What Tuesday's election results really mean(Read article summary)
Many are describing the victories of Terry McAuliffe in Virginia and Chris Christie in New Jersey as a 'return to the center' of American politics. Reich criticizes this idea arguing that the definition of 'the center' has become distorted in recent years.
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Pundits who are already describing the victories of Terry McAuliffe in Virginia and Chris Christie in New Jersey as a â€śreturn to the centerâ€ť of American politics are confusing the â€ścenterâ€ť with big business and Wall Street.
A few decades ago McAuliffe would be viewed as a right-wing Democrat and Christie as a right-wing Republican. Both garnered their major support from corporate America, and bothÂ will reliably govern as fiscal conservatives who wonâ€™t raise taxes on the wealthy.
Both look moderate only by contrast with the Tea Partiers to their extreme right.Â
The biggest game-changer, though, is Bill de Blasio, the mayor-elect of New York City, who campaigned against the corporatist legacy of Michael Bloomberg â€” promising to raise taxes on the wealthy and use the revenues for pre-school and after-school programs for the children of New Yorkâ€™s burdened middle class and poor.
Those who dismiss his victory as an aberration confined to New York are overlooking three big new things:
First, the new demographic reality of America gives every swing state at least one large city whose inhabitants resemble those of New York.
Second, de Blasio won notwithstanding New Yorkâ€™s position as the epicenter of big business and Wall Street, whose money couldnâ€™t stop him.
Third, Americans are catching on to the scourge of the nationâ€™s raging inequality, and its baleful consequences for our economy and democracy.