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Not even fascism could unite the Democratic Party.
Joe Biden was able to defeat Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, but it wasn’t nearly as easy as one would have hoped. The Democrats also struggled mightily in the House and Senate, and at the state level. Many people on social media and in the news are taking this as a sign that the progressive wing of the party is dangerous, that they owe Hillary Clinton an apology, and the like. Because “socialism”.
No matter how hard the moderate wing of the Democratic Party tries to pin this on Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the facts simply prove otherwise. The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) endorsed 29 congressional candidates, winning 20 of these races (nearly 69%), and 11 ballot initiatives, where they won 8 (over 72%). Centrist candidates raising millions and millions of dollars struggle to defeat Republicans while the left thrives--not just at the national level, but at local levels, too.
Of course, the criticism continues. I always hear how progressives will never win in traditionally red, rural, working-class areas. But clearly the moderate wing can’t either because you’d think they would have done it by now. There’s a reason those areas always go red. It’s like when Trump tells us “this is what will happen in Biden’s America” while showing footage from his America. Progressive policies are passing in Republican-dominated areas too--Florida increased their minimum wage, South Dakota legalized marijuana, and the list goes on.
The message is clear: progressive policies win.
As Mindy Isser, a labor activist and columnist at In These Times, wrote on November 5, “DSA-backed candidates succeed for a few main reasons: They campaign on actual policies, have a vision of how to govern, and don’t just depend on the fact that they’re not Republicans.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Ask yourself some questions about moderate Democrats: What do they run on? How will they help everyday people? How do they plan to defeat Trumpism (and no, “Joe Biden is not Donald Trump” is not a good answer)? If you struggled to answer these questions and ones like it, you’re not alone, because I wouldn’t even know where to begin.
Go back to why so many areas are always voting red. Those areas tend to be full of rural, working-class, generally poorer people. You know who doesn’t give a damn about those people and doesn’t mention them in any substantial way? You guessed it. Sure, the GOP doesn’t care about them either, but at least they act like it. I say that half-jokingly, but it’s true; if your options are two parties who don’t care about you, but one of them says they do, who would you vote for? Biden’s acceptance speech talked about rebuilding the middle class while making no mention of the working class, and we wonder why the Dems never win in Missouri. The Democratic Party stands for absolutely nothing except for being “better than Republicans”--whatever that means--and I’m surprised it’s even gotten them this far.
All jokes aside, this blatant denial of the truth by the moderate wing of the Democratic Party should scare us. Progressive policies are popular, from Medicare for All to a Green New Deal and beyond. When Fox News is showing public opinion polls that support government-sponsored healthcare, while people that are supposedly liberal don’t even support it, there’s a fundamental issue. The actions of the Democratic Party to decry progressives at every turn are not just political maneuvering--they’re an outright refusal to work for the people and cater to their needs and wants, and that’s what government should be all about. It’s about damn time that the U.S. government cares about its people, and only progressives truly do that. This election has proved that. Don’t let anybody tell you differently.
No, moderate Democrats are not fascists. But their behavior towards progressives is dangerous for the American people, and it cannot continue. I hope you didn’t think the fight was over.
Grayson Willenbacher is a transfer second year with a major in Political Science and a minor in Sociology. Within those areas, he's extremely interested in issues of social justice, and in his free time, he loves to listen to music, exercise, play basketball, and read non-fiction.
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