Krystal Ball On Why Left Populism Is Harder Than Right Populism & Why We Need It Now (TMBS 99)

Krystal Ball On Why Left Populism Is Harder Than Right Populism & Why We Need It Now (TMBS 99)



do you think as you I want to like widen the lens with you for broader thoughts about a long-term strategy for I guess for you know just say more broadly like a progressive politics in America do you think that on the on the flip side I mean the squad which I guess we're calling them now I kind of resist that to be honest but it's good the eyelet the the for cool members of Congress they have been pretty afraid and pretty we found for the what for right exactly what do you make of their willingness to acknowledge the reality that there is actually a war inside the Democratic Party I think the way that those women have operated has been brilliant and I think they are some of the only ones in the Democratic Party who actually understand the moment that we are living through from a cultural political and certainly media perspective and part of that currency is that you know they don't hide it when they're unhappy they don't owe anything to the Democratic establishment so they're not afraid to take them on right they have their own power bases and I just look at did you see the poll that just came out I think Maris pulled Maris NPR Pat CBS I can't remember but they did they pulled like 20 different issues for their popularity and greed New Deal a concept that a year ago no one could have told you what it was it's not one of the most popular policy ideas in the country and a lot of that credit of course the credit belongs to the movement activists who have been pushing this idea and crafting it and getting it ready for primetime but in terms of pushing it into public consciousness and awareness AOC has been incredible and so when I see all this hand ring about oh my god like she's taking the Democratic Party off the cliff and it's a disaster and etc etc like what are they talking about finally we have someone who actually knows how to do combat who's actually exciting people and who by the way has put forward what we've been we've been wringing our hands about other democratic party is no vision for the future and we need an overarching framework that people can understand and your AOC has presented one to the American public and they're like yeah we're done with that we're into it and now all the presidential candidates are embracing at least parts of it and rushing to get their client plans out and be right on the issue how can you argue with the effectiveness of of their strategy at this point do you think what makes that sort of utter like cowardice with these people because you know one part I think of understanding the conflict in the Democratic Party is absolutely like who is aligned with capital and who isn't aligned with capital and you know what people's ideological commitments are to some extent and the fact that you know start we could tell a longer story right that like you know the the sort of broader claps of labor unions the rise of totally unregulated capital how that affects center-left parties right like there's this really important historical contextual understanding which I love you to comment on too but there's also like you know I can think of politicians who I really don't like I have totally different politics from a Bill Clinton in some ways in some ways or a Tony Blair in some ways right who weren't just like constitutionally and temperamental II was bags and so like when I look at the Democratic leadership it's like look I understand of course we're gonna be in the opposite side of Chuck Schumer he's a Wall Street hands me but that doesn't like Harry Reid and I have very different politics but I think Harry Reid understood like Republicans and let's get at what is that this leadership class yeah I think Democrats written large have this sort of lingering PTSD and you can see that it's a bit of a generational issue right but much of the the leadership and you know the over fifty certainly members of the Democratic Party you'll have this belief that no amount of data could shake them from that the country is really center-right and this is the you know Ryan grim really makes this case much more profoundly and powerfully than I could but basically that the country center-right and so we have to like not really tell the voters what we really want we've always got a hedge we've always got to come back further to the quote-unquote center than we want to we've got to work with the Republicans if we're gonna hold power and it's all just in the service of you know this is what we've got to do to be able to win elections and that was Hillary Clinton right she's such a pragmatic progressive that's the way they see it like in my heart I'm right there with you but I'm the one who gets the way that we have to win of course that ignores the fact that like let's put Hillary Clinton aside in the eight years before that while we had a Democratic president we lost close to a thousand state legislative seats governor's mansions we lost the house we lost the Senate of course then we lost the presidency so while we were so fixated on the compromises we had to make to win elections we just kept losing election um but I think that PTSD of being in the wilderness and though then the way that Bill Clinton I'm I'm going to say the way that he ran because the way he actually ran his first campaign was was rather populist but the way that he governed like that has been so embedded in mindset of the set of Democrats that they just there's no there's no getting out of it I think no facts or data could possibly shake them from this sort of foundational view and then it's also you also get into the psychology of like where does your power base come from and what's the system that you were able to thrive in right what got you to your leadership position and if it's a legacy system then of course you're going to be invested in maintaining that legacy system what do you think are like that if you are designing like the blueprint for not only winning you know doing something really important I obviously think getting Sanders elected is incredibly important but I think another thing that the Wright does is that like later on in the show we're gonna talking with a brilliant movement organizer on tactics and the last time he was on we talked about strategy right and sometimes you look at the political parties the right is amazing at strategy and tactics and the Democrats and liberals are sometimes good at tactics so like maybe a plan like as as someone who really understands the stuff and I think has like this deep understanding of a lot of different dynamics both inside and outside right what do you think the kind of blueprint is if you were gonna have a plan or a play for us moving forward to a choir and maybe actually start to sustain power well I some of you are what you're talking about earlier with with Greece in particular and and you you talked a little bit about kind of the theory of political change right that you have to embrace in order to really be successful as a leftist movement and I think you have to put that at the center even more than the particular policy what matters to me is that theory of political change so if you are going to operate within the current system given the current you know current structure of who has influence and how much the money matters and all the way things that work in Washington and across the country really and having to go to the Republicans with your hat in hand when they have no interest in giving you a whenever like if you're going to work and in that system you're going to fail period end of story and people know that right so the that reality ties into the electoral reality that if you're offering people like oh I'm going to work with the Republicans they're like no you're not like you already try but that's just not going to work right so you have to first and foremost offer people a vision for the future that they actually think like actually believe is going to make a difference in their lives now that's a hard thing to do right and that's why I don't know that I'm going to give you the full blueprint today but I'll tell you a little bit of why I think that leftist populist movements around the globe have had more trouble than the right-wing quote/unquote populace isn't it's because if you pin a lot of your ideology around basically some sort of racial supremacy that's very easy to deliver on without passing a single bill right you get a sort of psychological welfare just from the president telling the Congress I'm going to go back where they came from right that's like that's a psychological benefit to you know people who are looking to be put back in the place where they think that they where they think that they deserve and belong on the left you have you have to actually deliver the good right and so if you are talking about a theory of political change that is big enough for people to believe that you're really going to make a difference in their lives that they're going to be able to see they're just going to think you're full of it like every other politician um and so you know so that's again I don't think that's a blueprint but I think that's where you have to start from and if you aren't if you aren't fundamentally changing some of the dynamics and the incentives that operate in our system and making structural change then I don't think you get past the starting dates with with a lot people yeah I think that that's really true and I that's another reason I just want to say you know I one of the reasons that I'm such a strong advocate for Lula and I've covered him so much I think actually you just frames in addition to the fact that he absolutely is in my opinion a political prisoner and an incredibly successful president I actually think he did that one I mean look delivered tens of millions a lot of poverty but to I think that he actually did communicate this incredibly effective like know this way of doing things is better right like this is like make Brazil happy again right like this a society where prosperity is growing where you're enjoying your life and more and more people are being taken care of and you don't have to divide yourself into some like pathetic little sort of like you know racial hierarchy and in fact we're gonna challenge that but in this very like broad-based visceral way I mean again the dude would have beat balsan ro I actually I think that there I think that that is something to the synthesis and I think you're also right about the inbuilt advantage of you know Trump and what all these guys are total one-percent people but they can they can dispense with the racism and the xenophobia and that charges up their base and that costs nothing you're totally right it's it's sheer joy I mean you look at that rally crowd chanting send her back like that's all that's what they came there they're so happy in that moment to be able to assert their dominance and look I'm not one that you know believes everyone is racist or everyone that supported Trump is race I mean I grew up in rural America I live in rural America I lived in Kentucky during the 2016 lesson like I actually love these people but you can't deny that white supremacy at its core is is essentially an economic message right okay well these feelin screwed you over we're gonna give it back to you right and and and to our great shame the Democrats were not able to offer anything with superior to that incredibly shitty not to mention in world economic message absolutely yeah well I mean what was the response was like and now Beyonce yeah no economic an but we have Pharrell well and it was and it was like oh with our economic plan let me do a battery of holes and I'll get back to you on that you know because it's certainly not going to be what I said two years ago or four years ago got to figure this out on the fly I mean and that's that's the other thing we were again digging into this poll that had all the issue questions and green New Deal pulled very well and there's some sort of contradictory information on health care and medicare for all and some of the immigration positions that you know on decriminalizing undocumented immigration like those things hold very poorly and so we were talking about that on the show and and what I sort of look we've tried the poll-tested route people are much less interested in do i align with you on every issue then like do I believe and you enjoy I think that you're full of so one of the things that Trump did that worked very effectively is he said a bunch of things that no one would ever tell you to say right they were terrible things to say everyone say don't say these things and he said them anyway and that made people believe wrongly obviously but believe that he was really saying what you thought um so I think people overestimate how much your specific positioning on ideological spectrum matters and dramatically underestimate how much they believe that you're really going to deliver for them on the core things that they've sort of signed up for which is why you see like Biden Bernie right meeting in the polls and have very similar demographics that they appeal to if you ask five voters through their second choices they say Bernie and vice versa even though there are obviously at opposite ends of the ideological spectrum but there's there's more going on there than just where the political I completely agree with you and I and actually just a loopback before we go that's another reason why your point about Bernie going into the Lions Den is so important when he does things like tell cap not to with him which again it's such a narrow story that most people would have no idea what you're talking about or care nor should they but the general sentiment of you know what that is a tangible example now of what he will do in 20 months when he's in the president and everything's coming at him and he's saying no I'm getting everybody health care and no I'm cancelling debt and so on and so on it's it's it's the showing and I think that that actually overlaps exactly with your super shrewd advice about going on mainstream outlets well and one one last thought on that is you know Bernie Sanders is a different kind of figure right and so I think people also some people also have a hard time wrapping their head around imagining him as president so I think you know I think some more like international travel right some some settings where you can see him playing that role on the world stage I think that also could be a benefit to the campaign totally that's such a good call crystal ball is the co-host of risings on the hill TV it's great it's the morning show you're gonna watch when you see it you will I don't know if you're like a tech person you'll block Morning Joe from ever showing up on your feed it's always my pleasure I anytime you want I have a great time coming on the show and I hope that you will come back to the TMDs again soon thanks so much you've just watched a Michael Brooks show video and you can watch all of our full main live shows every Tuesday night at around 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time and subscribe to get all of the clips you want covering the globe we're focusing on international relations the intellectual darkweb we're having fun we're doing deep dives with a lot of amazing guests of course become a patron for the whole thing at patreon.com slash T mb/s or subscribe to this YouTube channel and help us keep growing and get that content out there subscribe below

30 thoughts on “Krystal Ball On Why Left Populism Is Harder Than Right Populism & Why We Need It Now (TMBS 99)

  1. I was watching Destiny the other day. I thought he had a brain. Maybe he does… but he was going off in the Squad. Calling them dumb and a disaster and all that bullshit. It’s amazing how stupid people can suddenly become when brown people don’t sit down and shut up like they want them to. It’s time for strong leadership on the left that isn’t weak and so privileged as to think we can waste time.

  2. if the masses cant figure out that democrats are not for democracy, then i dont trust them to diagnose the true problems, or apply the appropriate solutions.

  3. compromise with republicans? compromise with people who deny jobs, living wages, healthcare, polluting humanity to death, and perpetuate endless wars, while trying to enslave the rest of us? compromise? fuck that. fuck pragmatism. no compromise. no mercy. no forgiveness. the only kindnesses that should be offered, are, a "head start", and a quick death. (oh too harsh? compared to the living death and a lifetime of drudgery serving unworthy ungrateful gluttons(the rich))?

  4. Because your right wing populism is more entertaining with gay frogs and aliens and crazy conspiracies. Compare that to reading marxist economic analysis there's no comparison tbh

  5. "White supremacy is essentially an economic message."

    I'm skeptical. A lot of people, and conservatives in particular, value things like group identity and tradition as goals in and of themselves. Left wing populism can potentially beat right wing populism in its current form because each captures one half of the equation (economy versus culture), but is likely to be blindsided if the "third position" ever takes off in America the way it has in other places.

  6. Ask the Democrats and the progressives how we can pay for open borders and free unlimited health care for everyone including all illegal aliens?
    Please find out.

  7. Got keen to Krystal a few weeks ago when her YouTube show kept popping up. She's a New Deal Democrat. Just my style!

  8. Astute analysis from Ms. Ball.
    I will say, white supremacy doesn't need a majority, as long as it has a plurality.

  9. Leftists won’t ever set their sights on white supremacy as the primary problem because even the most destitute white person has some loyalty to the system.

  10. bullshit racism is purely economic – go to a private school among a bunch of privilege white kids – you'll get ALL the racism you can stand

  11. Democrats can't run on Russia or on Trump is bad. They need to go to bread and butter issues then deliver. Bernie is the only candidate I trust to hit the reset button.

  12. Good points by CB but the reality is that change comes from weakness of the incumbent power structure caused by economic crisis. Nothing will change untilnthe 1% is eeak enough to defeat.

  13. I’m really hoping Bernie will make it this year, but I’m afraid USA will never have a truly vibrant left. Right now you’re aligning behind newcomers with no clear priority, no experience and no know-how. Social democracy is not accomplished by people who spend their days tone policing others and quibbling over faux pas on Twitter. AOC is miles better than the rest of them, but you really should’ve picked better candidates to represent the left.

  14. Thank you Krystal. some of the best political analysis I have ever heard. I had almost given up trying to find these ideas.

  15. Populism is difficult in general because it often leads to reactionary tendencies, if not straight up fascism.

    At the very least it tends to turn into a single/narrow issue(s) with no roots or foundation that can easily be weaponized against anyone just like the whole "anti corruption" bs in Brazil.

    It quickly and easily turns into a nightmare and there's really no way around it without basing it in a broader set of positions and ideals.

    The population becomes fixated on a small portion of the problems/solutions and it leaves the door wide open for opportunists to come in and exploit for their own purposes. Hitler and the Nazis and a whole are a prime example of this. It can come from the right or within the movement itself.

    The reason that it's more difficult for the left is that we tend to ground it in a specific set of ideals and tendencies or traditions so we have more than just what pops with the population in mind.

    Say we push universal healthcare, education and housing as a part of a broader socialist set of tactics for a socialist future. The population grabs onto that without having those same well thought out baseline positions and anyone can come in offering those things and win.

    This is where the saying "It takes anarchists to have anarchism" (sub any left wing "ideology") meaning the population has to largely be on board and educated on the goals and reasons for achieving them in order for it to become a reality. Social revolution must happen be it explicit or people just realizing their interests. Smashing the state and capitalism is great but only when you're in agreement about what comes after, otherwise it's war. Socialism is great but only when ya agree on why and how, otherwise it just causes splintering factions.

    The right does not work like this. They rule by force and will work with anyone. They lie to get in power. They're always populist because they can shapeshift any way needed to obtain power. Just cause you don't see it cause it isn't your politics doesn't mean that's not the case. It doesn't take Fascists to have Fascism, just a fascist party in power. And they can use (and historically did in Germany and Italy) populist ideas, slogans, symbols, etc to reach power. The Nazis claimed socialism, in Italy it was syndicalism. Things neither country had under Fascism but were popular as they were rising to power and gained them the necessary support.

    Basically, it's dangerous. The right will quickly co-opt it to get into power. Without a strong base, nothing can stand. The right doesn't have that problem. It's a very shitty situation to be in which is why I usually go the antiauthoritarian, anticapitalist route while being very pro autonomy and democracy so from that ya get everywhere ya need to go instead of working backwards and giving people a narrow thing or two for people to grab onto. They're great to throw out there but we can't stand on that alone, there has to be a reason, a fundamental, basic axioms on which to build.

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