Robert Reich: The Real Political Battle in America


I keep hearing that the Democratic Party
has moved left and that some Democratic candidates may be too far left but in an
era of unprecedented concentration of wealth and power at the top I can’t help
wondering what it means to be left. A half-century ago, when America had a
large and growing middle class, those on the left sought stronger social safety
nets and more public investment in schools roads and research. Those on the
right sought greater reliance on the free market. Yet, as wealth and power have concentrated at the top, everyone else, whether on the old right, or the old left,
have become disempowered and less secure. Safety nets have unraveled public
investments have waned and the free market has been taken over by crony
capitalism and corporate welfare cheats. Washington and state capitals are
overwhelmed by money coming from the super-rich, Wall Street, and big
corporations. So why do we continue to hear and use the same old rights and
left labels? It’s because the emerging oligarchy, those at the top who are accumulating evermore wealth and power over our
political system, they feel safer if Americans are split along the old
political battle lines. That way Americans won’t notice they’re being
shafted. In reality, the biggest divide in America today is not between right and
left or government and the free market. It’s oligarchy versus democracy. When
oligarchs fill the coffers of political candidates they neuter democracy. The
oligarchs no politicians won’t bite the hands that feed them so long as they
control the money they can be confident there will be no meaningful response to
stagnant pay, the climate crisis, military bloat, or the soaring costs of health
insurance pharmaceuticals, college, and housing. There’ll be no tax increases on the wealthy, they’ll be almost no anti-trust
enforcement to puncture the power of giant corporations, no meaningful
regulation of Wall Street’s addiction to gambling with other people’s money, no end to corporate subsidies. CEO pay will continue to skyrocket. Wall Street hedge
fund and private equity managers will continue to make off like bandits. So
long as the oligarchy divides Americans, stokes racial resentments, describes
human beings as illegal aliens, launches wars on crime and immigrants, fuels fears of communists and socialists, it doesn’t have to worry that a majority will stop
them from looting the nation. Divide-and-conquer allows the oligarchy
free rein. It makes the rest of us puppets fighting each other on a made-up stage. Trump is the puppet master. He’s been at it for years long before he ran for president. He knows how to pit
native-born Americans against immigrants, the working class against the poor,
whites against blacks and Latinos. He’s well-versed in getting evangelicals and
secularists steamed up about abortion, equal marriage rights, out of wedlock
births, access to contraception, and transgender bathrooms. He knows how to
stir up fears of people of color streaming across the border, and stokes
anger about black athletes who don’t stand for the national anthem. He’s a
master at fueling anxieties about so-called communists and socialists and
the left taking over America. He can make the white working-class believe they’ve
been losing good jobs and wages because of a cabal of Democrats, deep state
bureaucrats, and Hillary Clinton. From the start, Trump’s deal with the oligarchy has been simple. He’ll stoke tribalism so most Americans won’t see CEOs getting
exorbitant pay while they’re slicing the pay of average workers. Won’t pay
attention to Wall Street demanding short-term results over long-term jobs,
and won’t notice a boardroom culture that tolerates financial conflicts of
interest, insider trading, and the outright bribery of public
officials through unlimited campaign donations. The only way to overcome the
oligarchy and Trump’s divide-and-conquer strategy is for the rest of us to join
together and win America back. That means creating a multiracial, multi-ethnic
coalition of working-class, poor, and middle-class Americans who will fight
for democracy and oppose oligarchy. White, black, and Latino. Union and non-union. Evangelical and secular. Immigrants and native-born. All focused on ending big money and politics, stopping corporate welfare and
crony capitalism, busting up monopolies and stopping voter suppression. This
agenda is neither right nor left. It’s the bedrock for everything America must do. What do you think is the real divide in America? Let us know in the comments. if you found this video informative, please also watch our video on America’s Six Political Parties. As always, thank you for watching, and please subscribe to this channel for more videos like this one




Comments
  1. Thank you for watching! If you found this video informative, make sure to watch our video on America's six political parties: https://youtu.be/oopF6pqA8sU

  2. Oh my god. Ive been saying this for years. There is no left or right. We are being distracted from the pillaging the powers that be are committing.

  3. Reich isn't helping. A deliberately inert Congress is far and away more culpable than Trump's demagoguery. Reich adds to the partisan divide by dissing Trump. Offer solutions or STFU.!!! Having lost a third of my annual income since 2008, I'll root for the guy that reminds me I'm fucked rather than the Party that let that happen while their Reneger was in the White House.

  4. The Kaepernick situation is still a festering boil on the face of the NFL and the ass of the nation,a microism of Trump's domestic political policy and of course some of Trump's best buddies are the very people that own NFL franchises,they can say what they like about Kaepernicks skill set but the inescapable fact is that he's a better Q.B. proposition than at least 50% of the starters in the League,still, he was a great diversion tactic for Trump.

  5. Trump isn’t a “master” of anything except self-promotion… the donors of the Repub Party are calling the shots… and they’ll kick Trump to the curb when he no longer suits their needs…

  6. This is why we need a UBI or "Freedom Dividend" such as the one proposed by Andrew Yang. This and "Democracy Dollars" would do more to rebalance the power between rich/poor people, corporations and politicians then any other solution.

  7. Amazing video! Thanks Robert Reich for his resilience in fighting for this democracy and what it stands for.
    United we stand, 99%!

  8. 1) Get rid of the racist, bigoted, Electoral College
    2) 10 year term limits for Supreme Court Justices
    3) Overturn Citizens United
    4) Establish a real 3rd, and preferably 4th political parties.

    Best of luck

  9. We need tax decreases for everyone, and seize the assets of the corrupt and give to their victims. The corrupt will just create loopholes to get out of taxes and the self-made people will get screwed the most!

  10. Some of what Robert says is true. I’m a conservative and a believer in free market capitalism.
    I believe the following to be true and what really drives most problems in the world:
    Psychopaths run the world and always have. They are obsessed with power and are willing to behave in ways the other 99% of us won’t. They have no conscience.

    Big government is inherently bad. Those who want it are too lazy or too inept to make their own way.

    No matter the political or economic system, the same people will fail to do well and the same psychopaths will rise to govern.

    If you let a government control what you can say, if you can believe in a God, or take your weapons, you are no longer an adult.

  11. How’s that multiculturalism working out in Europe? I’m not seeing the whole “it’s trump’s fault” narrative as fact since I’ve actually started fact checking things a couple weeks ago. Why was tulsi Gabbard uninvited to the debates? Why are the Democrats demanding absolute power over everything? I’m still researching and learning. Going from Democrat to republican in the past couple weeks has really made the lefts talking points seem terrifyingly authoritarian

  12. Now that we have tried trickle down it is time for percolate up! After all the rich have the resources to capture the percolate up, that is what they do while the poor are not well positioned to catch the trickle down.

  13. While I agree whole-hardheartedly with Robert in practically all that he is concerned about, he's not going deep enough. I believe we have always been in the midst of an existential crisis -but now made worse by the Trump administration. I believe the reason why we are in this crisis is because our capacity to critical thinking and our sincere desire for seeking the truth of things was compromised as far back as childhood. Hence our man-made political and religious ideologies makes things worse as they pit us against each other with dire consequences. As long as we remain culturally conditioned to think, feel, and believe in ways that continue to impair our capacity to see the truth of things, the evolution of humanity will continue crawling at a snail's pace. In the words of Dr Erich Fromm

    While our economic system has enriched man materially, it has impoverished him humanly. Notwithstanding all propaganda and slogans about the Western world’s faith in God, its idealism, its spiritual concern, our system has created a materialistic culture and a materialistic man. During his working hours, the individual is managed as part of a production team. During his hours of leisure time, he is
    managed and manipulated to be the perfect consumer who likes what he is told to like and yet has the illusion that he follows his own tastes. All the time he is hammered at by slogans, by suggestions, by voices of unreality which deprive him of the last bit of realism he may still have. From childhood on, true convictions are discouraged. There is little critical thought, there is little real feeling, and hence only conformity with the rest can save the individual from an unbearable feeling of loneliness and lost-ness. The individual does not experience himself as the active bearer of his own powers and inner richness, but as an impoverished “thing,” dependent on powers outside of himself into which he has projected his living substance. Man is alienated from himself and bows down before the works of his own hands. He bows down before the things he produces, before the State and before the leaders of his own making. His own act becomes to him an alien power, standing over and against him instead of being ruled by him. More than ever in history the consolidation of our own product to an objective force above us, outgrowing our control, defeating our expectations, annihilating our calculations, is one of the main factors determining our development. His products, his machines, and the State have become the idols of modern man, and these idols represent his own life forces in alienated form

    Fromm, Erich. On Disobedience: 'Why Freedom Means Saying "No" to Power

  14. Robert Reich says it like it is. Hard on the blind, deaf, and dumb. Those who speak of the "right" and "left" today have largely checked the mind at the door in the last century.

  15. Maybe Reich should stop bitching about rich people and just advise people to get skills and get a job. Unemployment is at a record low thanks to Trump, business ownership is up, so … jobs are out there!

  16. Scumbag Commie Robert Reich tries to "buddy up" and be "friendly" to us and tell us that the Left is not the problem. We know that it is Bobby, go F yourself.

  17. Truth decay causes the divide. Everyone has their own version of what it true. The very ignorant are cock sure of themselves, while the wise among us are full of doubt. Those who have read history sit by helplessly while the rest re-live the lessons not learned.

  18. Bravo Robert. But how can we get the SEVEN THOUSAND PLUS people who clicked "like" to get off their butts and write their senators and reps and register and vote to end this madness? I think if YOU told them to get off their butts it could work. If the 7.7 THOUSAND wrote their reps tomorrow imagine the impact? Sorry folks but clicking like on youtube videos doesn't cut it.

  19. Once again you're trying to make Hillary Clinton look innocent. trump never would have been elected if not for Hillary and the DNC Mafia rigging the 2016 primaries.

  20. Republicans want to dumb down America. They want to less educate us, keep us stupid. Less educated=More easily brain washable. Look at traditional red states. They are mostly all poor uneducated states as such as MO, WY, ID, WV, AR, LA, AR, MS, KY. How many of the red states have ivy league universities? Very few.

  21. Absolutely on point! For all the reasons you just named is why I'm voting for Bernie Sanders. I'd love to see a movement like his on the right but it hasn't happened, and I doubt it will.

  22. Wait. Now AOC is backing up a Dem that is bought, a corporatists/funded by the oligarchs… instead of Bernie or Tulsi. So this strategy isn’t working either.

    I remember when Robert made great videos about Bernie Sanders for 3 or so years ago. Not sure what happened…. Just sad.
    Is there any hope for US politics… when too many are puppets of them, but pretending they are not?

  23. Political musings from someone with the mindset of a twelve year old.

    Trump has lost money becoming president. He didn't become president so that he could scratch the backs of the establishment, he became president to break up the establishment, people like Hillary Clinton. You demonize wealthy people while calling for unity. That seems laughable to me. You're probably far more wealthy than I am, I live on about 300$ a month, maybe I should rise up and overthrow you? The wealthy aren't some shadowy cabal of cackling sorcerers. They're human beings with their own lives, and their own friends and family, and you are preaching hate towards them, that these oligarchs are in need of removal. Trump isn't causing the division, people like you are.

  24. I love how you repeat like a parrot on the propaganda of "no right and no left," and in the other hand repeating the clichés of the Marxists about "class war" "And the rich are to blame", you're hypocrite and a liar.

  25. America isn't designed to work. From its founding documents. Oligarchs seem to rise whatever we do all over the world.

  26. The real divide is between people who believe in science and those who prefer a Harry Potter book of Dark Ages mythology to explain things.

  27. The "99%" in America actually have progressive, liberal, democratic socialist values on most of the biggest issues. Right wing/corporate media are paid to keep the masses confused and numb to how much they are getting screwed by the corporate elites.

  28. I was with you until you said Trump is well versed. He just got involved recently and he"s just making it up as he goes along.

  29. I'm not sure there is a "real divide" divides of bigotry are manufactured. As you say a lot of the left/right dichotomy is manufactured, wedge issues like abortion are manufactured etc.

  30. That's the correct formula and key
    and would give America a huge advantage and a natural advancement into the future with all the culture's competing and innovative ideas and profits back to ALL RACES investing in public schools research society for factual information school history books from every culture around the world ACCEPT HISTORY BUTCHERING OF A.D.O.S . and continuing investigating covered
    up sights Alabama punch bowl
    KIDS MUST EAT AT SCHOOL FREE
    SHOWER & WASH THEIR PERSONAL CLOTHES provided they keep their grades up

  31. The real political battle is the culture war. You are a pawn of the corrupt jackass party with their brainwashing and indoctrination. They are even implanting people that don’t even realize it.

  32. Bob, it is not Democratic Party. Democrat Party it is. Money coming from unions, contractors, and government employees who control the money and shaft the rest of us.

  33. The GOP is desperately trying to push the lies that the Democrats want socialism, and that socialism is absolutely antithetical to liberty, capitalism and God. So, the Democrats are un American. Also, supposedly socialism means no guns. It's all very sad.

  34. You are so right. It is not about Republicans vs. Democrats vs. any other political party. It is about dividing and creating fear and hate among those who slightly differ. The greater the fear, the greater the hate and insecurity. This president thrives while creating chaos, uncertainty and insecurity. Everybody is to busy protecting themselves and attacking the others. It is time to ignore him and join forces against oligarchy so we recover our middle class, our institutions that served the people, that care for the wellbeing of the people. We are the employers of the Government, not the oligarchy that maintains its. cronies in power. Unfortunately we cannot say Oligarchy vs Democracy, since the right has been pushed to believe that Democracy is Socialism, Communism. A new name is needed devoid of preconceptions, Humanism, Egalitarism, Commonwealth, a word that cries out, lets join hands and work for the common well been of all people. Just do not forget that America is a continent, that Mexico is in North America.

  35. “He drew a circle that shut me out-
    Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
    But love and I had the wit to win:
    We drew a circle and took him In!” 
    E. Markham

  36. I could agree that the Oligarchs are a threat to democracy, but they seem more aligned with the insider politicians of the Democratic Party, not Donald Trump, an outsider new to the political scene. Your point is that Trump is foisting distracting issues on the voters, to hide his work on behalf of the Oligarchs. You didn't provide any evidence, and you seem to suggest that previous administrations, such as Obama, were different, better in their policies. Which they weren't.

  37. I kind of wish there was a way to pirate broadcast this video on all major news networks during their peak hours, without getting arrested for hacking.

  38. Well put, Robert! But your more extreme right and left-leaning audiences are now primed to assume that you are making a disguised argument for the other side. We need to reach those audiences, but reason alone is no longer sufficient. To truly bring left and right together to take on the emerging oligarchy, there must first be “oligarchy vs left”, and “oligarchy vs right”. And the latter is a serious problem now that the Oligarchy has successfully branded itself as Republican. Clearly, it’s not! If ever we needed a John McCain to stand up to this administration…

  39. Make America Great Again: We had taxes to 90%, and unions, lots and lots of unions. I am an FDR Dem. So is Bernie. Bernie 2020!

  40. The black football players are peacefully protesting. First amendment last sentence. Redress of grivence. Dont accept the fascist pigs liarsssss disrespect for our constitution.

  41. The Democratic Party is bought and paid for by the same corporate interests. The same folks who pull the strings of the GOP pull the strings of the Democrats. Both parties are puppets. Unions have largely become shills of corporations—keep the workers on the production line and off the picket line; they work hand-in-pocket. America is a de facto Oligarchy; a plutocracy with an ever expanding police state mentality. For that to have happened, it needed to control both political parties, as well as the media (which it does. 96% of all media is controlled by just six corporations). It needs to control, spin, manipulate the message. It must decide what we see and hear, and what we are to think. We are given "bread and circuses" to keep us entertained, distracted, and preoccupied. Meanwhile we are kept divided and at each other's throats. United, you and I win. Divided, they win, and they are winning. Any talk of "reform" or "change" is an illusion. What changes is what the Oligarchs want changed. All else is window dressing. The system is broken beyond any chance of repair. Once we accept this, real change can and will happen.

  42. It is Oligarchy. The few at the top want to divide us so the wealth stays at the top. Trump is just using Ronald Reagan's failed trickle down effect. If you reward corporate businesses and the wealthy by giving them tax cuts, nothing will trickle down, it will stay at the top. You don't have to be a genius to know this. None of his strategies are his they are from other republicans. Trump is not the only one. We have Mitch McConnell who lines his pocket with lobbyist money from the coal and fossil fuel industry as well as the NRA. He is a big problem because he holds up legislation of two of the most important things going on in this country. Gun reform and a fair and balanced immigration policy. The bipartisan gun bill on his desk collects dust as he throws it under his other stacks of paper. There it sits. A bipartisan gun bill that does not take away guns from responsible gun owners just from the hands of those who should not have use of them. A stricter background check, license like driving a car, trained in using guns and how to use them properly. What is wrong with that? It is common sense.
    We must not forget we have children in detention centers away from their parents. That is unthinkable and a crime of human rights violations. This administration is responsible, because they created it.
    The only way we can do this is to get those voters who don't vote to vote. If we do not stand resolute we will lose. Democracy now.

  43. Sorry- I'm not buyin' it.

    Bush II and Obama were just as guilty of everything you're alleging here, if not more so than Trump.

    It doesn't matter how many blacks and Latinos come out in favor of Trump because the Left has no interest in changing their internally inconsistent and logically incoherent identity politics.

    I'm not saying Trump is perfect, but he's not the devil he's purported to be in the narrative being spun by the corporate-funded MSM.

  44. Capitalism is self destructive. The top will continue to accumulate more wealth until all wealth is in the hands of a one. That will eventually lead to a complete redistribution of wealth. Wash, rinse and repeat.

  45. No spine… Or no brains….
    Must be a whole lot of liars out there….
    They all said he grabbed their pussy…
    It was lies?
    Well damn… Not sure who grabbed what anymore…
    What is't this year?

  46. Where do we start? How can we impress on the rich that their desire to be oligarchs to protect themselves has and is destroying the fabric of america?

  47. foh the RIGHT wing, conservatives, religious idiots, youtube commenters (awkward pause), alt right, and republicans. They are solidly in favor of the oligarchy. They are the biggest, most significant problem ever. FUCK THEM

  48. I agree 100% with what you are saying. I came to realize this a long time ago, but there is something else. There are two main obstacles to get rid of these oligarchs and to restore – or achieve – democracy and a better society. These two things are combined. Education and Religion. With religion, the so called “Christians”- especially those on the right and extreme right – indoctrinate people (since childhood) into believing that humanism and secularism is a “sin”, and they are going to be in hell for the “eternity”. This closes the mind for people to get educated, and those who are lucky to get some education, are already indoctrinated to hate ideas. Especially ideas that allow people to think freely and realize they are being screwed. That is why the “conservatives” are always against education. It has become so expensive than just a few try to go to college, and most of them, after finishing, will be saddled with hundreds of thousands of dollars, so much so, that won’t have time to think what is really happening and won’t question the rhetoric of the corrupt politicians. That’s why they don’t want higher education to be free, not because “fiscal responsibility”, which has been demonstrated is a lie.
    Part of the indoctrination, is to put in the population’s minds – again using religion – that god chose this country to be the example of the world, and this gave rise to the “Manifest Destiny” and the “American exceptionalism”, which have been useful myths to brainwash people, and which gave way for the Native Americans holocaust, and the wars against Mexico to steal their land, and the continued hegemony on the region and the world.
    These two obstacles are difficult to defeat, since the republicans will try – as they always do – to steal elections, gerrymandering and lying, and unfortunately most of those uneducated people, will continue to be manipulated to vote for them.
    The efforts should start for the complete secularization of education, where children can understand that there is no such thing as sin or hell when they decide to think, and don’t become sheep. That’s why you see who was put in charge as Education Secretary…Betsy deVos, who is trying of course to undermine even more the poor education system we have….
    I appreciate your efforts and hope that with the still majority of population capable of thinking straight, the GOP gets destroyed completely and this could give rise to more parties and better way of governing and finally curb the rampant corruption of politicians and rich.

  49. I love how you say we have to come together to fight Trump and not say how to do that! LOL! I'm sure you wanted to say vote for the Democrats, but you didn't want to seem like you were taking a side. To me, Trump isn't the problem. The problem is rich people such as yourself that blame everyone but themselves. You see Robert, you and people like you are the problem. You are for globalism, Americans should not be. Americans should be for freedom instead. They should not be for open borders, late term abortions, and "free" healthcare to illegal aliens! However, I'm sure you are and so are the rest of the Democrat candidates running for the Democratic nomination. That is why President Trump will be re-elected.

  50. Bernie just reached 1 million individual donations and will not accept donations from big money in either the primary or the general election, should he be the candidate. He's the only Democratic candidate who has made that promise.

  51. Every single video I've watched here seems to be spot on from my observations over the years. My overall feeling, however, is that it may be too late to reverse course with such powerful oligarchs in charge. Especially now, with all that's happening to suggest that the President is beyond reproach (legally). I feel frustrated, overwhelmed, and a bit hopeless; however, the eternal optimist in me believes in karma to the extent that the pendulum will swing back & those unethical, immoral, dastardly people will get their due.

  52. But Oligarchy vs. Democracy is Right vs. Left, and the agenda you close with is distinctly left-wing in nature.
    In related news, the Democrats are a centrist party.

  53. This analysis is leftwing, but good. Why not fight the battle vs. scuzzy labelling of the leftwing by being honest about it, and then providing the great analyses you do?

  54. Very well stated … and very wrong!! When the left treats BIG money entertainers like they do big corporate CEOs, and when they reject George Soros' money, then we can talk. Until then, it just the same old obscene, blatant hypocrisy!!!!!!!!

  55. Thank you for your informative and straight forward explanations on political issues, I always feel I have learned something. You need to find a way to reach Fox viewers who I know would not tend to watch your videos. Would it be possible to take commercial time and present this info on Fox news?

  56. Trump is not even close to a "master" of any of that crap, he just a criminal trying to stay out of prison. While Trump is a racist and sexist, the rest of it is just stuff he picks up about what the far right wants to hear. He is counting on having at least one or two right wing wackos on the jury for all of his coming criminal trials.

  57. The problem, as I see it, is that those people least resistant to change (generally speaking, progressives) are willing to bridge that divide between parties. But those that fear change are not. I’m attending yet another, painful family reunion this weekend filled with self-described conservatives. When it comes to the Trump supporters, trying to reach out or even have a civil conversation is impossible. I’d love to have a rational discussion with them but they are just not rational. Others claim they don’t support Trump but would NEVER vote for a Democrat. When I ask why, they say Democrats only want to give away free stuff in order to get more votes. A few are independent and say they won’t vote for Trump but it’s too early to decide on any candidate. And all of them have 2 things in common — when asked for reasons why they feel a certain way on policy, they shut down the conversation by saying they don’t really follow politics, and yet they have plenty of opinions about politics (I wish I knew how someone could claim to have opinions about a subject they admit to know little about) and they ALL watch Fox “news”. Fox is the elephant in the room. Trump certainly keeps the pot stirred, but Fox is the spoon.

  58. The rightwingers would never support this. If they did, they would never win an election. Their ideology is a anathema to the general population. Cheating and stealing is the only way they can ever win elections.

  59. In order to change the current political and economic system people will have to unite. In today’s economic and political environment Americans’ beliefs and attitudes are so entrenched that it will take a catastrophe to pull enough people together to enact real change. I hope I’m wrong. However, if Europe is any example, America is screwed. Western Europe didn’t enact any meaningful political and social reforms until after WW2. Most of Europe was in shambles after WW2. However, there is a risk that a catastrophe could also enable those in power to take even more power as people will be looking for strong leadership to save them. I cite 9/11 as an example. The federal gov’t expanded as a result creating ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), Homeland Security, and numerous other laws and restrictions. Funny, I don’t feel any safer or freer as a result of these new laws or institutions.

  60. greed has driven the world since the beginning and will always Motivate us unless we can get rid of greed..no buddy needs more …everyone needs just enough (balance)

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