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Warren's Presidential Bid Aims to Blame 'the Rich' for America's Problems: New at Reason

It's an inversion of the formula Trump used to get elected by scapegoating illegal immigrants. She's just targeting a different minority group.

Jordan Gale/Polaris/NewscomJordan Gale/Polaris/NewscomSenator Elizabeth Warren, announcing her campaign for president here over the weekend, used the word "rich" or a variation on it—"richer," "richest"—at least nine times in a single 45-minute stump speech.

She called President Donald Trump "the product of a rigged system that props up the rich and powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else."

She said "America's middle class has been deliberately hollowed out" by "the richest families in America." Warren said those richest families, "wanted to be even richer, and they didn't care who got hurt."

She spoke of "too little accountability for the rich, too little opportunity for everyone else."

One of the innovations of Donald Trump's winning 2016 campaign was that a candidate could get pretty far by blaming a lot of America's problems on a group without enough votes to influence the outcome. In Trump's case, the scapegoats were illegal immigrants. Warren appears determined to follow in Trump's footsteps by providing a single visible villainous category of people to blame for our nation's problems. She is betting that these wealthy people, for all her talk about their supposed influence, are a small enough minority that they lack the votes in a one-person, one-vote system to protect themselves.

The more traction Warren's campaign gains, though, the more it undermines her claim that "the rich and powerful have rigged our political system," writes Ira Stoll.

Photo Credit: Jordan Gale/Polaris/Newscom

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