Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is right: the country needs economic patriotism. But, that’s not what Warren is offering in her campaign to become the 46th president.
In a recent speech for her ailing campaign, the Democratic senator who is fond of telling American entrepreneurs that they “didn’t build” their businesses, made the case for Trumpist economics. Warren argued that “giant ‘American’ corporations who control our economy” are not “grateful” for the opportunities that the United States has given them. She then went on to list a series of U.S. corporations that have uprooted from this country and moved overseas to produce their goods on the cheap (thereby creating jobs in places like Mexico, Canada, China, or India while denuding the once-vital American manufacturing towns of any hope).
In a bit that sounded more like a riff from the gonzo political strategist, Steven K. Bannon, Warren sounded off on the dangers of what’s known as “Shareholder Capitalism.” Senator Warren rightly decried how these “American” corporations (where, at least one-third of the investors are, in fact, foreigners) have only one loyalty: “to the short-term interests of their shareholders.” Warren then castigated her fellow politicians by arguing that they “love to say they care about American jobs. But for decades, those same politicians have cited ‘free market principles’ and refused to intervene in markets on behalf of American workers.”
Similarly, Warren posits that these same political leaders who stand on their beloved principles when sticking it to the American worker, have no qualms about providing corporate welfare to protect “the interests of multinational corporations and international capital.” As Tucker Carlson recently argued, Warren sounded more like Donald Trump in 2016 than anything else. Her attacks on supposed “free” trade and globalization are sure to galvanize a sizable number of Americans — particularly those “deplorables” of rural America who the Democratic Party callously abandoned in 2016.
So, what’s the deal? Is Elizabeth Warren about to shock everyone by running as Donald Trump in a purple pantsuit? Try as she might, she cannot defy her true nature. What is Warren’s true nature? It’s an insatiable lust for centralized state power. Sure, Warren can claim that she cares for workers — and she may very well believe she represents their interests — but there is little in Warren’s background that lends itself to economic nationalism. In fact, there is much to suggest that her lofty rhetoric — as welcome as it is compared to the Democratic Party’s otherwise loony political discourse — is a mere smokescreen for a blatant power grab.