gave him both the means and the confidence to break the donors’
cartel that until then had eliminated all GOP candidates who didn’t
begin by saluting the Bush family for starting the Iraq War,
incessantly demanding cuts in Social Security and Medicare, and
managing the economy into total collapse via financial
deregulation. He could even mock the carried-interest tax loophole
and sneer at Wall Street. ...
conversation for 'It's The Economy' with KGNU's Claudia Cragg, so
says Thomas Ferguson, professor
of political science at the University of Massachusetts, Boston,
senior fellow of the Roosevelt Institute and the author
of Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition
and the Logic of Money-Driven Politics. Jacobin magazine
just published an interview with Ferguson,
the Investors," about the 2016 election.
judgment is that unlike 2008 and 2012, when the Obama campaign
clearly encouraged donors to break up their contributions into
smaller amounts to create the appearance of a mass movement, the
Sanders campaign pretty much is what it appears to be: a movement
swept along by a vast array of small donors. No wonder Democratic
elites were so nervously petulant at Sanders for staying in the
race and continuing to propagate his views."
Ferguson argues that what we see now was foreshadowed
in 2014. It was after that election that Ferguson co-authored an article, "Americans
Are Sick to Death of Both Parties," that noted: "The drop off
in voting turnout from the presidential election of 2012 to 2014 is
the second largest of all time: -24 percentage points.
... Though Republicans jubilate now, the trend is probably as
threatening to them as it is to the Democrats. The reason is stark:
Increasing numbers of average Americans can no longer stomach
voting for parties that only pretend to represent their
In his recent
interview, Ferguson said: "The system
hasn’t worked for many Americans for at least a generation, and
vast numbers of them now realize this. ...
major problem is the weak economy. ... Money from Wall Street
to the Democrats fell off steeply in 2012. Obama had to make
it up with funding from what we can epitomize as Silicon Valley, in
the face of massive opposition from industries like coal, oil,
chemicals, and other heavy polluters. Clinton is plainly
aiming to heal that breach. The refusal even to say what she told
Goldman Sachs in those famous speeches is part and parcel of her
campaign to reaffirm the old ties her husband furthered so much.
for winning votes is now very simple: you go to women and say the
magic word: 'Trump.' You go to African Americans with the same
mantra: 'Trump.' And you go to Latinos, just pointing and repeating
'Trump,' while the media plays 'Ride of the Valkyries'
carrying on as he has, it may be all Clinton needs. After the
election, though, we will all wake up to discover that little in
the campaign will have addressed the problems that the primaries so