Commentary: Why can’t Democrats get out of their own way?

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks through a megaphone while surrounded by the media outside the Homestead Detention Center, where the U.S. is detaining migrant teens, in Homestead, Fla., Wednesday June 26, 2019. (Daniel A. Varela/Miami Herald via AP)

Between calls for health care for all, free college and forgiveness of student debt, I’m asking myself if these are serious propositions or cries for attention in a crowded Democratic Party. With the field of candidates for the Democratic presidential bid looking more like a waiting list for a popular, overbooked left-wing restaurant, you need to make a lot of noise to stand out.

Earlier this year it seemed that every day brought with it a new more radical, more socialist in nature, Elizabeth Warren policy. I assumed she was merely trying to poach as many Bernie Sanders votes as possible from her far-left competitor. But the entrance and subsequent reaction to Joe Biden has fundamentally changed how I view the mentality of the modern Democratic Party.

The uproar over Biden’s support of the Hyde Amendment (and rapid flip withdrawing his support) was a rude awakening to me, and many throughout America, that there may no longer be such a thing as a centrist, or even a classic liberal, in the modern Democratic Party. The current left, and social justice infused media, won’t allow moderate stances. How dare he not take taxpayer money and fund abortions with it? How could he dare take an intelligent political stance on a clearly sensitive issue and support abortion, just not with federal dollars?

Biden was supposed to be the solution to Donald Trump. The classic liberal who can bridge the divide in America and swing the middle of the road voters in 2020. But the far-left fanatics who have cornered the Democratic National Committee refuse to take the easy road to victory. They’re turning on their best chance at winning the average American’s vote, the man who has the most realistic opportunity to show that voting for a Democrat in 2020 doesn’t mean you have to endorse full fledged socialism. Most Americans don’t want radical change one way or the other. They want stability in a continually unsteady world.

America wants an end to the constant fighting. Far left versus far right, it’s exhausting. All the Democrats need to win the White House is to not entrench themselves deeper into a war with the other half of America. Whichever party shows they want to bridge the gap instead of attacking at full force will win the middle vote and the election. This means nominating a democratic socialist won’t work.

Socialism might be in with the urban, under-30 voters, but it terrifies the rest of America. The rest of America being battleground states won by Trump in 2016 like Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, and nearly 48-year democratic holdout Minnesota. The lesson learned in 2016 was that Americans were tired of the same old politicians and bureaucracy. Going headfirst into an agenda full of socialist policies will not decrease the bureaucracy or reliance on politicians. If failed socialist states of the past tell us anything, it puts it front and center.

But the current state of affairs on the left is counter to this strategy. As soon as a candidate manages to wiggle their way out of the cramped back seat of the clown car that is the current field of potential nominees and says something reasonable, the attendees of the DNC circus throw their rotten fruit. It is a vicious, cannibalistic, counterproductive cycle that may very well lose them the presidency for a second consecutive term.

2020 is the opportune time for the Democrats to come forward and win the presidency back. All they need to do is take back control of their party from the democratic socialists and get out of their own way. 2016 was supposedly a wakeup call to the DNC, but from what I’ve seen heading into 2020, the Democrats may have hit snooze and gone back to dreaming.

Hunter Cherry

Hunter Cherry, Logan, is a political science major at Utah State University