The Democrat National Convention begins Monday. It will not be difficult to present a more positive message compared to the just completed Republican convention. But is that enough?
For example, will it be enough to speak of tweaks to the Affordable Care Act or should the convention assert “basic healthcare” is a right to which all Americans are entitled?
Or, with respect to jobs, is it enough to say a Clinton Administration will work to generate jobs, or should the convention acknowledge the reality of globalization and the disproportionate sharing of productivity gains during the last 25 years?
And what about poverty? Is it enough to declare war on poverty without addressing why poverty exists at all and especially why poverty appears institutional with some Americans?
Americans would benefit if Democrats considered aloud the larger subject of healthcare. In a country that fancies itself as the world’s most powerful, offering a healthcare delivery system which is often too difficult or too expensive for many of its citizens to access, seems bazaar if not outrightly shallow.
And Democrats should be clear that no government service is free and health care is no different. Government, of course, needs to be clever about how it finances healthcare so that it is available for all citizens when they need it, even if they cannot afford the insurance or the co-pay. (Most other countries use a VAT to underwrite healthcare costs.) But beginning with the notion that America offers the best healthcare one can afford is no longer acceptable.
Globalization is like the elephant in the room. No one seems to want to discuss how it is a fact of life. Political leaders also seem to deny the best way to deal with globalization is through open trading arrangements and not protectionist measures. Open trading, of course, must be fair. Democrat leaders, however, fear their many Unionist supporters will not want to face up to globalization and globalization is a subject better left unsaid.
Poverty is as old as the ages. Never the less, systemic poverty is a serious problem and a potential security threat (as we have seen in Europe with poor disaffected immigrants). Democrats need to move beyond the notion the Government can simply give enough handouts to the poor that they will rise above poverty and enter the productive economic streams. Poverty is not just a state of wealth (like having no wealth). Poverty seems also to be a state of mind. Will Democrats step up and say the poor bear some responsibility in improving their own lot?
IMO, behind closed doors, Democrat leaders could have these discussions. During the discussions, however, someone will remind these leaders that the election is theirs to lose.
Clinton-Kane should walk away with the election by simply not self destructing. My guess is that regrettably platitudes and PC talk will dominate and once again an opportunity will be lost.