A Change in the Political Winds
We begin with the changing political winds one year after the surprise upset election of Donald Trump who, in spite of record low approval numbers, remains popular with Republicans, 82% of whom say in a recent poll by Politico that they would vote for him again. Richard Parker, who teaches economics and public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and is a co-founder of Mother Jones magazine and serves on the editorial board of The Nation, joins us to analyze the reasons behind the recent victories for Democrats in Virginia and New Jersey and how this new momentum can be built on. He argues that it is all about turnout, something which has dogged Democrats in midterm elections. And since already a substantial majority of Americans see Trump as a disastrous and destructive president, a coalition of pragmatic and populist Democrats, together with rueful Independents and disillusioned Republicans, could sweep enough Republicans out of the House and Senate in 2018 to take back control of the legislative branch and then in 2020, the executive branch.
The Beginning of the End of Trump and Trumpism
Then we continue the analysis of the beginning of the end of Trump and Trumpism and the revival of a political opposition energized by recent electoral victories, and speak with Ruy Teixeira, the author of “The Emerging Democratic Majority whose latest book is “The Optimistic Leftist: Why the 21st Century Will Be Better Than You Think”. He joins us to discuss the reasons why the American left should be optimistic in spite on the unlimited dark money behind the Republicans and their cynical use of voter suppression and gerrymandering. And while he cautions the left not to fall into Hillary Clinton’s trap of labeling Trump voters as “deplorables”, he argues there is a way for the party of working Americans to win back the white working class and for progressives to stop being defensive and pessimistic and to be proud of their achievements and determined to make America better again.