Warren's nationalization scheme and the 2020 election

  • 23 August 2018
  • NormanL

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is laying the groundwork for a 2020 presidential run. How can we be sure? Policy proposals such as her so-called "Accountable Capitalism Act." It has little to do with accountability as is commonly understood. But it has everything to do with nailing down the progressive/socialist vote for her likely run for the nomination. And it does so by playing directly to the left's deeply flawed notions of what capitalism is all about:

Under Senator Warren’s proposal, no business with more than $1 billion in revenue would be permitted to legally operate without permission from the federal government. The federal government would then dictate to these businesses the composition of their boards, the details of internal corporate governance, compensation practices, personnel policies, and much more. Naturally, their political activities would be restricted, too. Senator Warren’s proposal entails the wholesale expropriation of private enterprise in the United States, and nothing less. It is unconstitutional, unethical, immoral, irresponsible, and — not to put too fine a point on it — utterly bonkers.

It is also cynical. Senator Warren is many things: a crass opportunist, intellectually bankrupt, personally vapid, a peddler of witless self-help books, etc. But she is not stupid. She knows that this is a go-nowhere proposition, that she will be spared by the Republican legislative majority from the ignominy that would ensue from the wholehearted pursuit of this daft program. It is in reality only a means of staking out for purely strategic reasons the most radical corner for her 2020 run at the Democratic presidential nomination. The Democratic party in 2018, like the Republican primary electorate in 2016, is out for blood and desirous of confrontation. So Senator Warren is running this red flag up the flagpole to see who salutes.

To propose such a thing for sincere reasons would be ghastly stupidity. To propose this program for narrowly self-serving political reasons is the sort of thing that would end a political career in a sane and self-respecting state, which Massachusetts plainly is not and has not been for some time.

At one time, perhaps, such an idea might have ended a political career. No longer. Today, Democratic politicians believe the only way to tap the energy, and win the votes, of younger voters is pandering to their ignorance, despair, and gullibility. In that light, Warren's idea -- while it is unquestionably and certifiably bonkers -- fits this strategy perfectly.

The gamble is Demcoratic voters -- paticularly those presidential primary voters who tend to skew much more to the left than Democrats at large -- will sign on gleefully to Warren's half-baked crusade, checkbooks in tow. And maybe it's the right play. We won't have a better idea until after this November's elections, when we will know whether Democrats have gone the full-Lenin, or still have a morsel of common sense left in their collective noggins.