Ever since being shockingly trounced by Trump in the 2016 presidential election the DNC – be it party elites or their millions of registered voters – has been locked in an internal struggle over the future of the Democrat party.
On one side (using rather large strokes of course) lie the proponents of what one can most easily explain to be socialism; ‘democratic socialism’ to precisely quote the politicians pushing for it/attempting to avoid the stigma replete with the dirty ‘S’ word. This camp advocates for ‘big moves’ of the progressive variety; moves that most detractors consider radical like the much maligned ‘New Green Deal.’
In the other camp lie what one can equally broadly designate by their favored buzz word; the ‘pragmatists.’ These political elites and their supporters see the DNC embracing socialism as their rallying cry to be a fast track not only to reduced appeal amongst moderate America, but a guarantee for 4 more years of Donald Trump come 2020.
But when push comes to shove, and that 2020 election beckons the DNC to provide a single champion against the incumbent Trump from their current clown car of 20+ wannabees, one of said camps is destined to win; and at the moment it seems very likely to be the former.
It is indeed becoming increasingly apparent as the various DNC candidates refine and push their policy agendas to prospective voters that embracing socialist ideology is where the heart of the Democrat core lies. A Huffington Post piece sheds some light on the matter,
Hickenlooper made the unpopular comment at the Democratic Party State Convention in San Francisco.
“Let me be perfectly clear,” he told his not-very-receptive listeners, some of whom were holding signs backing the bid by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for the Democratic nomination. “If we want to beat (President) Donald Trump and achieve big, progressive goals, socialism is not the answer.”
As the booing from some 4,500 delegates and observers continued over his speech for several seconds, he warned: “You know, if we’re not careful, we’re going to end up helping to re-elect the worst president in American history.”
A Game of Radicals
That last quip right there of Hickenlooper’s perfectly epitomizes the current Democrat divide. A divide caustic enough that we have thousands of blue voters booing one of their own candidates.
Democrat voters have spent years watching Donald Trump – the President who should have never been as far as team blue is concerned – do little but make (or threaten to make) audacious moves holding little regard for the sentiments of detractors in either party. Whether it be immigration policy driving Democrats wild or trade wars against the warnings of fellow Republicans, Trump, in his fashion, more or less just does what he feels the need to do; often utilizing various executive powers to do so quickly.
In the wake of this blue voters want what they see as a necessary comeuppance in erasing the Trump administration’s legacies and implementing their own bevy of controversial, mainly redistributive, programs with the same callousness. Any Democrats left believing such a drastic policy shift to be bad political business are being figuratively crucified by left-leaning media outlets. Just take ~radical centrist~ (their words not mine) Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz; who was so utterly stymied for refusing to condemn the capitalist system that enabled his life’s success he’s been forced to go the Independent route in a desperate bid to provide America a moderate choice.
The patience of voters who desire the implementation of large impactful socialist policies with the ‘standard’ political process (and the politicians who stick to it) is clearly wearing thin. Consequentially the willingness to pragmatically engage with refining capitalism towards progressive ends as opposed to outright rejecting the entire system appears essentially gone if Hickenlooper’s experience has anything to tell us.
In many ways, this phenomenon is a reflection of the dissatisfaction within the Republican bloc years prior; the dissatisfaction that resulted in Trump’s ascendancy in the first place. But Trumpian populism and Sanders-Ocasio Cortez socialism are very distinct beasts apart from their grassroots appeal. At the end of the day only time will tell if leaning away from the center – instead of towards it – has been a good choice for Democrats, or merely a guarantee for 4 more years of the President they despise.