America Needs a Troglodyte/Eat-the-Rich Party

Atrios today:

I’m not sure of the precise timing, but I figure sometime soon..either before the 2018 midterms or soon after… the regular drumbeat for a “populist” party whose appeal is limited to Tom Friedman and Matthew Dowd and maybe Chuck Lane will begin. A reasonable amount of money will be spent on laughing consultants, a disproportionate amount of media attention will be paid, and then little things like “ballot access” and “nobody likes us” will become apparent and the whole thing will collapse. Just like it does every election.

The really weird thing about this is that the pundit dream team is almost always a party with liberal social attitudes but conservative economic policies:

But this party already exists: it’s libertarians, more or less. The problem is that I’m pretty sure communists are more popular than libertarians, and a bit of tweaking around the edges to make them warmer and fuzzier won’t come anywhere near to changing that.

The people who are truly unrepresented are in the top right. They’re not comfortable with gay marriage and abortion and secularism and gun control, but they like Social Security and Medicare and raising taxes on rich people. Donald Trump sort of campaigned in this quadrant, but not really that much.

The ideal party to appeal to these folks would be center-right on social values; social democratic on entitlements and taxes and garden-variety government programs; and in favor of cutting back any program that smells like welfare. That would probably get some votes. But it sends shivers down the spines of elites everywhere, so no one will ever put up the money to get it started.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest