need Trumpism on steroids — just without Trump and no dirty talk! Trumpist statism but with abortion, #MeToo, affirmative action and #BlackLivesMatter.
But it’s not so clear on immigrants…..Hmmmmm…
I was not a fan of Donald Trump during the primary process because I didn’t think he was conservative enough. Many of his themes seemed borrowed from Democrats like Dick Gephardt. So in a sense, it isn’t too surprising to hear left-wing (or is it right-wing?) Democrats sounding much like Trump across a pretty broad range of issues. Especially since Trump’s policies have proved so successful. Still, much as Trump has governed in a more conservative fashion than I, and many others, expected, no doubt Elizabeth Warren and other Democrats would govern more from the left than their avowed Trumpism suggests. Still, it is striking how Warren seems to be channeling Trump on key issues.