Since the Democratic Party primaries in 2016 there’s been a battle for the soul of the Democratic Party. Unfortunately, the soul of the Democratic Party went away a long time ago. The party of FDR (Franklin D. Roosevelt) which saw the implementation of Glass–Steagall, Social Security, and a need for a Second Bill of Rights has eroded into a party lead by people who believe in centrism. It’s become an reactionary party too scared to present big ideas to the people because it may be “too radical” and scare away moderates. Is wanting workers to have a living wage too radical? Is wanting students to not have $100k in debt when they graduate college too extreme? Is wanting every man, woman, and child to have health care a little too Bernie Broish for America? These are just a few of the issues that a majority of American voters support.
In 2018 we’ve been seeing a lot of new candidates and presidential hopefuls sign on to plans like Medicare for All, tuition-free college, and legalizing marijuana. I’m not hearing anyone say that Kamala Harris or Cory Booker are left wing extremist. This isn’t a case of these politicians moving to the left. These politicians are moving to the center of what the majority of Americans want. Even Republicans want things like universal background checks on firearms and taking on big pharmaceutical companies. Unfortunately republicans voters continue to elect politicians that do not have their best interest in mind. Republicans in Congress only serve the interest of the super rich and wealthy. Mainly so they’ll get sweetheart jobs on boards and eventually becomes a lobbyist when they leave office. For example, House Speaker Paul Ryan isn’t leaving Congress because he’s afraid of losing an election. Speaker Ryan is leaving Congress because his job is done. His primary goal was to get a large tax cut for the wealthy passed and he got it done. Now Paul Ryan can reap his rewards in the private sector after he retires this year. It’s a revolving door that is helping the rich hoard money while the poor fight over crumbs.
The Democratic establishment is getting very nervous due to the fact that more candidates are running on progressive platforms. To combat this they are pushing moderate/centrist candidates who they believe will win over moderate Republicans. Here’s the truth, those moderate Republicans are going to keep voting for Republicans, period. If the Democratic Party wants to start taking back control of government then they need to talk about what the majority of Americans actually support. Repeatedly putting Democrats in office who legislate like Republicans is not progress and it’s hurting the most vulnerable amongst us. Too often we see Democrats voting with the other side for their own political gain. They aren’t working in the best interest of the people who voted to put them in office.
Overall something needs to change in order for Democrats can start winning elections again. Losing over 1000 legislative seat during President Barack Obama’s 8 years in office should have been enough of a wakeup call. Otherwise, we’re just getting worked up over a primary to pick the best candidate to lose to the Republicans in November. If the Democratic Party establishment wants to continue to lose elections then they can urge candidates to follow their moderate path to defeat. Or, candidates can be in tune with the electorate and run on the progressive politics that the majority supports.
– Eric Stamps