“So I say to the Democratic field: Give me your biggest, boldest ideas. Almost none of them are policies you could institute by executive action. Almost all require acts of Congress, and Congress would likely produce something vastly different than what you propose, if they pass a bill at all.
Instead, these proposals are statements of principle, and framing of goals, sketching a vision. Vision is key. If your only vision is what you think can squeak through, you’re blind to the desires of the liberal heart, to the American heart, to the desire for the country to aspire to and achieve greatness.
All that said, I still believe that the candidates with the biggest plans need to level with voters about how costly, painful and disruptive transformational changes are likely to be, at least in the short term.
Take for instance the transformation of our health insurance system: Whether we are talking about Medicare for All or an expansion of Obamacare with a public option, there is a sticker price.”
David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
Thank you Charles Blow. I love this essay, and it resonates and shines. I hope Elizabeth Warren reads it too, and learns something. Same for Joe Biden. I agree that “voters are adult enough to handle the truth,” but wise enough to know that nothing is as easy as it should be.
My favorite expression in 2019 is the admonishment from writers like David Brooks, that to be civilized, you have to be able to hold contradictory ideas in your mind at the same time about something you study or care about. One possibly astute writer in the NYT after the recent Democratic Debate said, Warren was marked down by the op-ed writers who graded the debate from 1 to 10, but not necessaily by the general public. She didn’t give the GOP hate machine the sound bite, this will raise your taxes. But she also appeared to not trust the public to hear the strengths and weaknesses and complexities of her health care plan. She let another on the stage, possibly Uncle Bernie, yes your taxes will go up, but not by as much as your medical expenses will go down.
Meanwhile, if Joe Biden would relax a little, he will make a great president, and he could get elected, ie, win the electoral college, in this maelstrom of fake news and hate.
David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion” and blogs at InconvenientNews.net.