USA – Wise campaigning advice: did anyone listen?

Bernie Sanders writes: Democrats shouldn’t focus only on abortion in the mid-terms. Democrats must win on the economy and present a pro-worker agenda

“You can’t win elections unless you have the support of the working class of this country.”

“As someone who has a lifetime 100% pro-choice voting record, and is outraged by the Supreme Court’s horrific decision to overturn Roe v Wade, there is no question but that Democrats must continue to focus on the right of women to control their own bodies. This is a fight that most Americans want us to wage and, given the Republicans’ extremist position on the issue, makes them genuinely vulnerable. In my view, while the abortion issue must remain on the front burner, it would be political malpractice for Democrats to ignore the state of the economy and allow Republican lies and distortions to go unanswered.

“We have more income and wealth inequality than at any time in the modern history of this country, with three people owning more wealth than the bottom half of our nation. Is there one Republican prepared to raise taxes on billionaires?…Today, 60% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and millions work for starvation wages. Is there one Republican in Congress who is prepared to raise the federal minimum wage to at least $15 an hour?

“The United States pays, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. Is there one Republican prepared to allow Medicare to immediately begin negotiating prescription drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry and cut the cost of medicine by half?… We have a dysfunctional healthcare system which, despite being the most expensive in the world, allows 85 million Americans to be uninsured or underinsured. Is there one Republican who believes that healthcare is a human right and supports universal coverage?

“We remain the only major country on earth not to guarantee time off for moms who have babies or need to take care of sick children. Is there one Republican who supports at least 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave? The list goes on: childcare, housing, home health care, college affordability. On every one of these enormously important issues the Republican party has virtually nothing to say to address the desperate needs of low and moderate income Americans. And what they do propose will most often make a bad situation worse.

“Nevertheless, in poll after poll Republicans are more trusted than Democrats to handle the economy – the issue of most importance to people. I believe that if Democrats do not fight back on economic issues and present a strong pro-worker agenda, they could well be in the minority in both the House and the Senate next year.”

Meanwhile, Axios reports: Democrats are pouring millions into Facebook advertisements about reproductive rights, while Republicans are focused on the economy and Donald Trump.

SOURCES: The Guardian, by Bernie Sanders, 10 October 2022 ; Axios, by Sara Fischer, 11 October 2022