What's a big surprise is what Springsteen told the Sunday Times in an interview before the release later this month…
What’s a big surprise is what Springsteen told the Sunday Times in an interview before the release later this month of his long-term Broadway show on Netflix.
“I do not see anyone out there at the moment … the man who can beat Trump or the woman who can hit Trump, said Springsteen about the potential 2020 democratic field.” You need someone who can speak something of the same language [as Trump] … and the Democrats do not have an obvious and effective presidential candidate. “
What is an interesting analysis – especially when considering that Democratic Fields are probably the largest in modern American history, with two dozen (or more) candidates expected to run . One would think that, given the expected size of the field, there should be at least one candidate ̵
1; and maybe some – as Springsteen believes might take on and beat Trump.
And Springsteen’s specific doubts about the Democratic field – “you need someone who can speak something of the same language “like the president” – is a very important.
Disallow Springsteen as just another liberal rock star if you want (and he is!), but also remember Springsteens roots are in a working class, a blue-tailed community – and that he has spent all his life writing about and trying to explain the hopes, fears and concerns of these communities to the country and the world.
Trump talked with these fears and hoped for a very direct and real way during the 2016 campaign. He won the White House thanks to victories in the industrial Midwest – Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio – hit hardest by the rapidly changing 21st century economy and the crushing strokes it was about the manufacturing sector.
“Donald J. Trump won the presidency by riding a big wave of support among white working class voters,” concluded the New York Times Nate Cohen the day after the election in 2016. Trump won white, non-college educated men 71% -23% over Hillary Clinton and white, women without schools graduated 61% to 34%, according to the final election. The white scientists represented one third of the overall voters. (“Higher Education”, of course, is not equal to “blue collar” but history has shown that there are strong similarities between these groups and their voting preferences.)
There is no question – especially when considering the crossblock Democrats delivered to the Republicans in suburbs of the 2018 middle terrains – that Trump’s way to a second term is strongly dependent on the same blurred vits that made him the elected president in the first place.
Trump, as Springsteen notes, understands how to not only talk with this group but convinces them that he is their master, that he is a voice for the former voiceless. This, from Trump’s opening ceremony, captures that feeling nicely:
“January 20, 2017 will remember as the day the people became the rulers of the lords again.
” The Forgotten Men and Women in our country will not be forgotten anymore.
“Everyone is listening to you now.”
“You came with tens of millions to participate in a historical movement like the one that the world has never seen before.”
Trump makes this appeal by throwing himself like a human being of the people – fighting the elite’s snob and political correctness (Yes, I am well aware of the irony of a man born in wealth and growing in New York City as growing as the working class voice.)
“Why are they elite?” Trump asked a crowd at a rally in Minnesota during the summer. “I have a much better apartment than they do. I’m smarter than they are. I became president and they did not. And I represent the best people on earth, deplorables.”
Look through the lens – as Springsteen does – Can you understand the rocker’s concern. Kamala Harris, the current frontrunner in the 2020 rankings I do with Harry Enten is a senator from California. Elizabeth Warren is an unapologetic liberal from Massachusetts. Bernie Sanders is a Democratic Socialist from Vermont.
None of that group has an obvious appeal to blue-haired white workers who would trump Trumps – at least at first glance.
I said that thinks there are candidates in the field – or potential field – that would suit more of what Springsteen is looking for. Former Vice President Joe Biden has practically changed his middle name to “Scarborough Roots Scots”. And Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown is the kind of gravely populist who can appeal to Bruce. Pete Buttigieg, Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is not as well known as Biden and Bro wn but has a similar pitch – that Democrats must start reaching midwesterners voters, especially the white working classes, again.
The issue for Democrats is, in my opinion, not whether they have a candidate or candidates who can fight for Trump for white blue whales in Midwest by speaking some of the “same languages” like Trump to borrow Springsteen’s phrase. The question is whether the party’s base, which is increasingly coastal, non-white and liberal, would even consider such a candidate as the party’s standard bearer against Trump.
In 2018 there is no indication, they do not. No matter what Springsteen thinks.