The Democratic Primaries of today are like a fire raging across a forest. The fire intends to destroy everything, including the forest that birthed it, and the fuel from pent-up resentment makes it ever more likely to ravage everything in its path. In this analogy, the Democratic Party is the forest, and its new leftist faction led by the likes of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) is the fire that will ultimately take down the Democratic Party.
Both parties have needed to attract undecided moderates to swing the balance of the election in their favor. But a new wave of ideological conviction hell-bent on targeting the political center has instead chosen to ignore the center’s demands and push away compromise, intending to shame undecideds into supporting their cause. Up until recently, strategies like these were characterized as extremist and radical. Now, they’re seemingly the new norm.
This new election season proves that the Democrats are moving ever more towards the left, just as the Republicans are moving more to the right. Democrats went a step further and continued promoting their leftist wing while most Republicans, at least for now, intend to distance themselves from President Donald Trump. This proves a problem for both sides, as 38% of voters identify as centrist and that number will grow as more and more people are found to be in the new political center as both parties move further apart. This will inevitably lead to a vacuum, which could allow for the rise of a new political party, one positioned in the center and willing to advocate elements of both parties’ founding ideologies. This has yet to be seen, however, and no currently existing third party even comes close to challenging either of the major parties.
Democrats themselves aren’t helping to prevent their party’s fall from power, as leading candidates alienate more and more voters in the hopes of attracting the extremely devoted and more ideologically staunch supporters to be found on the far-left.
For example, in a recent town hall, Beto O’Rourke, a former Congressman from Texas who ran against Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in the 2018 mid-terms, said that he would strip religious institutions such as churches of their tax-exempt status if they continued to oppose gay marriage.
There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone … that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us. And so as president, we are going to make that a priority, and we are going to stop those who are infringing upon the human rights of our fellow Americans.Beto O’Rourke, Democratic candidate for President
One of his opponents, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a gay man who is also a devout Christian and scholar, responded to O’Rourke’s comments by saying “The idea that you’re going to strip churches of their tax-exempt status if they haven’t found their way toward blessing same-sex marriage — I’m not sure he understood the implications of what he was saying.”
Other comments from leading Democrats have also scared moderates, like Beto O’Rourke’s promise to take away people’s guns and Senator Bernie Sanders‘s (I-Vermont) central campaign promise, Medicare for All. Not to mention Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Massachusetts) extensive tax plan and her blatant attacks (albeit justified) on major, often monopolizing companies.
The wing of the Democratic Party most far to the left has the potential either to change politics in America forever or be the downfall of an 190 year-old institution that has found itself making a U-turn in both policy and power.