Former Democratic Senator Jim Webb of Virginia either doesn’t get it – or he is not paying attention.  When Fox News host Bret Breir interviewed Webb July 12, Breir pointed out how Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have energized the Democratic base, and he asked, “Who are the Jim Webb Democrats?” Webb’s response: “I believe we can bring a different tone to the Democratic Party. You’re right. The party has moved way far to the left, and that’s not my Democratic Party.”

Wake up, Mr. Webb. In case you haven’t noticed, Bernie Sanders has been drawing hundreds of enthusiastic supporters in Alabama, Kentucky, and your own home state of Virginia. Increasingly, it’s not about “right” or “left.” It’s not even about “red” or “blue” anymore – it’s about “green,” and why so much of it is going to the “2%” at the top while the other 98% get bupkis – nada – zilch.

Last December, Webb announced his plans to run for President. Near the top of his agenda: economic justice. In his video announcement, he told people to “travel to the Appalachian mountains, where my own ancestors settled and whose cultural values I still share, and view the poorest counties in America — who happen to be more than 90 percent white, and who live in the reality that ‘if you’re poor and white, you’re out of sight.’”

Mr. Webb, if you really care about the poor (all poor, not just white poor), your conservative ideas on how to address economic inequality have been tried over and over for the past three decades. They haven’t worked.

K.J. McElrath is a former history and social studies teacher who has long maintained a keen interest in legal and social issues. In addition to writing for The Ring of Fire, he is the author of two published novels: Tamanous Cooley, a darkly comic environmental twist on Dante's Inferno, and The Missionary's Wife, a story of the conflict between human nature and fundamentalist religious dogma. When not engaged in journalistic or literary pursuits, K.J. works as an entertainer and film composer.