Summary: The 2020 election might be a moment of truth for the Democratic Party as its liberal establishment confronts the powerful Left they have nurtured for so long. Whether the Democrats win or lose, American politics will not be the same.
The Democratic Party in 2020?
The Left sees the election and gets excited!
Matthew Yglesias, a Leftist “intellectual”, exults about this “news.” By “news”, I mean a poll by the Leftists at Data for Progress, a think-tank created by the Leftists at Tides Advocacy. There is a lot of money backing the Left in America today.
“Data for Progress used the Lucid survey sampling platform to test three different versions of a Sanders and Trump polling matchup question. The survey was in the field from January 9 to January 19 of 2020 and ran these three polls:
- No information: “If the 2020 U.S. Presidential election was held today, who would you vote for if the candidates were Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump?”
- Partisan cues: “If the 2020 U.S. Presidential election was held today, who would you vote for if the candidates were Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republican Donald Trump?”
- Socialists and billionaires: “If the 2020 U.S. Presidential election was held today, who would you vote for if the candidates were Democrat Bernie Sanders, who wants to tax the billionaire class to help the working class and Republican Donald Trump, who says Sanders is a socialist who supports a government takeover of healthcare and open borders?”
“In all three versions, Bernie beats Trump, albeit by slightly different margins. Sanders does best in the version of the question that provides no information at all.”
Not a surprise to me that Bernie Sanders, running as everybody’s grandfather, does best in a matchup that gives no information at all. Ditto that he does so in one that gives no information about Trump and misleading information about Sanders. It is misleading because although Trump is a serial liar, he is correct in this. Sanders describes himself as a socialist and advocates for a government takeover of healthcare and open borders (with big welfare for migrants, to make sure there are lots of them).
Sanders has run for office under many banners, including the socialist Liberty Union and Vermont ProgressiveParties. He described himself as a socialist when Mayor of Burlington (1981-1989). And he does so today (e.g., here, here). If elected, one of his first acts will be a government takeover of health care sector – a big first bite taking 18% of the US economy.
They carefully constructed the poll question because neither open borders (with big benefits for migrants) nor fully-run government health care is popular with the US public. Best for the Left to keep this out of the news as long as possible.
The revolution grows more radical
I have shown in previous posts that revolutions tend to grow more radical over time. That is true even for the Left’s slow-motion revolution in the US. It is a smart strategy. Unlike frogs, people will allow themselves to be boiled by radicals if done slowly.
Bernie Sanders shows us one mechanism by which this occurs. Liberals nurtured and supported the growth of radical leftists, using them as shock troops against conservatives. How they laughed! But with the support and protection of mainstream liberals, the Left has again grown strong enough to challenge them for control of the Democratic Party. With their powerful (and lavishly funded) pressure groups, plus their dominance in academia and the news media, the Left is far stronger than when they staged their coup in 1972.
Should he win, Sanders will be 79 on inauguration day. He will be a genial figurehead while his team of radical leftists (a large fraction of whom are radical fourth-wave feminists) pushes hard to restructure America. His shiny VP will be a doctrinaire radical, unelectable in her own right – but will eagerly step into Sanders’ shoes when he resigns due to ill health (or dies).
But this is unlikely, for the Left’s beliefs thrive politically only when kept in the shadows. Journalists will do their best to maintain the masquerade, but Trump will glory in telling the public about Sander’s plans for America. Unless we fall into a recession in the next nine months (possible but unlikely; the GDPnow model predicts Q1 GDP growth of 2.7%), the Democratic Party could suffer a historic setback .
But if the Liberal establishment successfully suppresses the Left, there will internecine civil war in the Democratic Party. No matter what happens, it seems likely that the Democratic Party will again have difficulty defeating what should be a very weak opponent. This is pitiful, since they have a dozen governors and senators who could be strong challengers to Trump.
Update: about the 1972 election
The Left staged a successful coup in the 1972 presidential election, nominating George McGovern as the Democratic Candidate. He got only 38% of the popular vote, giving Nixon the fourth-largest winning margin in US history. There was only a small impact on other elections. The Democrats lost two seats in the Senate and gained 13 in the House.
The current conflict in the Democrats is much deeper than in 1972. The Left has far more institutional support and funding. It is far more radical vs. the national “center” than in 1972. And the Left has changed. McGovern’s platform would be in the mildly liberal in today’s politics (see one of his campaign brochures).
This is the New Left stepping onto the national stage, much as the New Right did in 1964.
The bigger picture: this is a new Left
Whatever happens in 2020, America now has a powerful European-style Left-wing political organization. Well funded, with deep organizational roots and an well-developed ideology. During the next economic downturn, they will make another bid for power. They are resolute in their hatred for American culture and their burning desire to burn it to the ground and rebuild a Leftist society on its ruins.