Progressive Democrats Are Mainstreaming the Lunatic Fringe
A couple of items posted on our Live Blog this morning sent my thoughts rolling down an uncomfortable path.
First, I posted this:
Shortly after that, Tyler O'Neil shared a post about Bernie Sanders taking his "Medicare for All" proposal to an even greater extreme.
The Hill notes that Warren's plan to fiscally punish the most successful corporations follows her proposal to hit the wealthiest American individuals -- who already bear the brunt of the taxation burden percentage-wise -- with even more taxes.
The Washington Examiner explains that Sanders is now being even more lavish with the benefits for his euphemistically veiled socialized medicine program.
Hey, it's easy when you're spending other people's money.
I am a former political activist who is a veteran of more U.S. presidential elections than I would like to share. Trust me though, it's a LOT.
What got me thinking was that, as recently as a few elections ago, the above kind of thinking would have been relegated to the fringe Democratic candidates. Even Barack Obama didn't have the you-know-whats to run on socialized healthcare. He cloaked it because in 2008 that kind of thinking wasn't going to sell to a mainstream voting audience.
This, sadly, is who the Democrats are now though.
The MSM never ceases to stop whining (and lying) about the Republican Party being ruled by "right-wing extremists" but it is the Democrats who have allowed their ideological fringe to take over. As the Examiner article notes, Sanders' socialized medicine plan has not only been endorsed by Warren, but also by other "mainstream" candidates Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Kamala Harris.
Many might play devil's advocate here and say that they have always been like that, but that isn't true. Yes, they're big government fans, but most prominent Democrats (see: Hillary Clinton) also played nice with Wall Street. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders constantly demonize the financial sector.
Some believe that if Joe Biden gets into the race he will automatically reorient the party to more moderate ground. The flaw in that logic is that "moderate" is a term that is defined relative to a party's base or fringe. The Democrats have shifted so far left in recent years -- largely thanks to the very states they want controlling a popular vote -- that their moderate middle now exists in a place that would have been the distant left just a decade ago.
One huge reason that they are pushing to lower the voting age is that progressivism is built upon a mountain of illogical ideas that are easier to sell to the naive. In a book I wrote a few years ago I said that progressivism is the toddler mindset manifested in adulthood. It sells better to children because it is, by its very nature, childish.
Sadly, there are no emerging, youthful voices among the Democrats advocating to rein in the progressivism. The lengthy, crowded primary will almost certainly exacerbate the problem, as they will all be racing to the left of each other and promising MORE FREE STUFF to distinguish themselves.
The only thing that will bring about a correction will be to lose another presidential election or two because non-coastal states that were once gimmes for the Democrats don't vote for them.
If that doesn't happen, look for the United States to begin taking a long, painful trip down Venezuela Boulevard.