Can Hillary handle a Trump vow to break up the banks?
Donald Trump wants to be president of the US.
This makes it simple to predict what platform he will run on in the general election: he will campaign on the issues that are popular, unless they are so inconsistent with his other positions that not even Trump can handle it. And let’s face it: when it comes to handling inconsistencies, Trump is the master.
Trump needs issues that attract Democrats and independents, without scaring off his current supporters. A promise to break up the big banks is perfect for him. Polling shows that it is highly popular with voters across the spectrum.
The enthusiasm is clearly greater among the supporters than among those opposed. And while some, especially conservatives, react very negatively to such a proposal from socialist Bernie Sanders, the same promise from perceived business mogul Trump, representing the party of trust-buster Teddy Roosevelt, would hardly send fear down the spines of anyone other than bankers. And even many of those would foolishly assume Trump isn’t serious about anything that he says, just like his blatant racism is widely brushed off as inconsequential.
If Hillary is the Democratic nominee – as seems likely – how will she handle it? Trump will try to paint her as the defender of big banks. Which will be easy, because it will be true.
A lot of pundits are complacent that Hillary will beat Trump because there are not enough racists in the US to form a winning coalition. They have overlooked that Trump will pivot into the general election like no candidate has pivoted before. His blatant racism will stop, because the racists will not forget what he has already said in the past. Many others will be all too willing to forget when Trump tells them the kind of straight-talk that establishment candidates of either party would never say, on the issues that they care deeply about. Whether that is the Iraq war, money in politics or distrust of media. Or banks.
Hillary may well find herself leading a coalition consisting of the Democratic establishment and the strongly principled anti-fascists. That is not likely to be a winning coalition.
You have been warned.