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Our 39th president has lived to see a lot at the age of 93. Jimmy Carter, who has served as governor and president, continues making houses for people in need. And recently, the former president and Sunday school teacher offered some solid advice to his fellow Democrats: Don't veer too far left.

With congressional candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeating incumbents in primaries this season, the party is being dragged left by a crowd demanding universal health care, free college, a $15 minimum wage and much more.

On Tuesday, NBC News reported that Jimmy Carter made his remarks at his library and post-presidential center in Atlanta, where he warned Democrats not to scare off moderates, the very voters they'll need should they ever want to take control of Congress again.

"Independents need to know they can invest their vote in the Democratic Party," Citizen Carter said.

Those voters aren't exactly going to run to Democrats with open arms if the party insists on making the same mistakes it did with Hillary Clinton in 2016.

This advice from James E. Carter comes after Barack H. Obama gave a speech endorsing Medicare for All, an expansion that Bloomberg reported would cost $32.6 trillion. Excuse us while we sit down for a moment and catch our breath . . . .

One of these former presidents is right on the money here. Hint: It's the older one. Here in our state alone, the Arkansas Poll has shown that independent voters are the largest group of voters. (Independents 35 percent, Republicans 29 percent, Democrats 24 percent.)

Democrats might be able to rev up their base by painting Donald Trump as Grendel, but that alone won't be enough to sway moderates who view themselves as standing on a crumbling ledge between two parties growing more boisterous by the day.

Jimmy Carter rightly points out that if Democrats want to have any shot at enacting their goals, they must first win elections. To do that, the Democratic Party needs to ensure it still offers candidates in the same vein as David Pryor and Dale Bumpers. They were experts at connecting with people--and winning elections.

Editorial on 09/14/2018

Print Headline: Listen what the man says

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  • WhododueDiligence
    September 14, 2018 at 9:45 a.m.

    "...Barack H. Obama gave a speech endorsing Medicare for All, an expansion that Bloomberg reported would cost $32.6 trillion. Excuse us while we sit down for a moment to catch our breath ..."
    *
    That reported $32.6 trillion is from a Koch-funded Mercatus Center study of projected health care costs over a decade from 2022 through 2031. However, as several news media outlets have reported, that number is misleading. For example a July 30 Business Insider article reports that--based on the projections in that same Mercatus study, total US health spending would actually be $2 trillion LESS over that 10-year period than it would be WITHOUT Medicare for All, even though 30-plus million currently uninsured Americans would be insured.
    *
    The current high health care costs paid by businesses and individuals (premiums, deductibles, co-pays) and by the states (Medicaid) would be shifted to the federal governments' Medicare system, and the net result would be $2 trillion LESS expense over the 10-year period. So, yes, federal taxes would increase to cover it, and that's why the Koch-funded Mercatus Center opposes it, and that's why Paul Ryan (the right-wing's purported math genius) opposes it, even though the total US health care spending would be LESS.
    *
    Actually I tend to agree with this editorial's main premise that the Democratic Party shouldn't move too far to the left. However, the far-right's breathless and often repeated scare tactics--like this $32.6 trillion number plucked wildly out of context--grows more and more breathlessly tiresome.

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