Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Thoughts on Howard Schultz

My Howard Schultz take is heavily influenced by this graph:

There are very few voters in his economic conservative/social liberal elite niche, but you see a LOT of social conservative/economic liberal working class voters. Two entire generations of Southern Democratic New Deal segregationists lived in that quadrant of the graph.

Donald Trump was kind of this, or could have been, if he had followed through on his vague talk of infrastructure. But after two years of government and passing every tax cut for the rich McConnell and Ryan served up, no one takes that seriously anymore.

The Economically Liberal Socially Conservative platform almost writes itself:
  • It starts with a "Higher Wages For Real Americans" slogan: a minimum wage increase coupled to mass deportation (which I still think is End Game for the Steve King base).
  • Free college/voc ed? Sure - but with an end to tenure and affirmative action, curriculum restrictions on "political correctness," a military service requirement, and limited to citizens only.
  • Medicare For All but with with no abortion/family planning component and a strict work requirement - and again, citizens only.
  • A WPA style program replaces public assistance. The projects are rural highways (and definitely not parks, wind and solar power, or bike trails)
  • Pay for it with raised taxes on millionaires; but cut the gasoline tax. (Rural folks drive long distances in fuel-inefficient trucks.)
All that is interesting, if very scary. Not to go You Know Who Else but it applies: 1930s Germany expanded social programs - as long as you were a hetero non-disabled non-Jewish non-leftist ethnic German. If you weren't, well...

None of this has much to do with Howard Schultz. All he brings to the table is an excuse for Trump-queasy Republicans who can't quite bring themselves to go all the way and mark the D (and don't think that's an accident). He's Evan McMullin without the national security experience and without the Mormon connection that got him into double digits in Utah.

But you don't need double digits anywhere, you just need the right numbers in the right states, da?

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