The leftward lurch of the Democratic Party is nothing new – but it is, perhaps, a bit misleading. It’s not at all uncommon these days to hear folks lamenting “the good old days,” when the party wasn’t ruled by progressives and socialists. Make no mistake; they were there all along. But in recent years, the progressive movement has grown. When Democrats of middle-age and older look at today’s party and say, “that’s not my party,” this progressive rise to the top – and, therefore, the mainstream – is what they lament.
With the progressive leadership of the Democratic Party demanding that all members toe the line on every issue, a lot of Democrats who see themselves as moderate are left out in the cold. Can we call it democratic if no deviance from “The Platform” is allowed? Perhaps it’s time to change the name to something a bit more accurate: The Progressive Party.
Establishment Dems: The Great Migration and Purge
After the “NV Dems Progressive Slate,” the group of candidates backed by the Democratic Socialists of America and the Left Caucus, won leadership of the party in Nevada, the entire staff quit, saying they simply couldn’t work with the socialists. They weren’t the only ones. The #WalkAway movement has consistently shown exactly how “inclusive” and “tolerant” the progressive left really is.
When Tom Perez took over the Democratic National Committee in 2017, he began a purge of party officials, replacing them with more “diverse” leadership more devoted to the progressive cause. The Democrats for Life of America – a group of anti-abortion and, often, pro-gun Democrats – cried out in 2018 “I want my party back!” They wanted a spot under the “Big Tent,” as they called it, but were rejected. The slate of legislators and party administrators who took over after the 2018 midterms turned so far left that, as Liberty Nation’s Joe Schaeffer reported, the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) was “tickled pink.”
Even amongst the Democrats who haven’t jumped ship, there’s no unity under the progressive flag. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) threatened to block President Biden’s next package on infrastructure and clean energy if Republicans aren’t allowed any input. The $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief packaged passed by simple majority, thanks to Democrats using reconciliation to bypass the filibuster, but it left a sour taste in Manchin’s mouth, and he isn’t willing to do it again. “I’m not going to get on a bill that cuts them out completely before we start trying,” he explained.
Manchin has sided with Republicans before, usually on gun control and abortion issues, but he’s still a Democrat. He’s factored in that 50-50 split Senate, and his vote alone could kill any progressive effort.
Moderates Made the Monster
These slightly less left-wing Democrats aren’t blameless, though. They voted for the politicians who gave us the Gun Control Act of 1968 and, later, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act in 1993 and the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 – both signed into law by Bill Clinton. They supported these radical, anti-American activists right up until they were either abandoned or realized they couldn’t control the monster they helped make.
Even the Democrats for Life of America push anti-gun, pro-abortion candidates, supporting them against anti-abortion Republicans and Libertarians whenever there isn’t a DFLA Dem in the race. Who do they back when a “Democratic Socialist” runs against a small government Republican? Take a guess.
Nothing New Under the Sun
The progressives of today aren’t much different from their predecessors. Crisis-inspired gun control has been around at the federal level since the National Firearms Act of 1934. They’ve been trying to turn the nation socialist at least since FDR’s New Deal.
These people have been here all along, but they were the fringe for many years, only occasionally coming to the top at times of crisis when their anti-American ideas were the most seductive. The moderates who bemoan today’s leftward lurch may fail to see the connection, but they are right to believe the party is quickly leaving them behind. There has been talk of a new conservative party after Donald Trump took a wrecking ball to the GOP. Could a new Democratic Party be the answer for those cast aside and left behind by today’s progressives?
Read more from James Fite.