In last night’s Democratic debate, Elizabeth Warren got one of the loudest rounds of applause for asking, “Why is it, does everyone else on this stage, think it’s more important to protect billionaires than it is to invest in an entire generation of Americans?”
Hopping on the rich-bashing euphoria, Amy Klobuchar responds that, “no one on this stage wants to protect billionaires. Not even the billionaire wants to protect billionaires.”
While less extreme, the underlying sentiment is the same… that people getting rich is a problem.
Is this really the stance Democrats want to campaign on? Are they playing into Republican stereotypes that Democrats are pro-socialist, anti-capitalists?
Fighting over who’s the most anti-rich or who can enact the largest wealth tax might go over well in primary debates, driven towards the most extreme members of a party, but Democrats need to remember that they ultimately need to get mainstream Americans to vote for them.
Don’t get the wrong, rising inequality is a problem. But the problem isn’t the existence of billionaires, it’s the unfair, anti-capitalist, anti-competition economic system that rewards corporations whether they perform or not. So instead of bashing billionaires, Democrats need to focus on fixing the system in a way that reinforces capitalist ideals rather seeming anti-capitalist and anti-success.