Recently Bernie Sanders offered an answer: Democrats should “go beyond identity politics.” What’s needed, he said, are candidates who understand that working-class incomes are down, who will “stand up to Wall Street, to the insurance companies, to the drug companies, to the fossil fuel industry.”
But is there any reason to believe that this would work? Let me offer some reasons for doubt.
First, a general point: Any claim that changed policy positions will win elections assumes that the public will hear about those positions. How is that supposed to happen, when most of the news media simply refuse to cover policy substance? Remember, over the course of the 2016 campaign, the three network news shows devoted a total of 35 minutes combined to policy issues — all policy issues. Meanwhile, they devoted 125 minutes to Mrs. Clinton’s emails.
Actually, y’know, the media is there to provide what the readers/viewers want. And if it’s not policy wonks then so be it.
And there’s something rolling around back there…ah, yes, that’s it, the art of politics is going and explaining to people why they should vote for you, isn’t it?