Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) gloried in driving the Left further in the direction of big government at the We the People Summit in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
The independent senator, who posed a formidable challenge to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary in 2016, credited the audience and progressive activists across the country for pushing their fringe ideas into the mainstream.
“You have helped transform this country in so many ways,” Sanders declared. “A few years ago — just a few years ago, I want you to think about it — many of the ideas that we talked about were thought to be fringe ideas, radical ideas, extremist ideas. Well, you know what? Because of your efforts, those ideas are now mainstream American ideas.”
Sanders urged his audience to continue pushing Left and to never “give up.”
“We are obviously in a pivotal and unprecedented moment in American history, and the fights that we are waging are not just for ourselves — more importantly they are for your kids, our grandchildren, and the future of this planet,” the senator grandiosely proclaimed. “And if anybody in this country who thinks that now is the time to throw your hands up and give up, you are dead wrong. Now is the time more than ever to stand up, fight back.”
In 2016, Sanders pushed the envelope, advocating big government “progressive” causes like single-payer health care, government-funded “free” college tuition, and a $15 per hour minimum wage, all of which would have disastrous economic impacts. Sanders even lamented the multiple choices of deodorant and sneakers in a free market economic system, and received the endorsement of Venezuelan socialist President Nicolás Maduro, whose country is drowning in the socialist policies the Vermont senator would bring to the U.S.
A Pew Research Center study last October found Sanders had pushed the Democrats further left. A September poll from Quinnipiac University found that nearly two in three Democratic voters (65 percent) considered Medicare-for-all a “good idea.” Meanwhile, a study last month found that Democrats outnumber Republicans among elite college professors ten to one.
Last year, Vox named Sanders as the frontrunner for 2020. Many Democratic leaders who are signaling a 2020 presidential race have adopted Sanders’ Medicare-for-all scheme. Last week, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) attempted to prevent Sanders from entering the primary for 2020.
Whether or not the independent “Democratic Socialist” from Vermont enters the 2020 Democratic primary, his ideas have alienated the Democratic Party from moderate Americans. It would be ironic if Sanders made his “fringe,” “extremist” ideas “mainstream” in the Democratic Party, only to keep the liberal party from winning elections.
Perhaps anger at Trump will motivate Democrats in November, but their increasingly extreme agenda may significantly hamper their success.