The closer we get to 2020, the more heat is being applied to Democratic candidates to focus on and adopt issues that Democrats would have considered extreme not that long ago.
According to The Hill, Democratic candidates are hearing increasing calls to focus on fringe issues such as the Green New Deal and “Medicare for all”:
At town halls and meet-and-greets in early primary states, the Democrats are being pushed to stake out positions on “Medicare for all” and the Green New Deal, the progressive plan to combat climate change and economic inequality.
Reparations for the descendants of slaves, the abolishment of the Electoral College and an expansion of the Supreme Court to counter President Trump’s nominees are additional issues that until recently would have been on the fringes of Democratic politics.
The Green New Deal, in particular, is a piece of legislation that even Democratic leadership has deemed ridiculous, along with economists of every stripe. Still, Democrats are being forced to give it a thumbs up and pretend it’s brave in order to maintain relevancy in this 2020 lineup according to The HIll:
“Part of the reason that we’re seeing so many of these candidates back the Green New Deal, even when they weren’t talking about it in 2018, is because they’re looking at the political weather,” said Stephen O’Hanlon, the communications director for the Sunrise Movement, a climate advocacy organization that has sought to inject the Green New Deal into the 2020 primary as a critical issue.
“It’s a litmus test for Democrats and it’s essential for any candidate who wants to earn the youth vote to show that they’re ready to stand up for our generation’s future,” O’Hanlon said.
At the same time, these new litmus tests have prompted worries that candidates may be setting themselves up for trouble in the 2020 general election, which Trump is already casting as a referendum on socialism.
As one anonymous lawmaker told The Hill, a lot of this comes from the public frenzy surrounding Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has been made out by both the media and a very loud radicalized part of the Democratic party to be the “future.” The problem is that Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t represent America in the least, just one intensely blue section of New York:
“Apparently, in the media, the impression is she represents the future — that’s the face of our party moving forward,” said one lawmaker, referring to Ocasio-Cortez. “So would it come as a surprise to you to learn that 33 of the 40 seats we picked up are New Dems? They’re not progressives. Thirty-three out of 40, it’s not even close.”
“She represents a safe New York district where she knocked off somebody because it’s 50 percent Hispanic,” the lawmaker continued, alluding to Ocasio-Cortez’s primary victory over former Rep. Joseph Crowley. “But that ain’t how a whole bunch of other people got elected.”
As I’ve detailed repeatedly, this rising pressure to support even the most radical of positions by Democrats could further drive the populace away from the Democratic party. This is proven most true in the way that a third of Democrats have expressed that they’re willing to jump ship for former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who has expressed a far more moderate take to leftist positions, especially economically.
What’s more, former VP Joe Biden has consistently placed at first in polls when it comes to candidates Democrats wish to see be the nominee most. Biden represents a more moderate approach, and many Democrats not in ultra-blue areas see him as a more stable alternative than the clowns to the left and the jokers on their right.
It’s likely Democrats are actually shooting themselves in the foot before the race even begins in earnest.