From a Dem: The “kinda”-left won’t beat the far-right

Gage Skidmore

Buster Scheuer, Blogger

With the midterms behind us, soon there will be announcements of people who will try to face Donald Trump in the general election. Hillary Clinton has already implied that she’d run again, as well as Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris. As all of our knowledge of the political system is forming, it’s still hard to know who would really be best for a face-off with President Trump, and you might ask yourself in these coming primaries if leaning further left is really the best move for a party who lost the presidency to the far right.

For the longest time, the Democratic party thought that in order to beat the far right, they need to cozy up to them, and go with the “reasonable centrist”, neutral candidate (e.g. Clinton). Yet recently, there has been an overwhelming amount of evidence that working-class people are sick of status-quo, centrist politicians; polling data compiled by Real Clear Politics1 showed well-known-progressive Bernie Sanders with a 10 point lead over Trump in the 2016 election, and Politico’s more recent polling shows him with a possible 12 point lead over the incumbent president (should Bernie decide to run). What we can infer from this polling is that the working class is looking for Bernie-style populism; policies like lowering the cost of prescription drugs, medicare-for-all, and increase in minimum-wage are all popular in the rust belt (Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, & more, which Clinton didn’t do very well in). And, like him or not, Donald Trump campaigned on those left-wing issues in those places better than Hillary did (though he did a complete 180 as soon as he was inaugurated).

The Democratic party needs to become the party of change if they’re planning on winning in 2020. Change in our political system, change in the amount of power that corporations have over our politics, change in accessibility to healthcare, and really just generally, change. Progressivism is only progressive when you’re pushing for real, genuine reform to the system.

Pick a political issue you care about, whether it be the drug war, immigration, healthcare, or anything else: Wouldn’t you rather be represented by someone that fights hard for policy to create the change you want, than by someone that makes the same “meet in the middle” compromises over and over again? That’s the choice we face. Research the candidates for 2020, and while you do that, be wary of voting closer to the center in a political climate where nobody wants the moderate.