Liberal Pundit Calls for Dems to Start a “New Cold War“ as a Way to Beat GOP
I had been wondering when some centrist liberal Democrat would finally come clean and openly suggest starting Cold War II, and now John Stoehr, journalist and contributor to USNews, Newsweek and several other publications, has finally stepped up and published a thread on Twitter that outlined what he thinks is a winning strategy for Democrats to pursue to victory in 2018 and beyond.
Stoehr lives about a stone’s throw from the hallowed Yale campus, in toney New Haven (pronounced NU-haven) Connecticut. It should not surprise us then, that he has his fingers on the pulse of the white working class voters in America, and he has a way for Democrats to win them back: appeal to their dormant anti-Communist genes.
He starts by describing what he sees as the major challenge facing the “left”:
Notice his dismissive framing of the Progressive agenda as stemming from the “brief” campaign of Bernie Sanders. As if Bernie’s 35 years in Congress, his meteoric rise and his continued presence in American politics meant nothing. Bernie is consistently ranked as the most popular poltiician in Anerica and was the most invited guest on the Sunday political shows for 2016 and 2017.
Stoehr also sets up a false “schism” where one does not exist. Bernie Sanders and his progressive agenda are wildly popular with the Democratic electorate. All of the positions that Stoehr lists above enjy strong majoritarian support among Democrats — up to 80% of Democrats support Bernie’s agenda of “economic populism.”
Then Stoehr tries to make us believe that he has the key to what actually drives the American voter.
Here he is making a wholly unsupported and indeed debunked assumption that (1) people do not vote their self-interest and (2) the white working class especially do not. I presume that here he means to say that the WWC vote for Trump was based on racism and bigotry, sexism and misogyny, and not because they wanted to vote for the guy who condemned NAFTA and TPP and promised to bring back good blue collar jobs.
He is of course WRONG on both counts. Stoehr, like so many centrist Democrats, simoly cannot conceive that voters who chose Trump could have done so for sound, logical and self-interested reasons. It is simply beyond their ken. And yet that was the case. As Bernie Sanders and others have pointed out, the voters on 2016 wanted change. Obama had promised change and failed to deliver. TWICE. These voters were not willing to be fooled by the Democrats a third time. It’s that simple. Sure, most knew that Trump was probably lying, but at least he was saying the words. And for a desperate electorate, that was enough.
It’s ironic, really. After the Democratic Primary was over, we Berners were told that we needed to vote for Hillary Clinton; that even if we hated her, we had to hold our nose and vote for “the lesser evil.”
Yet these same Democratic stalwarts are so ensconced in their own echo chamber they fail to realise that for the white working class, Trump was the lesser evil.
Stoehr plods on.
Having setup a false dichotomy within the “progressive” movement, Stoehr then proceeds to offer a “third way” compromise that would bring both sides together. Something that presumably everyone could get behind. Something that — you guessed it —has a lot to do with #RUSSIA.
This is where he takes a header off the high board into a pool of utter insanity.
This guy is so out of touch he thinks that a good Commie Witch Hunt is what will bring the White Working Class back into the Democratic fold.
He then goes on to reference data showing that Clinton would have won if she had managed to get even a quarter of the WWC vote that Obama had.
I thought he was joking, but he is not. This thread goes on for 15 more tweets!
At tweet 13, however, Stoehr reveals himself to be the corporate centrist that he is:
Let’s see, what “parts of the Dem coalition” would be put off by economic policy messages that appeal to the working class? You guessed it: consultants, lobbyists and of course the rich campaign donors.
And he is still wrong about the self-interest thing. He prefers to believe that voters don’t care about their self interest, but rather are motivated by emotion (this seems to be a popular talking point among corporate centrists, BTW). My God, the arrogance, the brazen elitism of this man is breathtaking!
A new “cyber” Cold War ... yeah, that’s the ticket! That’s what will get the white working class off the couch and to the polls — knowing that Russia is menacing us with an army of pale, pimply-faced kids who know all about this Internet stuff.
And … there you have it. We combat Trump by essentially co-opting his #MAGA theme and just changing the target of the hatred and phobia from minorities & immigrants to … RUSSIANS!
Stoehr sums it up in his penultimate Tweet:
So we need some charismatic candidate who can tap into the patriotic mysticism that lies within the bosom of the white working class voter.
And what appears in the last Tweet is again almost unbelievable. He is literally saying that, rather than rally behind the most popular politician in the country, Democrats should rally behind a militaristic, jingoistic, xenophobic crusade against a major nuclear power. Madness.