Sunday, June 15, 2014

Ralph Nader on lessons learned in Cantor's loss

In this post Nader tells us what lessions progressives should learn from Cantor's recent loss. While Cantor's opponent, David Brat, is a mixed bag his campaign is instructive. Brat's message was strongly against crony capitalism and Wall Street malfeasance. He criticized the Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable. And it is here that he thinks there can be an alliance with populist conservatives like Brat.

Another lesson learned is that it doesn't take big money to win. Brat was way outspent but nevertheless stuck to his guns, pounded payments and pressed flesh. He was committed and worked hard no matter the odds. In a word he was committed and let that drive his campaign, not money or making deals to water down his message.Progressives don't even need to hunt for such candidates, since they currently exist with Senators Warren and Sanders. Candidates like this will drive progressives to the polls in droves.

A related lesson is that progressives need to not settle for less than the best candidates for apparently practical political reasons, like they can't get enough big $ backing, or they might be seen as too partisan, etc. Brat is but one example of the strategy that when you stick to your core beliefs people respond. The Tea Party takeover of the House is ample proof of that. And ironically, Nader thinks progressives and tea partiers have some issues in common, like on Wall Street. So keeping firm on progressive populist issues like this will win the day.

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