"A Chicken in Every Pot and a Car in every Garage?" [Herbert Hoover campaign, 1928]
The Republican Party candidate of 1928 had good intentions. Herbert Hoover was a mining engineer best known for organizing the civilian food relief efforts for Europe during and after World War I. He had a reputation for honesty, which was important given the scandal-ridden administrations of the Roaring Twenties.
His campaign slogan was "A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage." Cars were still somewhat new and many people did not own one. Having a meat dish once a week was also still beyond many American families. This was despite the generally upbeat economy of the 1920s.
We all know how that worked out. In 1929 Herbert became President Hoover, and late in 1929 the stock market crashed. Then the economy crashed. Then the banks crashed. Then we had the New Deal, but the economy did not really recover until 1939, when war in Europe created demand that got America's factories rolling again. By 1946 most of the world's factories outside the U.S. had been destroyed, insuring American economic prosperity and dominance for decades to follow.
Now Democrats are being asked to choose between Bernie Sanders, a career politician from Vermont, and Hillary Clinton, who needs no introduction. [Links are to their campaign web sites, in case you don't already get as many email solicitations for donations as you would like]
Today most Americans can afford a chicken once a week, even if they are using Food Stamps. Most Americans who need a car have a car.
But the idea stands: everyone wants more. The welfare people want more welfare, the workers want higher pay, the middle class business people want more than they have, right on up to the highly discontented billionaire class.
But let's just worry about the lower middle class on down, the small business owners and assistant managers, lower ranking professionals and bureaucrats, the hourly workers, freelancers, and the economically marginal.
Lets call whatever Hillary and Bernie are promising a chicken. Who is most likely to put a chicken in your pot?
Consider that the Republican candidates have an ancient recipe for boiled chicken: lower taxes and lower services. A proven recipe for some people having billions of chickens and some having none.
Whoever is President, whether it is Hillary or Bernie (or O'Malley or a new face), will face a Congress that has plenty of Republicans in it.
That chicken will have to be fought over. So, who do you want fighting for your chicken?
Right now the left wing of the Democratic Party clearly wants Bernie. His campaign speeches promise much. He promises to tax the rich to pay for everything. But when you look at his record as a politician, it is almost devoid of accomplishments. He mostly boasts of voting against things he does not like.
If Bernie is President he will try to wrestle the whole chicken from the Republicans.
Hillary, on the other hand, will give the wrestling match some thought. She we get as much chicken for us as she can. Maybe half the chicken, maybe most of the chicken, maybe just a leg. But if Hillary is elected, we will at least get some chicken.
Bernie won't get us so much as a feather. What he will be best at is criticizing Hillary for not getting the whole chicken.
That is why he is so appealing to angry leftists. They've been living on anger so long, they've forgotten what chicken tastes like.