The Democratic Party, the so-called “left-wing,” liberal party of the U.S. two-party system, is a centrist cog, too blind to see its own flaws. The party experienced a devastating loss in the 2016 presidential election, and instead of changing tactics and policies, and begin to actually engage with and appeal to the demographics that it often takes for granted (i.e., the LGBTQ+, the African-American, and the Latinx communities, etc.), old Establishment Democrats continued to recycle old talking points and platforms, even when responding to the overt threats posed by the Trump administration to some of the country’s most vulnerable communities.
Then Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez changed the party’s dynamics.
The Democratic primary winner for New York’s 14th congressional district ran a campaign that spoke to the unheard cries of the Bronx, winning on a platform that included providing Medicare for all, framing housing as a human rights issue, demonstrating unwavering support for women’s rights, and voicing support for LGBTQIA+ and senior citizens. Tammy Duckworth, an Establishment Democrats decried Ocasio-Cortez’s progressive platform as “too far to the left,” saying that such politics “would not win in the Midwest.”
Those comments highlight how the Democratic party is becoming indistinguishable from the GOP. Its acts of resistance aim to be as respectful and non-disruptive as possible, in a futile effort to prevent concession of ground/votes. But, at what point does non-disruption become complicity under Trump’s administration? At what point, does not wanting to “rock the boat” eclipse the need to be morally and ethically upstanding?
If Ocasio-Cortez’s politics are “too far to the left” for Democrats, then the Democrats are too far centre. If the rights of all citizens are going to be protected in the Trump administration, especially those of the LGBTQ+ community, Democrats must move further to the left and fight from there.
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