I’m from Ohio, and have long thought of Sherrod Brown as “my senator” even though he no longer can be for geographical reasons. He’s always been for-real in my view. For example, here’s a quote from 2017:
“True populism is looking out for the little guy no matter where she works and no matter who he is; we’ve let them steal that away.”
In the interview subheaded by the above quote, Sen. Brown also stated:
“I think we’re not full-throated enough in our defense of economic policy and demonstrating the value of work. Our paper addresses this. If white working-class people think we look down on them and we use terms like the ‘Rust Belt, which demeans their work and diminishes them in some ways, that’s a problem. You counteract that, in part by empathizing, saying that we value work. That means you fight for minimum wage, you fight for the overtime rule, you fight against misclassification of jobs.”
I’m a midwesterner who moved to one of the Coasts, and I resonate with this statement – full-throatedly and full-heartedly.
Regarding the “paper” he mentioned in the above interview excerpt, that would be “Working Too Hard for Too Little: A Plan for Restoring the Value of Work in America”. You can see an outline and/or download the paper here. To me, it’s at least gratifying that any politician addresses the simple truth of what it’s like to live in this country for many or most of us day to day.
The Democratic Party, for decades, has been based on a coalition of everyday folks. It has become a “centrist” party, whatever that means. Some would say “corporate”. Nancy Pelosi, while from the most liberal city in the US according to popular polls, San Francisco, is characterized as being far to the left, which she is not. The daughter of a former mayor of Baltimore, she grew up in politics, and is as pragmatic as she is gracious and experienced. Her number one skill seems to be fundraising. She told a group of students that the US is fully capitalistic, end of discussion, which is far from a leftist position.
The Democratic Party and Labor Unions have not been on the greatest terms for a long, long time. Right-wing populism and Trump have worked this to their power advantage, at least enough to win the 2016 presidency in the Electoral College. A longer analysis than there is room for here can discuss how labor unions became bloated or corrupt or seemingly irrelevant. The point is that laborers, workers, have not been well represented by the Dems for quite some time, as President Clinton’s own Secretary of Labor has pointed out.
The question is, with Brown deciding not to run for president, which candidate or candidates will seek to win or re-win the trust of America’s workers? And how will they do this? Joe Biden? Andrew Yang? Cory Booker?
Sen. Harris enjoys politics and is inspired and inspiring, but there’s the matter of her letting Steve Mnuchin get away with evicting senior citizens in California and not prosecuting him while Mnuchin donated money to her Attorney General Campaign and then becoming, himself, Trump’s Secretary of Labor.
Cory Booker seems sincere, but he’s long had donations ties with Big Pharma.
Joe Biden, who loves to talk about growing up like a true American in good old Scranton, Pennsylvania, yet he voted to tighten bankruptcy laws that put a stranglehold on folks with debt, and this has fueled a long feud between Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren.
The following is a speech Joe Biden gave in May 2018 about the middle class, income inequality, education, and rebuilding American infrastructure. I’ll take a closer look at these ideas if he announces his candidacy. He might be doing so right after I post this! He’s long been considered the likely frontrunner, without yet running. Here’s a recent analysis of what might happen among Democratic Party hopefuls if Joe Biden announces he’s not running.