Richardt Stormsgaard: Will Democrats drop the ball again?
We keep hearing that Democrats are absolutely committed to finding a candidate that can beat Trump.
Although it is still very early it certainly does not look that way.
Three out of the five major candidates are advocating policies that are so far out of the American mainstream that a Trump victory is very possible. Even if the presidency miraculously was won by a leftist Democrat due to a total Trump collapse it would likely lead to the loss of most of the 40 wins from the 2018 mid-term elections in the House of Representatives and more. The Senate would end up with a stronger conservative majority so we can expect the increasingly conservative/right-wing federal judiciary to continue to dismantle civil and voting rights, the social safety net, and environmental legislation bit by bit. Democrats had 360 wins in state legislatures in 2018 that will be in instant jeopardy, and likely lead to another decade of huge built-in conservative advantage due to the new redistricting that will occur after the 2020 census.
To woo a good third of Democratic voters on the left, while ignoring independents and moderates of both major parties that are by far the largest voting block, is paving the way for disaster in 2020.
At the most 40% of Democrats support a Bernie Sanders type leftist. Democrats comprise 31% of all voters, Republicans 24%, and independents 42%. Many progressives mistakenly believe that democratic socialists and European type social democrats are synonymous terms; a fact certain to finally be brought to the surface by the media if a leftist is running for national office. The fact is that Socialists create Venezuelas, not Denmarks. (check Wikipedia definition of the difference between democratic socialists and social democrats please).
Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris apparently believe that as the winning candidate with the support of perhaps 10-12% of Americans (Democratic leftists) they can convince around half of the 70-80% of remaining American voters, politically way to their right, to join them and win not just the presidency but a number of red states in a national election by embracing plans of extensive governmental take-over of important societal functions, with myriads of new regulations and tax increases.
During the 2018 mid-term elections progressive women candidates like Sharice Davids, Lauren Underwood, and Abigail Spanberger beat entrenched Republican incumbents and Democrats won 400 seats in the American heartland by appealing to moderates and independents. Out of the 40 winners to the House of Representatives 33 had beaten primary opponents to their left.
Democrats in swing districts are watching with alarm how major contenders to head the ticket in 2020 are embracing Medicare-For-All when a simple expansion of the ACA to include all Americans would be welcomed by the moderates and independents that decide elections. Dismantling the private insurance system that pays about twice as much into our health care delivery system as medicare and medicaid is a very bad idea; especially in a country where people intensely dislike paying taxes. In Denmark the average tax rate is 49%, in Canada about 35%, in the USA about 25%. All US public agencies and programs with the exception of the military for many decades now are chronically underfunded as would a government run health care system be.
These candidates also support the Green New Deal which is more of a leftist manifesto for the restructuring of society from the top on down than actual environmental proposals.
The Waxman-Markey bill(American Clean Energy and Security Act) stalled in 2010 but still enjoyed considerable support from moderate Republican lawmakers. It can still provide updated solutions and improvements to the worsening environmental issues we face now almost a decade later. The principles and ideas of this wide-ranging body of legislation will be much more acceptable to moderates and independents around the country than the New Green Deal.
The far left has been denigrating Democrats increasingly over the last decades as the conservative stranglehold of this country has been increasing. It is imperative for Democrats to stand up not just to the far right, but the far left as well. Ralph Nader’s 2000 campaign has been directly responsible for our current political situation including the election of Trump, and a Democratic leftist at the top of the ticket in 2020 will likely consolidate right-wing control of our country far into the foreseeable future.
Richardt Stormsgaard lives in Nevada City.
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