As much talk as there’s been about President Trump stealing millions of white working class voters away from the Democratic Party, a recent story in New York magazine’s “Intelligencer” is equally as fascinating. According to the story, some of the Democratic Party’s biggest Wall Street donors are looking at the 2020 field with a mixture of trepidation and disgust, horrified to see how far to the left their party has moved.
With a particularly wary eye turned towards Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren – self-styled populists who have made the rich and the banks into America’s biggest public enemies – some of these Democrats are thinking about doing the unthinkable: Donating and voting for Donald Trump.
From the story:
“There’s tremendous fear,” said one banker who was there. The candidates who had long cultivated relationships with Wall Street — such as Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand — were struggling to gain traction and had grown more hostile to finance as their party had, too. Joe Biden, leading in early polls, had a comforting history in the Obama White House and a reputation as an Establishment Democrat but had never, until a few months ago, maintained any meaningful relationship with Wall Street, hadn’t even announced his candidacy yet, and struck many bankers as a dubious bet to beat Donald Trump. Nearly everyone else in the field, the financiers felt, was being pulled leftward by Bernie Sanders (the preposterously well-funded contender they considered too crazy to even imagine in the White House) and Elizabeth Warren (less crazy, Democrats on Wall Street think, and way more competent). “She would torture them,” one banker told me. “Warren strikes fear in their hearts,” explained a New York executive close to banking leaders from both parties — so much fear that such investors often speak of the U.S. senator from Massachusetts, a former law professor and consumer advocate, as a co-front-runner with Sanders. “How do we come up with an alternative?” asked one person at the dinner.
In another section of the story, the CEO of the Florida Bankers Association, Alex Sanchez, sounds positively terrified about the 2020 prospects on display.
“They’re too far left,” he yells. “They’re too far left!”
The writer interviews another Democratic hedge fund manager, who seems utterly perplexed.
“I mean, honestly, if it’s Bernie versus Trump, I have no f**king idea what I’m going to do,” he says. “Maybe I won’t vote.”
And Kathryn Wylde, the CEO of the Partnership for New York City, says some of the Democratic Party’s highest-profile Wall Street donors may soon have to make a very difficult and painful choice.
“The anti-corporate, anti–Wall Street direction of the Democratic Party is driving Democrats into the Trump camp, which is, in most cases, the last place they want to be,” said Wylde. “The fact that he’s raised as much money as he has is a reflection of how many Democrats are holding their nose and supporting him because they feel demonized by the Democrats.”
By the time it’s said and done, Democrats may be forced to count on a ragtag coalition of woke college students, East Coast academics, southern blacks, and immigrants of dubious citizenship if they want to win the 2020 election. They will have driven just about everyone else away.