Republicans appear to be on a “Midnight Ride” of sorts, exclaiming at the top of their lungs the approach of the enemy like their forefather Paul Revere; except this time, it is not the British, but rather the socialist left who are coming.
Victories of progressive candidates across the country — like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (a Democratic socialist) in New York’s 14th Congressional District — have induced a minor “red scare” among the right (they being prone to conspiracies). Democrats, unsurprisingly, are favored among voters at the moment, and with the upcoming midterms this November, there are strong signs of an impending “blue wave.” A Democratic takeover of Congress is upsetting enough for the GOP, but when this party appears, at least in their eyes, to be experiencing a “socialist revolution,” they can’t help but panic.
I don’t pretend to know what is going on in the Democratic Party, but as an observer and young Dem, I see a definite shift toward the left. While not qualifying as a full-scale “socialist revolution,” there is a palpable feeling within the party that, in the Trump-era, as we become more emboldened by the right, we move further from our moderate origins to more extreme positions.
I, myself, am filled with both enthusiasm and fear.
We saw in 2016 how quickly a populist movement can displace the establishment. And while this “progressive wave,” or whatever it is, isn’t exactly a populist movement, it has the potential to throw the Democratic party into disarray.
What Democrats offer, in complete contrast to the GOP, is cohesion. This relatively unified front mustn’t be confused, especially now, by radically progressive ideology.
America is moderates. America is not, and never has been, a country of hardliners ruled by stubborn dogma. We are largely a reasonable and flexible bunch. And we appreciate order and substance in a platform.
Democrats can win over moderates with a balanced platform that can believably serve everybody in some capacity. By going all out progressive, we run too far to the left, rather than trying to meet the people somewhere in the middle. We would be asking too much of voters, and would lose them in the process, to demand Medicare for all, immigration reform, strict gun control.
Socialism in America borders on idealism. Universal health care, free college, all those goals of insurgent progressives — they are things that will require, in some degree, compromise, which means bipartisanship. Many of these progressives are too far left that there is no middle ground with them, and the only thing they share with people of different thinking is a flag. In the context of Trump’s America, progressives need to learn their place so that they can help implement actual, achievable change.
Nathaniel T. Mamo is a student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. His email is email@example.com.