Billionaire Tom Steyer received strong applause from the audience at Friday’s Democratic Party debate after urging Democrats to focus on President Donald Trump.
“Everybody on this stage is better on economic justice and health care than anybody in the Republican Party and a million times better than Donald Trump,” Steyer said. “That is not the question in front of us today. the question in front of us today is, ‘How are we going beat Donald Trump?’”
“I have heard this debate so many times and I love all these people and they’re all right,” he added.
I agree with him. I’m a Bernie supporter, but I’m also looking to see how the Democratic Party can be a coalition to beat Donald Trump. As Steyer said during the debate, the Democrats are a diverse party, reflecting the diversity of American society, and they need to band together to win.
Because I’m a Bernie-ite, I believe that at the end of the day – unless the DNC cheats and tries to promote Biden or Bloomberg against the wishes of the voters – Bernie will be nominated for President. But that alone won’t be the winning strategy. In a diverse party, you need to provide a diverse approach. The band of candidates shows the party’s diversity. At the same time, the candidates agree on many important issues. They all agree on the need for gun control. They all agree on a woman’s right to choose. They don’t agree on how to improve healthcare but they do agree that healthcare is an essential social good that needs serious improvement.
Trump’s administration has been beset by a revolving door. Cabinet members come and go, and many positions are vacant. The Democratic Party can post a platform that makes sense and support it with a diverse group that can make it happen. Here are my suggestions for cabinet and other positions.
President Bernie Sanders, Vice-President Elizabeth Warren, Secretary of State Robert Reich, Secretary of the Treasury Elizabeth Warren, Secretary of Defense Pete Buttigieg, Attorney General Kamala Harris, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, Secretary of Commerce Andrew Yang, Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency Jay Inslee, Secretary of Commerce Tom Steyer, Office of Management and Budget Michael Bloomberg, Director of National Intelligence Joe Biden.
Tulsi Gabbard should be positioned as Speaker of the House, replacing Nancy Pelosi. Amy Klobuchar should be positioned at Majority Leader of the Senate, if the Democrats should take the majority. If not, she should be brought into the cabinet.
Andrew Yang should be Secretary of Commerce and his UBI program should be made part of that department so that he can run it. Jay Inslee, former governor of Washington, should run the Environmental Protection Agency and focus on climate change, his key subject when his campaign was active. Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York and a major businessman, should handle the Office of Management and Budget. With all of the new programs that progressives have proposed, someone like Bloomberg should handle the organization of the federal budget. Tom Steyer is also a businessman and should be Secretary of Commerce. Robert Reich should handle issues as Secretary of State. Joe Biden has broad experience in the government and should become Director of National Intelligence.
The Sanders campaign has also looked at the possibility of having Elizabeth Warren serve both as vice-president and Treasury Secretary. And others have made suggestions about a Sanders Cabinet, although not with many other candidates included.
I would support the idea of having other candidates in the Cabinet, because this would create a group of active, well-known politicians to argue for the new administration. Although the candidates have been arguing for themselves in their debates, I have noticed a tendency among them to argue for a coalition – particularly in the statements of Tom Steyer. As the primary season goes on, and if there is no clear winner emerging, the voters are going to want to see the Democrats emerge as an organized group, and not a warring faction.