An old political cliche claims that “Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line.” In other words, Democrats often see their platform splinter among different candidates with different ideas, while the Republicans always seem to unite around a single candidate and platform before an important election. However, if anything, the opposite seems to be more and more the case in the current political atmosphere. Republican politicians have been expressing misgivings about many of Trump’s policies, such as the forced separation of undocumented immigrant families. The party platform is also clearly fracturing over his numerous scandals, like the Russia investigation. On the other hand, Democrats across the US are uniting around an anti-Trump agenda and are winning early polls and elections with commanding force. While the Republicans are not really “in love” with any one faction of their party, the Democrats are definitely “falling in line” in pursuit of their ultimate goal: control of government nationwide and the downfall of President Trump and his supporters.
How socialism is becoming part of the Democratic Establishment
Photo: Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash
Ever since Bernie Sanders ran in the 2016 Democratic primary elections, Democratic socialism has evolved from a fringe political ideology once believed to be tied with Communism to a widespread belief held by the millions of voters who supported Bernie Sanders in 2016. Indeed, Democratic socialism has gone from a mere thought to a pervasive political phenomenon. For example, much of New York and the nation were shocked when avowed Democratic socialist and Bernie Sanders organizer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated 10-term veteran Congressman Joseph Crowley by nearly 15% of the vote during the New York Democratic primary this year. Other, more localized victories include Democratic Socialist Lee Carter defeating the Republican majority whip for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates, and multiple socialist victories in primaries for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Even candidates with Democratic socialist ties who don’t win elections still have an impact on the Democratic establishment. On Tuesday August 7th, when Ocasio-Cortez-and Sanders-backed candidate Dr. Abdul El-Sayed decisively lost to the so-called “establishment” candidate Gretchen Whitmer in the Michigan Democratic gubernatorial primary, it was considered by many to have been a massive blow to the progressive left. However, when closely considering Whitmer’s proposed policies, they are more left than what was previously expected of a moderate Democrat. She supports a $15 minimum wage, free universal preschool, and other ideas usually attributed to a Democratic socialist politician. This clearly indicates a leftwards policy trend in the Democratic party, even amongst moderate Democrats. Therefore, even in defeat, Democratic socialism is helping to unite the Democratic party towards achieving a liberal future.
The Road Ahead
In an article for NBC News, former Obama policy advisor Neera Tanden argued that the Democratic party “largely agrees with voters” on the issues that need fixing in our country, and while many Democrat politicians “disagree about the details” of their plans, they are not “denying reality” like many Republicans are in their support of President Trump. As such, the future of the Democratic party is one of unity and solidarity against bigotry. A political party able to satisfy the needs of American voters is a political party with a bright future.
Tuhin Chakraborty is an 18 year old freshman at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. He is considering studying History and Political Science there. His favorite book is Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert. Tuhin believes that success is gaining the respect of everyone who knows you. He steps up for Civic Engagement: getting young people involved in politics and community action.