Can Democrats Stop Pandering to Their Radical-Left Extremists?

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool

The Democratic Party has been captured by revolutionary radical-left extremists and needs to find a way to rid the party of their nefarious influence, or Donald Trump will win the presidency in 2024.

Advertisement

Says who? Says the ancient and august, The Economist.

The British newspaper considers itself “radical centrist” in its politics. That’s when they’re overtly political at all. They’re certainly not the New York Times or Washington Post, but neither are they Fox News. They’re definitely an old-school, old-fashioned, starched-collar, stiff-upper-lip British newspaper with a center-left tilt in bias.

The editorial from The Economist is extraordinary and is anything but left-wing pablum.

Fringe and sometimes dotty ideas have crept into Democratic rhetoric, peaking in the feverish summer of 2020 with a movement to “defund the police”, abolish immigration enforcement, shun capitalism, relabel women as birthing people and inject “anti-racism” into the classroom. If the Democrats are defined by their most extreme and least popular ideas, they will be handing a winning agenda of culture-war grievance to an opposition party that has yet to purge itself of the poison that makes Mr. Trump unfit for office.

The Democrats have begun to put this right, but they lack urgency. That may be because some of them blame their problems on others—as when the White House points to “Putin’s price hike” or the negativity of Republican politicians and the conservative media. Although there is something to this, the party also needs to ditch cherished myths that empower its idealists.

Advertisement

Some of those myths are repeated as gospel by Democrats every election cycle — no matter how many times they’re proved to be wrong.

Among the most cherished myths is that of a silent “progressive majority.” The left has been dreaming for years that if they could only reach these dormant radicals, they would sweep to victory.

It’s never happened and likely never will.

The greatest myth is that the party’s progressive stances invigorate the base and are off-putting only to the other side. Consider the governor’s election in Virginia in 2021. After favoring Mr Biden by ten percentage points in 2020, voters elected a Republican whose signature campaign pledge was ridding schools of critical race theory. That concept has become a catch-all term for conservative gripes, some real and some fantastical. Republican attacks on Democrats as out-of-touch socialists ring true to many voters in the center.

We see this with abortion. Democrats have been predicting a pro-abortion wave in November that will save their majorities. It’s not going to happen, largely because the Dobbs decision energized conservatives as well. Also, abortion is far down the list of issue priorities — even for Democrats. But hope springs eternal, and when you can’t wake from the nightmare, wishful thinking is the next best thing.

Advertisement

The Democrats can’t win without the energy, commitment, and cash from radicals. Trying to sideline them or marginalize them would be a disaster for the party. That’s why, if Democratic politicians aren’t already inclined to extremism, they try to finesse the radicals by speaking their language but not necessarily following their path.

Biden became an expert at this in 2020. Now he finds himself trapped by his own revolutionary rhetoric — a pitfall when you try to play both sides against the middle.

Sponsored

Recommended

Trending on PJ Media Videos

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Advertisement
Advertisement