Exaggerating The Power of Left Wing Democrats (1 Viewer)

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There's a lot of talk about the left wing Democrats. Listen to the media and so called progressives and socialists appear to be taking over the party. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Bernie Sanders, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib are viewed as powerful politicians pushing Democrats too far left with proposals like Single Payer Healthcare and the Green New Deal to fight climate change. The pundits on CNN and in print media like The Washington Post warn of rising socialism and left wing progressivism that alienates most voters especially working class whites Democrats need to win Congress and state houses. Moreover the mainstream media wrongly ties Democrats to controversial activists movements like Black Lives Matter and college students activists. The former calls for defunding local police viewed as racists, while the students fuel a repressive cancel culture. Everyone calls for a move to the center. Even Elizabeth Warren a liberal by any standard is too far left. Never mind the Democrats don't officially endorse such things. Not to mention the issues raised by activists are legitimate and complex.

It doesn't matter that false charges of left wing extremism among Democrats come from conservatives in the GOP. The media that adopts that narrative, and centrist Democrats use it to their political advantage too. Since the 1980s it has contributed to the rise of a centrist establishment that really controls the Democratic Party. It's not that left leaning Democrats are very powerful. They're just vocal and they stand up for their convictions. They draw a powerful contrast with the right wing GOP and centrist Democrats. Vilifying them and exaggerating their influence prevents Democrats from discussing or advancing a liberal agenda. Centrist Democrats and Conservative Republicans are alike in opposing strongly regulated markets, funding, and expanding safety nets especially health care. They don't want to redistribute wealth and income despite a grossly unequal economy that undermines working people either. If there were a strong liberalism within the party leftist concerns and demands could be translated into needed reforms. In many ways that's what the New Deal did. It's far reaching policy reforms eased the effects of the depression. The New Deal also tamed capitalism and created a welfare state that made life more livable for all. All of this preempts left wing excess. However centrists tend to be skeptical of liberal efforts. Like conservatives they're totally against the left.

What are the results of this politics ? You get a regressive and reactionary Republican Party that doesn't benefit anybody including millions of working class people who vote for them. These people fall for the scare tactics about socialism or prioritize social issues. Yet nothing is done about their material wellbeing. At the same time Democratic Centrism is only a little better. Too often the center is Republican lite. The left isn't relevant despite their pro working class rhetoric, and liberals are not really in the game. We don't even own up to our name or tradition. Most of us wrongly claim to be progressive. Many others liberals are centrists.
 

Roofgardener

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"Exaggerating The Power of Left Wing Democrats"

Ummm.. as opposed to Right-Wing Democrats ?
I mean... are there ANY democrats who are not - almost by definition - left wing ?
 

RobF

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"Exaggerating The Power of Left Wing Democrats"

Ummm.. as opposed to Right-Wing Democrats ?
I mean... are there ANY democrats who are not - almost by definition - left wing ?
Again, if you don't want responses suggesting you're not posting here in good faith, then maybe reading the post you're replying to - which clearly explains the premise of the subject, as well as explicitly referring to Democratic Centrism - instead of attacking your own misinterpretation of the subject is perhaps the way to go.

Additionally, being from the UK, you should be well aware that we have the same phenomenon here with a clear divide in Labour between what could be considered 'Left Wing Labour' represented by Corbyn, McDonnell, etc., and what could be considered 'Centrist Labour'.
 

Dragon

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Again, if you don't want responses suggesting you're not posting here in good faith, then maybe reading the post you're replying to - which clearly explains the premise of the subject, as well as explicitly referring to Democratic Centrism - instead of attacking your own misinterpretation of the subject is perhaps the way to go.

Additionally, being from the UK, you should be well aware that we have the same phenomenon here with a clear divide in Labour between what could be considered 'Left Wing Labour' represented by Corbyn, McDonnell, etc., and what could be considered 'Centrist Labour'.


Surprised like Rob about your answer. As a European you should know that what americans call left wing is hardly ever left of center in European politics :)
 

Roofgardener

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Again, if you don't want responses suggesting you're not posting here in good faith, then maybe reading the post you're replying to - which clearly explains the premise of the subject, as well as explicitly referring to Democratic Centrism - instead of attacking your own misinterpretation of the subject is perhaps the way to go.

Additionally, being from the UK, you should be well aware that we have the same phenomenon here with a clear divide in Labour between what could be considered 'Left Wing Labour' represented by Corbyn, McDonnell, etc., and what could be considered 'Centrist Labour'.
True of course. And this becomes even clearer if you poll the electorate. I would imagine many people are so centrist that they couldn't easily state whether certain policies where Labour or Conservative.
 

Saint by the Bay

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True of course. And this becomes even clearer if you poll the electorate. I would imagine many people are so centrist that they couldn't easily state whether certain policies where Labour or Conservative.

From a US perspective, I think you would compare Elizabeth Warren and Joe Manchin. One is a left-wing Democrat and the other is a conservative Democrat, which is how he survives in deep-red West Virginia.

Republicans have some variability too, but I'd say the gap between the sides there is more of a sliver. This has to do with them being an almost entirely white hetero Christian male party. Democrats have more variety in terms of demographics, ethnicity and social status so they have a lot more variety of positions. So you end up with extreme left Democrats and far more Conservative Democrats.
 

Roofgardener

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From a US perspective, I think you would compare Elizabeth Warren and Joe Manchin. One is a left-wing Democrat and the other is a conservative Democrat, which is how he survives in deep-red West Virginia.

Republicans have some variability too, but I'd say the gap between the sides there is more of a sliver. This has to do with them being an almost entirely white hetero Christian male party. Democrats have more variety in terms of demographics, ethnicity and social status so they have a lot more variety of positions. So you end up with extreme left Democrats and far more Conservative Democrats.

I dunno. That is to suggest that politics is a function (or at least, a dependency) of race ? I think it must be more complex than that ?
 

MT15

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More complex than race? Oh, my. Race is a very complex issue, it touches nearly every aspect of society.
 

Saint by the Bay

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I dunno. That is to suggest that politics is a function (or at least, a dependency) of race ? I think it must be more complex than that ?

It's a function of your environment, and people of the same race tend to grow up in the same environment. If it wasn't so much political strategy wouldn't revolve around demographics. Race isn't the only factor, but it's the biggest factor.

92% of blacks vote Democrat.
70%ish of whites vote Republican
30%ish of other ethnic groups vote Republican.

How billions of dollars are spent on elections is largely driven by that. How districts are gerrymandered is based on that. Honestly, almost our entire political structure in terms of electoral strategy is based on that.

Once again, it's not some genetic aspect of race. From a nature vs nurture perspective, it's entirely nurture.
 

Saintamaniac

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More complex than race? Oh, my. Race is a very complex issue, it touches nearly every aspect of society.
I don't know a good deal about the UK but does Race play as big a part in politics in the UK as it does in the US?
 

Saint by the Bay

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Agreed. That's why I started my first post to him with "From a US perspective...". I understand that US politics may be a little foreign to him (pun intended).
 

J-DONK

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True of course. And this becomes even clearer if you poll the electorate. I would imagine many people are so centrist that they couldn't easily state whether certain policies where Labour or Conservative.

Progressives are a good analogy to Labour, not the progressive caucus, but the squad + Bernie. It's about 8-10 members of congress. Democrats are moving to the left very slowly. On the other hand, Republicans are sprinting towards authoritarianism.
 

GMRfellowtraveller

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This tweet thread does not dovetail into this topic, but I think it provides an additional pillar to a broader conversation
Nate Silver, et al should probably be held to account (I’m not 100% bagging on 538, but it’s limitations have been obvious the last 6 months if not 4 years)

 

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