Some leading progressive Democrats who either fought Hillary Clinton or backed her out of pragmatic motives, have signaled publicly that they are ready to work with Donald Trump — under certain conditions.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren delivered a speech to the AFL-CIO this afternoon, in which she continued her take-no-prisoners attacks on some of Donald Trump’s actions and attitudes, but at the same time, she acknowledged that “There are millions of people who did not vote for Donald Trump because of the bigotry and hate that fueled his campaign rallies. They voted for him despite hate. They voted for him out of frustration and anger and also out of hope that he would bring change.”
She returned to that same theme later in her remarks, telling the labor leaders that “When President-elect Trump wants to take on these issues, when his goal is to increase the economic security of the middle-class families, then count me in. I will put aside our differences and I will work with him to accomplish that goal,” she said. “I offer to work as hard as I can and to pull as many people as I can into this effort.”
Rep. Keith Ellison, co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus, made the same point in an interview with USA Today: “If the Democratic Party is not clear as crystal on the side of the working man and woman of America, some opportunistic politician is going to pick up that mantle and create confusion. I don’t think anyone can deny that Trump tried to sound like an economic populist… We need to address the needs of people who have been living in stagnation.”
USA Today quoted Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, who emphasized that progressive Democrats have repeatedly warned that Republicans could outflank Democrats on trade, jobs, Wall Street reform, and corporate greed.
“This race should not have been so close,” she complained, “and Democrats will lose in the future over and over if they don’t go through a serious ideological shift and follow Elizabeth Warren’s lead, fighting against the rigged economy in a truly authentic and real way.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders joined Warren and Ellison in pledging to work with Trump so long as he sticks to his campaign promises to create jobs, build infrastructure, and boost wages.