“It’s about the money,” said Rep. Keith Ellison on Monday, explaining what he believes the Democrats must focus on to improve their political fortunes going forward. “A lot is made about the white working class. I think we better take a look at the working class, all colors.”
Speaking with the Keepin’ it 1600 podcast - hosted by Obama administration and campaign alumni Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor - Ellison called for a heavier Democratic focus on socialist economics.
In order to counter Donald Trump, Ellison indirectly drew from James Carville's phrase, "It's the economy, stupid."
"Every single thing [Donald Trump] says, get back to the money," said Ellison, advising Democrats and their allies to focus almost exclusively on economics in their political messaging.
Ellison framed the political status quo as one in which the government is subservient to business interests, rather than one in which the government extorts businesses through shakedowns:
"At the same time, corporate profitability way up, you know, Wall Street trading massive volumes. And then of course, you know, the money bleeds into the politics, ‘cuz if you got a lot of money, after you buy a bunch of consumer items, you can invest in the political system and make that go your way, too."
"Women have been dealing with this kind of sexism, and sexual abuse on the job. It's the working woman’s nightmare, you know, in an office with a guy like Trump. And you know, part of women’s economic viability is making sure I get elected so we don’t have Trump...
Trump kept on banging on NAFTA because it reminded people of Bill Clinton, and then they blamed [Hillary Clinton]. Another classic sexism, where people blame women for what their husbands do wrong. But, it’s sadly part of the reality we live in."
"Relationship building 365 days a year in the off-year. That means paying for canvassers that will go out and ask people what they think is important, going back, staying in touch. That means you want to recruit volunteers to knock in the neighborhoods they live [in] so you can get the benefit of their relationships.
And you gotta create an environment where the people are not just seeing the Democratic Party at election time. So we gotta do stuff like hold a rap concert, hold a summer concert, hold a labor day picnic, you know, get people together, drive meet-ups of small groups so that people can get together."
Ellison is being considered for future chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Listen to the interview below (begins around 25:47):
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