The 2016 election is going to be the defining election of our time—which is exactly what pundits have said about every single election in recent memory.
But seriously, this election could mark the beginning of a new age for liberal politics in America.
The weird thing is that it will probably be ushered in by Hillary Clinton, whose husband, Bill, is the man who orchestrated the modern democratic party’s dramatic shift to the right.
In the early 90s, the theory was that in order to win elections, democrats had to buy into the Reaganite world of cutting welfare, embracing free trade agreements like NAFTA, deregulating the banks, and being tough on crime.
And he was right, they won elections.
But, in case you haven’t noticed, the electorate seems a little more angry than usual this time around. There are a myriad reasons for this but probably the biggest one of all is depicted in this chart right here.
It shows how for about 40 years now, the average American has been getting royally screwed. That gap shows that the people who own companies keep doing a much better job at enjoying the fruits of American workers’ increased productivity than the workers themselves. The workers are actually worse off than they were in 1970, and the gap keeps getting wider.
It used to be that if a company made more money by its workers producing more stuff then that increase was shared with the workers equally. Now, if a company makes more money, the workers don’t get a dime more and management gets all of the gains.
This is the direct result of government policies that have consistently favored the rich. It started with Ronald Reagan in 1980, and in 1992 Bill Clinton made it a bipartisan phenomenon.
But this can only go on for so long. People know they’re being screwed.
Which is why we find ourselves in a world where Bernie Sanders, a 74-year-old self-described democratic socialist—who’s basically been delivering the same message forever—is suddenly drawing huge crowds and is the darling of social media.
In other words, he’s tapping into a real nerve. This has led Hillary Clinton, the ultimate establishment candidate, to embrace positions that are more left than her husband’s and even President Obama’s.
Things like universal pre-K, paid family leave, gun control, a $15 minimum wage, amnesty for immigrants, and criminal justice reform, and—much to everyone’s shock—opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Obama’s signature free trade agreement, which she supported as Secretary of State.
While most of us assume that politicians will say anything just to get elected, they do tend to follow through on promises they make on the campaign trail. So if Hillary is staking out all these lefty positions now, chances are that’s how she will also govern.
Ronald Reagan preached that “government is the problem, not the solution.” 2016 will be the end of that. But why is this? Let’s let the ol’ triangulator-in-chief explain.