Robert Reich was the Secretary of Labor under the Clinton administration. He’s now a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
Yes, the same UC Berkeley that hosted violent protests against Milo Yiannopoulos. And yes, this is the same Robert Reich who postulated that the violent protests were actually a right-wing false flag, designed to strip universities of federal funding.
Obviously, he’s no Republican sympathizer. But that doesn’t mean he can’t be critical and realistic about his own party. If the Democratic Party wants to regain any semblance of relevance, honest soul-searching is what’s needed.
About a year ago, Democrats were saying the Republican Party was going to fold up like a cheap suit, and that the Democrats were going to win the general election in an Electoral College landslide. How the tables have turned.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s bring this back now to the roundtable. Bob Reich, I want to begin with you. There is a lot of energy out there in what they’re calling the resistance. The key question is can it be turned into an enduring and effective movement?
REICH: That is the key question. And right now, there is a disconnect, George, between a rather sclerotic Democratic apparatus which is in complete disarray. I mean, the Democratic Party has not been in this bad shape since perhaps the 1920s. And a huge uprising at the grassroots, mostly against Trump. Now how can Tom Perez, can he actually utilize that, turn the Democratic Party from a vast fund-raising machine into a movement? Hasn’t been done before very easily. I mean, you remember in the Vietnam War days, we had a huge uprising. But obviously the Democratic Party had nothing to do with that.
The thing that worries me most of all is that, if you look at the problems inside the Democratic Party, they have a lot to do with the same sort of populist uprising we’re seeing across the country, including the Donald Trump campaign. People, for 35 years, have not had a raise. The average American is actually economically in a lot of economic desperation, insecure. We have parts of this country that are — really, desolate in terms of the economic activity.
And so, you’ve got a lot of anger out there that nobody, neither the Democrats nor the Republicans, have come up from with a way to respond to.
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