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Michael Swartz / June 7, 2019

Is ‘Fauxcahontas’ Becoming a Faux Trump?

Some are comparing Elizabeth Warren’s populism with Donald Trump’s.

Stuck in a Democrat primary race with nearly two dozen other presidential hopefuls — including half a dozen of her Senate cohorts — Elizabeth Warren has tried to stake her claim as the one who “has a plan for that.” The devil, however, is in the details.

As one Iowa voter put it, Warren “really has specifics, plans on almost everything.” And with that, the candidate that Donald Trump has mercilessly derided as “Pocahontas” for her phony claims of Native American ancestry has slowly moved back up in the polls. As for those “specifics,” some say that a few notable economic prescriptions she’s advocating of late sound quite … Trumpian. For example, the president has long been talking about currency manipulation, federal investment in infrastructure, and buying American, and now so is Elizabeth Warren.

Of course, there’s a caveat to all of this: Warren is unquestionably far to the left on social issues and was among the candidates quickly embracing the Green New Deal. But her left-wing populism has an attraction to those same working-class voters who propelled Donald Trump to victory in states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin — states that Hillary Clinton believed to be part of a Democrat “blue wall” back in 2016.

Despite her leftism, however, Warren has added to her fan club Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who recently gushed, “Many of Warren’s policy prescriptions make obvious sense. She sounds like Donald Trump at his best.”

But is that really so? Unlike Trump, who’s rolled back regulations at a furious pace during his two-plus years in office, Warren’s “Accountable Capitalism Act” is described this way by National Review’s Kevin Williamson:

It would impose federal charters on businesses with more than $1 billion in revenue and empower the federal government to dictate to those firms the composition of their boards of directors, their compensation practices, the details of their internal corporate governance, their personnel policies, the scope and content of their political speech, and much more.

Williamson comes to this point after defining “corporatism” as something practiced by the Mussolini regime in the 1930s. But this sort of federal government overreach and the picking of winners should sound familiar in America. Or have we already forgotten “too big to fail,” billions in bailouts to favored corporate entities, and the job-killing regulations that were the hallmark of the Obama administration? All that would return should Warren be elected and enact her $2 trillion plan for “economic patriotism,” the sordid details of which she posted earlier this week. (Hint: It’s a command-and-control economy at a cost of millions of jobs and billions in deficit spending, as the promised revenues will never come to pass.)

Of course, all this could be nothing more than posturing to compete with frontrunner Joe Biden, who revealed his own economic plans this week, too. But it’s a little scary for someone like Warren to simply dictate how we’ll divest ourselves from (for example) an energy industry that employs millions, creates billions in revenue for federal, state, and local governments, and makes energy affordable for people to commute, travel, and generally improve the quality of their lives. Given the limitations and fluctuations of sunshine and usable wind we receive, do we really want to stake our future on those unreliable elements?

If it were up to Elizabeth Warren, corporations would be forced into better citizenry by way of an annual toll to the government in exchange for the “freedom” to operate in a manner more or less consistent with the designs of some unelected bureaucrat deep in the bowels of some Beltway office building. Uh, no thanks.

But somewhere out there are plenty of real voters who’d be happy to see a progressive, profit-hungry company like Facebook broken up and made to play by tough new rules and regulations sold as a way to give the little guy more power. And if those voters had cast their ballots for Donald Trump in 2016 but have since been persuaded by the mainstream media’s endless stream of anti-Trump propaganda, their votes may go elsewhere in November 2020. Populism and corporatism are both seductive that way — and so was the apple in the Garden of Eden.

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