All politics are moral, especially when it comes to public policy on economics. No single issue has more significant impact on people and our society than economic policy. We know there are two distinctly different moral systems on economics - one is based on self-interest, discipline, and a socio-economic hierarchy (conservative - "pull yourself up by your bootstraps"); the other is based on community, caring for others (empathy), and the common good (progressive).
Unfortunately, if "Third Wave" Democrats have their way, the moral worldview on economics the Democratic Party will be reinforcing is not progressive. So as to avoid confusion, we ought to start calling "Third Wave" Democrats what they are - conservative. This is the latest in a long line of Democrats being responsible for the death of progressive values and ideas in our nation and the world.
A story in Politico today highlights how "Third Wave" conservatives plan on messaging the important moral economic system they believe in:
“Even as the economy approaches full employment, there remains a real economic anxiety, and people will always aspire to new and better job opportunities...Reclaiming its status as the party of jobs is a unifying way to do just that.”
Here's the problem - they are approaching this from the same moral worldview as Trump. In the conservative moral frame of "free market" economics, here's what the above statement evokes: "People are afraid (anxiety), and this will motivate people to aspire for a better job and more money for themselves." Of course, as conservatives believe, those who "work the hardest" and are the "most disciplined" will succeed.
The failure of the pollsters conducting the "study" to recognize the deep, moral frames respondents evoked would be funny if it weren't such a disaster for progressive ideas:
“Almost without fail, focus group participants in both groups identified the issue as Trump’s top priority."
The "Third Wave" conservatives make the classic mistake that is destroying progressive ideas - thinking that you can rationalize your way to "reclaiming" the idea of "job creation" and deeply held conservative, free market moral values (conservative metaphors underlined):
"Effective policy solutions to bolster economic security are vital, but they must begin with job creation and be tethered to the values of hard work and earning your way that underscore America’s economic compact.”
This statement might as well be coming from Ronald Reagan - talking about the American values of "hard work and earning your way" which have made Republicans dominant for decades. So much for the progressive values based on caring for other people, common good, or freedom with responsibility for others. Just more of the same self-interest, discipline, and hard work that Republicans have built an empire on for the past several decades.
The Third Wave wing of the Democratic Party are conservative, and they are contributing to the death of progressive ideas.