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What New Hampshire tells us

Pundits will say the New Hampshire primaries are evidence that the political extremes are gaining ground in American politics. It isn't true, Robert Reich argues.

John Minchillo/AP
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., center left, waves to the crowd with his wife Jane after speaking during a primary night watch party at Concord High School, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Concord, N.H.

You will hear pundits analyze the New Hampshire primaries and conclude that the political “extremes” are now gaining in American politics – that the Democrats have moved to the left and the Republicans have moved to the right, and the “center” will not hold.

Baloney. The truth is that the putative “center” – where the Democratic Leadership Council and Bill Clinton’s “triangulation” of the 1990s found refuge, where George W. Bush and his corporate buddies and neoconservative advisers held sway, and where Barack Obama’s Treasury Department granted Wall Street banks huge bailouts but didn’t rescue desperate homeowners – did a job on the rest of America, and is now facing a reckoning.

The “extremes” are not gaining ground. The anti-establishment ground forces of the American people are gaining. Some are so fed up they’re following an authoritarian bigot. Others, more wisely, are signing up for a “political revolution” to take back America from the moneyed interests.

That’s the real choice ahead.

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