What happens to the Democrats?

Heberto Limas-Villers, Editor in Chief

At this point, it appears that Donald Trump is going to be president but his victory leaves many questions unanswered at a time of uncertainty. While the Republican party is somewhat uncertain over how to deal with our new president-elect, the Democrats have been licking their wounds redefining the party in the process. Unfortunately, they are redefining their party by taking a hard-left turn. Led by Senator Bernie Sanders, activists are taking over the party presenting a genuine resistance in order to continue their “revolution.” They do not look powerful right now as their recent actions-protests against the president-elect- have yielded nothing but out of their anger, they are starting a “tea party of the left.”

They have been around for some time yet for the most part they have always been at the fringes of American politics. For many years, their influence was centered on a few bastions such as San Francisco or New York. However, with the financial crisis, they regained popularity and attention through the Occupy protests spawning a new leftist identity for the masses. The Occupy movement died eventually but it launched Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders into prominence gaining power and influence among the Democrats. Overnight these new leftists gained influence within the Democratic party shaping the party’s platform based on their ideals of “social justice” and identity politics.

Despite their recent gains, it wasn’t enough for them to take full control of the party as the 2016 primary easily shows. Yet when Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump two weeks ago, the left didn’t waste any time to take full control over the party. Already there are strong challengers to take over the DNC Chairmanship and the Minority Leadership role in the House. This leaves us to where we are today with an insurgent Left that is quickly and efficiently taking power in the Democratic party.

What is even worse is that there is no one in the center that is influential to fight against the Left. Conservative/moderate Democrats, such as those that identify as “Blue Dog Democrats,” have been purged not only at the primaries but also in general elections. Senatorial candidates such as Evan Bayh and Jason Kander, who we believed would have done a fine job, lost their respective elections handedly. Furthermore, the remaining moderate senators, such as Claire McKaskill and Heidi Heitkamp, are facing tough re-elections in 2018, thinning the party of any moderates that it has.

The purification of the Democratic Party helps the Republican party in the fact that a generic left-wing Democrat has no chance in winning outside of the blue states. But I argue that the Democrats’ hard left turn hurts both parties as it de-incentivizes the Republicans to take the center. Our republic is dependent on a healthy two-party system with strong competition for the center in order to obtain power. If there is no true competition between parties then the center will be left marginalized, as it has been for too long, preventing any genuine dialogue or policy that helps all Americans.

As Republicans there is little we can do for the Democrats but if the party abandons the center, the opportunity is ripe for us to pick off the disillusioned moderate/conservative Democrats and have them join the party. This can be done by giving them a voice such as we are attempting with The New Hamiltonian but also in giving them something to vote for from superb candidates to a sensible platform. If the Republican Party, and President Trump, can quickly recognize that there is a Moderate Majority, then we can promptly fight to take back the party from those that are damaging the party and our country at the process.

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