"Steal the issues from populists."
I don't watch much MSNBC or CNN anymore but I usually have a TV droning in the background, especially in the morning. I usually go with CSPAN but today I landed on CNN.
My ears perked up when I heard someone say "Neoliberal has been a bad term for a long time."
Turned out to be David Frum responding to a question from Fareed Zakaria about what the American centrist establishment might learn from Macron.
I backed up and listened to the whole thing and decided to transcribe some of it here.
FRUM: Neoliberal has been a "bad" term for a long time. But he [Macron] is promising market-opening economies, measures in order to deal with youth unemployment. Um, just as the problem in the United States is while you can get work you can't get paid. In Europe, especially in places like France, young people can't even get work... although they do get, they collect pay of various kinds...
I wish I had the video for two reasons. 1. The scare quotes around "bad" when he refers to Neoliberalism. 2. The way he hesitates and lowers his voice as he mentions the unseemly "pay of various kinds" those who can't find work in countries like France receive.
Are there no workhouses or prisons where they can be paid in cake?
In the US they can work but not get paid and that kinda sucks but France is so much worse because they can't work but they get paid anyway. The horror.
I'm guessing when he said young people "can't get paid" in the US he meant they can't get paid well. But hey, at least they get the benefit of being exploited - dignity of work, idle hands, bootstraps and all that - unlike their unfortunate French counterparts burdened with health care, education, and a real social safety net. Exceptional.
Frum goes on about what American Neoliberals can learn from Macron:
Be willing to steal the issues, go a certain measure to steal the issues from populists.
So lie. Don't be a populist, just learn to sound like one. Got it.
Advice for David Frum: Next time you're on TV trying to "steal the issues" from American populists, maybe don't remind young people about the "pay of various kinds" their counterparts in other countries get if they can't find work. You might get them to start thinking about things like Universal Basic Income and that's the last thing you want.