Robert Kuttner Outlines How a Progressive Populist Democrat Can Beat Trump in 2020

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Radioactivity with Rob Lorei

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Radioactivity: Interviews & Live Call-In


Good morning, welcome to Radioactivity. I’m Rob Lorei Our next guest is Robert Kuttner the co-founder of The American Prospect Magazine.

In his new book about the upcoming presidential election he says that neglect by Democratic presidents of the downward slide of America’s working families paved the way for Trumpism. He says the winners in the last 50 years have been the elites- what FDR would have called “economic royalists”.  Kuttner says that legitimate economic grievances were then racialized, by billionaire Steve Bannon, Trump and company.

In his latest book Kuttner argues that democracy itself is at stake. So Democrats must not just win in 2020, but win as economic progressives, with a broad appeal that can bridge rather than inflame divisions of race and identity. He says the common foe is not other working people of different races—it’s Wall Street heisting all the economy’s gains.

Kuttner writes that a  progressive appeal and a progressive candidate are needed, both to beat Trump and to reclaim America for the future. Robert Kuttner’s latest book is  The Stakes: 2020 and the Survival of American Democracy (Norton).

Kuttner is co-editor of The American Prospect. He’s a former columnist for Business Week, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe. He holds the Ida and Meyer Kirstein chair at Brandeis University. He joins us now.