In an opinion piece in The Guardian, Naomi Klein gives her analysus of why Trump won the presidential election: Kalein puts the blame squarely on the Democratic party, who embraced neo-liberalism:
“Under neoliberal policies of deregulation, privatisation, austerity and corporate trade, their living standards have declined precipitously. They have lost jobs. They have lost pensions. They have lost much of the safety net that used to make these losses less frightening. They see a future for their kids even worse than their precarious present.
“At the same time, they have witnessed the rise of the Davos class, a hyper-connected network of banking and tech billionaires, elected leaders who are awfully cosy with those interests, and Hollywood celebrities who make the whole thing seem unbearably glamorous. Success is a party to which they were not invited, and they know in their hearts that this rising wealth and power is somehow directly connected to their growing debts and powerlessness.”
I think Klein is on to something here. When you realize that a moderate like Bernie Sanders looks like a socialist to most Americans, you realize just how far to the right the Democratic Party has gone. Klein notes that the neo-liberalism embraced by the Democrats has not provided much in the way of benefits to a lot of people.
And Klein offers a way forward:
“People have a right to be angry, and a powerful, intersectional left agenda can direct that anger where it belongs, while fighting for holistic solutions that will bring a frayed society together. Such a coalition is possible. In Canada, we have begun to cobble it together under the banner of a people’s agenda called The Leap Manifesto, endorsed by more than 220 organisations from Greenpeace Canada to Black Lives Matter Toronto, and some of our largest trade unions.”
So I looked up The Leap Manifesto referenced by Klein. It’s not perfect, it’s obviously targeted at Canadians — but it’s pretty good.
Something like the Leap Manifesto written by and for progressive U.S. residents would be a great place for us to start rebuilding democracy here in the U.S.