By Aaron Kliegman Now that Democrats control the White House and both houses of Congress, their voters will expect them to push all kinds of desired policies. Democratic lawmakers will feel pressure to implement their agenda, as will President Joe Biden. This will force the Democratic Party to face a fundamental contradiction: It’s now the party of both big business and democratic socialism. In other words, Democrats are now the party of the wealthy and expropriating the wealthy. How this’ll work in practice is unclear. All we know is it might get messy. A political party whose soul is embodied by Bernie Sanders yet is run by corporatists needs to face a reckoning sooner or later about its identity, purpose, and priorities. One side has to yield. It will be fascinating to watch how the fat cats of Wall Street, woke capitalists of Big Tech, and army of Democrats eager to dismantle the corporate elite all get along. Without Donald Trump to unify them in opposition, what will bring them together? That Democrats best represent corporate interests shouldn’t be surprising or controversial. Indeed, it’s hardly new. Even way back in February 1964, Lammot du Pont Copeland, president of the DuPont chemical company, told the New York Chamber of Commerce that the federal government is a “partner in every business in this country.” He added that businessmen “need the understanding and cooperation of government in our effort to throw the economic machine into high gear.” That doesn’t exactly sound like Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan (or Donald Trump). In fact, the New York Times reported the same year, 1964, that “business executives who expect to cast the first Democratic presidential vote of their lives are nearly all affiliated with large companies.” (The Times also noted “the general rule that small businessmen are remaining Republican.”) Today, it’s easy to see how big business and the Democratic Party work together on various policies because of overlapping interests. Big government, which Democrats tend to advocate, picks winners and losers with bailouts, subsidies, and other kinds of corporate welfare. Naturally, such actions benefit larger corporations, which can also afford to pay well-dressed lobbyists to secure VIP treatment from the government. Plus, while small business owners get squeezed by taxes, big business executives aren’t personally responsible for corporate taxes (and can often find ways to pay less). So, Democratic policies that raise taxes often don’t devastate big companies like the little guys, which don’t have the capacity to move part of their operations overseas. Immigration is another issue where Democrats and big business are on the same page. The former want reform to legalize illegal immigration in order to gain new voters (and out of a sense of utopian idealism). The latter want the same thing for a different reason: to gain cheap, exploitable labor. Even years ago, others have noted these exact overlapping interests. Of course, much of the same can be said about the Republican establishment. But it’s absurd to assert the hackneyed talking point that Republicans are the only people in cahoots with big business. And now we see corporate America siding with Democrats like never before. Indeed, Wall Street and Big Tech donated to Biden and other Democrats overwhelmingly more during the 2020 campaign than to Republicans. More recently, big business has retreated from the Republican Party in the aftermath of the storming of the Capitol earlier this month. The news media has portrayed this retreat solely as a response to Trump and what they describe as the extremism he fostered among his supporters. That certainly played a role, but it doesn’t explain why corporations are now going the extra step not just to support Democrats but actually to embrace leftist politics. Now, of course, we have Big Tech censoring the 45th president and other conservatives, as well as politically inconvenient stories which they deem “misinformation.” There’s also the case of Parler, which Apple, Google, and Amazon effectively made disappear. But that’s just the surface. Shopify took online stores run by the Trump Organization and the Trump campaign offline. Nike championed Colin Kaepernick in a commercial. Goldman Sachs refused to finance drilling for fossil fuels in the Arctic. Whatever the reason — cowardice, wokeness, or something else — corporate America has sided with the political left. At the same time, however, Democrats have increasingly embraced democratic socialism. And to be clear, while democratic socialists don’t advocate the government literally owning the means of production, they advocate an ultra-nanny state with enough taxes, regulations, and woke cultural norms that would yield the same outcome: redistributing resources as the government sees fit. Sen. Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are self-described democratic socialists, and they represent where the energy of the Democratic Party is. It’s obvious this is where the party is heading. Medicare for all, the Green New Deal, a $15 minimum wage — these are ideas that were once on the radical fringes but have now become fully mainstream among Democrats. Demonizing the “millionaires and billionaires” and the role of corporations is regular sport for the progressive left. As are calls to “break up the banks” and dismantle a “rigged” economy. President Biden will need to figure out how to manage this balancing act between corporate America and the progressive base of his party. Biden’s appointed several people to his Cabinet with intimate, longstanding corporate ties. But he knows his party is quickly moving further to the left. Hence his embrace of the Green New Deal, a $15 minimum wage, and other leftist positions. We’ll see how Biden fares — and the party more generally. But one thing is clear: The Democrats’ internal battles aren’t going anywhere. In fact, they may get worse over the next four years. Newt hosts monthly virtual events in which he discusses news of the day and why it matters to you and your community. These Newt Live events are your opportunity to communicate directly with Newt. We hope you will join us next time and let Newt answer your questions and provide his insight on the issues that concern you most. 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