Radical? No, Actually It's Mainstream.

[ Posted Tuesday, July 13th, 2021 – 15:20 UTC ]

Can Democrats still be bold? We are perhaps on the brink of finding that out. Joe Biden campaigned as a total moderate, but has been sort of thrust into a historical moment when boldness might actually be possible -- and be rewarded. By the time he got into office, Biden had realized this and was already talking about being a "transformational" president rather than just a moderate caretaker.

The COVID-19 pandemic was what set the stage for all this bold action, and Biden has done an admirable job of delivering on his promises on this front. But the rest of his economic agenda is now on the verge of becoming reality as well, and if the lion's share of it passes, Biden will indeed bask in comparisons to F.D.R. and L.B.J.

Of course, it's not a done deal yet. We'll see, in the next few weeks, how the sausage gets made up on Capitol Hill. There are still plenty of things that could go wrong.

And of course, Republicans are going to fight tooth and nail to try to derail Biden's legislative train. They're already whipping up their base over the supposed evils of the Democratic agenda, in fact. And they plan to run their midterm campaigns next year on the theme of "saving America from radical leftists."

Maybe for once Democrats will fight back. They've got a very easy way to do so. Maybe Democrats will shift the conversation onto the actual ideas contained within their agenda. This would work wonders because virtually all of these ideas are already very popular with the general public. Take just one item off the long Democratic laundry list -- making Medicare cover dental, vision, and hearing insurance. Have Medicare pay for glasses, teeth cleaning, and hearing aids for old people. What is the Republican argument against this? That it is somehow bad for your grandmother or parent to be able to hear and see clearly?

So today I decided to take a crack at writing a little speech for Democrats to use, to counter all the charges of being "too radical." To me, this is one of the easiest political arguments to make, so it really wouldn't be all that hard for Democratic politicians everywhere to start using the same (or similar) language. So here is how I would go about defanging the "radical" charge from the right:


We're not radical -- we're mainstream

Republicans have been trying to gain political traction by calling every Democrat -- no matter how moderate -- a "radical." They never seem to get enough of this word. Democrats are, depending on which Republican is speaking, "radical leftists," or "radical socialists," or even "radical Marxists." Boy, that's a lot of wide-eyed radicals, wouldn't you say?

Republicans use this scary language to avoid talking about the actual policies in the Democratic agenda. They'd much rather focus on all their made-up crises and social wedge issues instead. They do this to distract from the fact that the Republican Party has no actual agenda and has no ideas anymore. When was the last time a Republican actually proposed doing anything to make people's lives better? Or easier? Name me one Republican program from the last decade that helped ordinary Americans out -- you can't, because in that whole time period, they didn't have any. Nary a one.

So, to a Republican who has no ideas and has no vision for the future, doing anything must seem pretty radical, I suppose. But just throwing that word around isn't really saying anything.

Let's look at this so-called "radical" plan that Democrats have. What do Democrats want to do? Give everyone tuition-free community college. Give hardworking parents two years of pre-school. Give parents a child tax credit check every single month. Give every student in this country a free lunch. We want every worker in this country to earn at least fifteen dollars an hour. We want every worker to have paid leave. We want to expand Medicare so it covers vision and dental and hearing aids. We want to lower the age of eligibility for Medicare, too. We want to make prescription drugs cheaper by allowing Medicare to bargain for lower prices. We want to fix the gap in Obamacare for Medicaid in the states that have refused to expand Medicaid so that all American citizens will get equal treatment instead of it depending on the politics of your home state. We want to tackle climate change and encourage clean energy.

Can anyone explain which of those policies is so downright radical that only a very few voters support it? Because from what I see, those are all pretty popular ideas with the American public. Each and every one of those enjoys huge majorities of support, in poll after poll. If Democrats are "radical" then the mainstream of America is just as radical, in other words. In actual fact, none of this is radical, folks -- this is all mainstream stuff. Or it should be, if the radical Republicans weren't so dead-set against it all.

"It costs too much money!" -- that's the main complaint made against the Democratic agenda. But you know what's a radical idea to Republicans? Paying for it all. That's right -- unlike a massive unpaid-for tax giveaway to the wealthy that is always the Republican answer for any problem, we will actually pay for this stuff -- and not add it all to the national debt, the way the GOP always does.

How will we pay for it? By taxing corporations and wealthy individuals more. Sounds really radical, doesn't it? Make them pay their fair share? Well, once again, it's an idea that huge majorities of the public support -- including Republican voters. So if Republican politicians truly think it's so radical, perhaps they'll explain it to their own voters, because a lot of them actually support such ideas.

Personally, I've lost count of the times I've heard Republicans call Democrats "radical" in the past few months. But I know they do so because they just don't have a real argument against all these Democratic policy ideas. It's a lot easier to scream "Radical!" than it is to explain why adding vision and dental insurance to Medicare is some sort of socialist plot to take over America. Personally, we think voters are smarter than that.

This is the Democratic Party's agenda. These are our so-called radical ideas to make everyone's life better and easier in the future. We pay for it all, by finally taxing multi-billion-dollar corporations so they can't pay zero dollars in tax anymore. We tax millionaires and billionaires, not the middle class. We think all this stuff is worth doing and would be good for our country's future and for all our citizens.

If you want to call that radical, well then, go right ahead. But every time you do, it just proves more and more how out of touch the Republican Party truly is when it comes to knowing what the voters support. Here's a really radical idea for them to consider: why shouldn't the Democratic Party do some of the things mainstream America really likes and would support? The only ones who could truly be called "radical" are the people who oppose such large majorities, in fact. So, I'm sorry, but Democrats aren't the radicals, no matter how many times Republicans call us that -- we're swimming in the mainstream, instead.

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


11 Comments on “Radical? No, Actually It's Mainstream.”

  1. [1] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    Well done, but too wordy. Make it simpler and shorter. Punchier too - and most important, what's the clever five-word phrase buried in here that the media are going to grab and run with in its headlines and lead-off voice-overs? Is it one that serves your message or sabotages it? Is it the spiteful phrase that mocks the Republicans - which this speech spends too much time doing, I think - or the inspirational phrase that captures the ability of a Democratic-led government to serve the people's good with affordable and beneficial and popular policies?

    And land on a number, as Biden did, below which the Dems refuse to raise taxes. I believe he is using $400,000 in income. Now, that is not a billionaire's take, and in the metropolitan areas that is just upper middle-class money. BUT - it is a hell of a lot higher income than a large majority of Americans make, and if Biden has already landed on it I imagine he has the numbers to back up his promise not to go lower than that, and still pay for his $4-5T dream plans.

  2. [2] 
    Kick wrote:

    And they plan to run their midterm campaigns next year on the theme of "saving America from radical leftists."

    That's it? After all these years, the right-wing lying propagandizing conspiracy nuts are offering voters another Red Scare and McCarthy 2.0?

    The GOP have been reduced to group of spineless followers who are bereft of ideas and have become members of a cult beholden to a bona fide certified demented P.T. Barnum-style con artist criminal whose ego is so fragile he cannot admit he lost an election. I hear "Florida Man" is a hit with the right-wing morons several nights a week on stage at his "residence." Poor Demented Donald... that giant hole in his ego will simply not allow him to concede to the fact that he lost a presidential election. And just when you thought it couldn't get any stupider and dumbed down any further, Dumb Donald and the right-wing cult are convinced that Trump is going to be "reinstated" to the presidency (any day now) in August because that's what the most recent goalpost moving of the Q-Anon nuts and the My Pillow Guy is peddling to the easily-led-by-the-nose crowd whose motto is "Where We Go One, We Go All" but whose motto really ought to be "Any Day Now," but I digress. So where do the goalposts get moved when the latest Q lunacy doesn't happen and how far into ignorance can this obvious bullshit go?

    You would think Americans would be smarter than to fall for the Trump crime family and Giuliani nut job cons, but, oh, hell no... this country is apparently full of ignorant rubes who are incapable of critical thinking and connecting the dots and determined to believe whatever pablum-puking totally fabricated BS they are spoon fed by a bunch of lying right-wing talking heads who are simply parroting the talking points straight out of the Russian propaganda machine... yep, the same guys spewing the "Red Scare" conspiracy dezinformatsia (disinformation) because they're bereft of ideas.

    So, to recap: Red Scare again and McCarthy 2.0? Time to learn from history, America. If the right-wing propaganda machine has nothing to offer except the same shit they've been peddling since World War I, it seems like you might catch on after more than a century that you're being played for suckers because they're convinced you're stone-cold crazy, you know.

  3. [3] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    where you been? i wanna hear some firsthand accounts of the texas legislature drama.


  4. [4] 
    Kick wrote:


    where you been?

    Two funerals and a wedding. Not kidding. I owe EM an apology because I was finally getting to a point where I had one death (with Trustee duties) under substantial control and I could begin to post and come to Sunday "playtime" and tune in... and then my aunt died July 4 so I missed it. Apologies, EM.

    i wanna hear some firsthand accounts of the texas legislature drama.

    Heh... me too! The only thing I can tell you firsthand is that the Texas governor and GOP talking heads claiming that the Democrats are being financed by "the Texas taxpayers" are lying. It's being financed by private individuals who happen to live in Texas, where there is no state income tax and the legislators are paid diddly squat and Abbott stripped their pay and all the pay of their staff via unconstitutional veto that begins with the Sept 1 budget. The lying assclown fancies himself a Trumpian dictator as he joins idiot GOP politicians from all over the country in a race to suckle Trump.

    Hope the little guys are doing well; I cannot hear the song "I Like To Move It" from Madagascar without thinking about y'all... and I've been doing workouts to it for years. :)

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    OMG - so sorry to hear about what you've been going through. And, there is no need for apologies. Just be well and hope to see you Sunday nights when you can!

  6. [6] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris

    Bold would be a BMI not just a 15 dollar wage thirty years too late.

    A BMI for hypocrites like yourself would cost "Big Money"... something that you claim incessantly that you're against... unless, apparently, it's money going into the pocket of your demonstrably lazy ass. You want some Big Money? Then move your ass as much as you move your mouth and fingers.

    Bold would be medicare for all not just a few added benefits for medicare recipients.

    Big Money Don wants Big Money handouts. Move your ass and not your mouth.

    Bold would be financing their campaigns and party only with small donors.

    You want a free Big Money BMI for yourself for doing nothing while insisting the politicians take your definition of "Small Money" which is less than 2 days' wages at $15 per hour. If your lazy ass is ever given a BMI, it should be not a penny more than $200 per year... what's good for the goose is good for the... lazy assclown.

    It is HILARIOUS (as well as extremely sad)...

    So is your outdated bullshit. If you won't take to address it, while the Hell should anyone else. Not rocket science, lazy ass.

    while you don't seem to be able to recognize that you (on one or two occasions when you pretended to address One Demand) and the other commenters here do the same exact thing to me here in the comments regarding One Demand.

    If you see Kay... nobody owes you handout nor a damn thing, okay? Not the politicians you whine about or CW or anyone else here. We've pretty much each given your outdated bullshit website more attention than you have, lazy ass.

    You may be able to fool others that want to believe they are supporting the good guys by supporting the Deathpocrats with your lies and propaganda, but this commenter is smarter than that.

    Not according to the bio on your website, and you wrote it... but nice try, self-described uneducated "average" rube trying to now claim superior intellect. *laughs*

    You and the Deathocrats are not swimming in the mainstream- you are swimming in the cesspool of big money corrupting our political process.

    "Our political process"? Nope. You're not part of it. You don't get to spew your bullshit that people should pledge to check out of the political process until it meets with your personal purity test and then claim you're a part of "our political process." It seems to me that the only problem you have against the "Big Money" is that it's not swimming in the cesspool of the pocket of your lazy ass whining incessantly for a handout. Why don't you get off your ass and earn it?

    You are delusional if you think that the shit coming out of your mouth doesn't stink.

    You are delusional if you believe the odor you are experiencing is coming from anyone not living in your shithole residence; I promise you it's something coming from your end.

    Why shouldn't the Deathocratic Party do some of the things that that mainstream America really likes and would support?

    Only an uneducated rube with your bio and no demonstrable intellect whatsoever in existence would continue to whine incessantly that they're not, and that is the primary reason why no one need ever take your pantsload of bullshit seriously and likely why CW doesn't either.

    The reason Deathocrats do not take this mainstream position is that citizens keep voting for them when they don't.

    People voting is how "our political process" is designed. You don't get to claim you're part of a process that you've pledged to remove yourself... another reason why no one need ever take your bullshit seriously.

    So why do you avoid addressing a very basic mainstream tenet of democracy that citizens make a demand of politicians to run small donor campaigns and enforce that demand with their votes.

    Your shit has been addressed already, and claiming repeatedly that it hasn't is just a festering Big Turd Lie. If it's too difficult for you to comprehend, I suggest reading it over and over until it permeates your uneducated cranium; however, you might want to extricate your head from your ass before attempting it.

    Why do you do the same thing you criticize Republikillers for doing by branding One Demand as radical when it is clearly mainstream?

    The rube exposes his Big Turd Lie. Wouldn't it be rather impossible to brand your shit as "radical" without having addressed it? Connecting the dots not your strong suit?

    Idiot. I cannot fathom why you are allowed to spew your bullshit in this forum.

  7. [7] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Yes, it has been addressed numerous times and doesn't really need to be addressed anymore. It gets a little monotonous. And, besides, what relatively little time we all have for this forum, our time could be much more efficiently and productively spent, no?

  8. [8] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ... but, I sure do understand where it's coming from. I find it quite frustrating, too.

  9. [9] 
    andygaus wrote:

    [1] John is right, we need a shorter version and some soundbites: "We Democrats want to offer you a fair deal. Republicans just want to make sure you don't get it."
    "We Democrats think the rich should pay their fair share. Republicans think you should pay for the rich so they won't have to pay anything."

  10. [10] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Now, you're talkin'!

  11. [11] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Now, you're talkin'!

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