If you’re a progressive, 2020 is shaping up to be an interesting race, with a plethora of candidates espousing progressive values. Here’s the problem: Most of these “progressive” candidates are funded by massive corporations with distinctly unprogressive motivations.

Interestingly, these candidates each seem to represent a distinct industry.

Kamala Harris, who outwardly supports Medicare for all and free college, seems to be primarily backed by giant media companies like WarnerMedia, 21st Century Fox and even Comcast. Beto O’Rourke, with his impressive record of losing to Ted Cruz, is supported in large part by tech giants like Google, IBM and Facebook. Cory Booker, everyone’s favorite pharmaceutical lobbyist, has received an inordinate amount of support from Wall Street banks such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley.

Why would these corporations, each of which has a vested interest in preventing a progressive takeover of the Democratic Party, provide financial support to outwardly progressive candidates? With real progressives like Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard presenting a major threat to the corporate stranglehold on government, funding “progressive” candidates is perfectly strategic.

Best-case scenario, each of these industry groups might be able to get their own puppet in the White House; worst-case scenario, these progressive-in-name-only candidates garner enough support among left-leaning voters to weaken Bernie’s chances, paving the way for a more traditional corporatist like Joe Biden to clinch the nomination. Remember that if no one wins in the first round at the convention, the decision will be left up to superdelegates in the second round (and I think we all know who the superdelegates will be supporting).

Best-case scenario for these companies: Donald Trump wins in 2020 and continues to push regressive tax cuts and medieval health care reform. Either way, the corporations win. Either way, progressives lose.

Joshua Trombley


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