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Since the midterm elections, we’ve seen some pretty crazy things happening in the Democratic Party. You have a small revolt against Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) with a handful of Democrats in Congress opposing her ascension to Speaker of the House. There’s a freshman Representative, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is already trying to get her followers to run against sitting Democrats in Congress. Then, there’s the posturing by Democrats wanting to run for President in 2020.
In all three circumstances, it’s the Democratic Establishment that is old and out of touch versus the young, aware new Democrats. Sometimes these new Democrats call themselves Democratic Socialists. Sometimes they lay claim to the Democratic Party as a whole.
The Establishment is supposed to be the “moderate” wing of the party while the Democratic Socialists are the far left. Here’s the problem with that notion. They both say pretty much the exact same things. There are nuances in how they say it, but the end results are the same. For example, they both promote healthcare for all. It doesn’t matter whether some call it “Medicare-for-All” and others don’t give it a name. When the chips are all on the table, they’ll end up in the same place.
Healthcare is just one example of top priorities listed by both “sides” of the Democratic Party. On gun control, they’re in lockstep. The only difference between the “moderates” and the far-leftists is the number of times they say they “respect the 2nd Amendment” in their speeches about the varying ways they want to take guns away from law-abiding citizens.
There are a few issues in which the money flowing to the Democratic Establishment keeps them quiet while the radical leftists go all out. Climate change, for example, can be easily misconstrued as an issue with a unified position within the party, but it’s far from it. Establishment Democrats push for a light version of environmental solutions that will make them appear tough on carbon without harming their benefactors. The left-wing takes it up a few dozen notches, calling for an end of fossil fuels in a decade.
But the environment is a small issue, despite the attention given to it by the leftists. I don’t mean the issue of climate change and the attacks on the energy industry by leftists are insignificant. I mean it’s a small divide between the opposing sides within the Democratic Party. One could be fighting the oil companies while the other is owned by the oil companies and they can still sit together for lunch in the Capitol Hill cafeteria.
Some would argue the Republicans are the exact same way, and to some extent this is true. But the ideological divide that separates the very small minority of true conservatives is much wider for one big reason. Establishment Democrats and far leftists are in total agreement that government needs to grow, especially at the federal level. Establishment Republicans agree. True conservatives vehemently disagree.
Unfortunately, there are so few limited-government Republicans in DC that it hasn’t really made an impact. Even under President Trump, budgets are through the roof, and while he’s cutting bureaucracy, more is being added in its wake.
This is important to understand because it means the leftward lurch we’re seeing in the Democratic Party is very different from the conservative push that spawned following the passage of Obamacare. Where conservatives failed at pulling the party to the right, leftists will succeed in pulling their party to the left.
Today and onward beyond 2020, we’ll see two things happen. The first is what we’re witnessing today with the artificial chasm forming between the old Democratic guard and the new leftist ideologues. This will grow as we see presidential hopefuls jockeying for the Bernie Sanders mantle. In fact, they’re going to try to out-Bernie the Vermont Senator himself. We’re already seeing Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris pull to the left of the party on the First Step Act. Their reason: it doesn’t release enough convicts back onto the streets.
Then, there’s Eric “Nukem” Stalwell. He’s unofficially launching his presidential campaign by threatening to confiscate guns.
This will continue until the 2020 Democratic nomination is decided. That’s when we’ll see stage two. This is where it gets dangerous.
The second thing that will happen is the bridging of the chasm in the party. Republicans solved it by bringing “conservatives” over to the mushy middle, making them embrace Establishment concepts for the sake of being practical. It’s why the ideologues won in 2015 by passing a clean Obamacare repeal, but the Establishment won in 2017 by pushing forward every Obamacare action they could think of without even considering a clean repeal. They only acted conservative when they knew President Obama would veto it.
Democrats will do the opposite. The old guard will see Ocasio-Cortez, Harris, Booker, Beto O’Rourke, and other far leftists doing so well with the base. Then, they’ll embrace them. Those who are too pragmatic to leave the Establishment will be shocked when they realize the Establishment merges with the far-leftists. When the chasm disappears and the dust settles, the Democratic Party will be firmly controlled by Democratic-Socialists.
This is why the divide is artificial. They’re not stupid. The Establishment sees the writing on the wall. They’ll fight it for as long as they can without making enemies, but they are well aware that their choices are to adapt or get booted.
As far to the left as Democrats seem today, we haven’t seen them fully unleash their lunacy. The moderate Establishment that gave them candidate Hillary Clinton is rapidly being replaced by the far-leftists. Democratic-Socialists are going mainstream.
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