Election 2020

De Blasio: 'Really Sharp Progressive Impulse' Driving Country to the Left

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New York’s mayor predicted that America is turning more progressive due in large part to feelings of economic inequality among the younger generation.

On MSNBC Wednesday, Bill de Blasio was asked about young voters skewing heavily toward self-proclaimed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) while voters over age 60 overwhelmingly prefer Hillary Clinton.

“I think young people have experienced life during and after the great recession and, you know, having been born to parents who are the Great Depression generation, I can see an interesting resonance when I talk to my kids Kiara and Dante. They are exceedingly concerned about money. They’re scared to death of college debt. They do not think opportunity is easy to come by,” the mayor said.

“There’s a sobriety and a sharpness to a lot of members of this generation, because they were born into overt economic unfairness. Well, different reality than the Great Depression, but the result is the same. A really sharp progressive impulse and a dissatisfaction with the status quo that is visceral.”

De Blasio declared “the Democratic Party is moving to the left,” but that’s not all.

“I think the country is moving to the left. I think the next generation is already there. And I am very happy about those realities,” he said.

“The Democratic Party of the DLC days, Democratic Leadership Council days, unfortunately was part of the problem and that impulse had to be weeded out of the party and it’s happening now and a lot of that is coming from the next generation.”

De Blasio said he finds millennials “very sober and realistic” and forming their political opinions “based on lived experience.”

“I know, I know for a fact that the numbers say the next generation will have it worse than we had it and will face much deeper challenges and much more economic unfairness and much more stratification of wealth,” he said. “Well, they’re reacting very logically and they’re saying this doesn’t work. We’re not going to continue this.”

The mayor called Trump’s rise “protofascism.”

“The way he’s using his racial appeal is extraordinarily cynical. We talk a lot lately about dog whistles and coded language. He’s gone way past that to overt language. And I think, therefore, we have to use overt language and call him the racist he is,” de Blasio continued. “…You look at the combination: xenophobia, racism, encouraging violence among his supporters, militarism.”

“I know my history well enough to say I take that very, very seriously. The good news is I don’t think the majority of American voters believe in those ideas are going to find them acceptable. The voting pool he’s dealt with so far is not just Republican, with some independents and crossover voters thrown in. It happens to be very conservative often militant Republican.”

De Blasio added of the general election: “Well, where this is going is to a whole lot of open-minded people.”