by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Scott Greer of the Daily Caller explains in a recent column why he believes insurgent socialist Bernie Sanders could end up being the biggest loser as the Democratic Party continues its move toward the left.
The [New York] Times recently reported that several state Democratic groups have barred Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson from their dinner tables as a sign the party is changing “from a union-powered party organized primarily around economic solidarity to one shaped by racial and sexual identity.”
That new focus has put economic liberalism on the back burner, making the symbolism of Jefferson and Jackson irrelevant to the modern-day party.
Both figures embodied a concern for the common man and a commitment to democratic principles, which are out-of-style for today’s party. Jefferson and Jackson don’t align with the values of the current party’s mantra of “inclusiveness, diversity and equality.”
Surprisingly, the person who’s the most likely to suffer from this change is not these long-dead national heroes but the insurgent Democrat candidate Bernie Sanders.
As the Times so-briefly noted, Sanders has a major problem on his hands in the form of the Black Lives Matter movement. Last Saturday, it took only two “racial justice” activists to shut down one of the Vermont senator’s rallies and make him look out of touch with the predominant social force on the left today.
Even though he is drawing thousands of attendees to his campaign events and racking up impressive poll numbers, Sanders can’t seem to pair his economic message with the prevailing spirit of cultural liberalism.
Sure, the senator does mention his strong support for criminal justice reform and gay marriage. He criticizes racial prejudice. But these are afterthoughts to an agenda that focuses squarely on economic reform, not social justice. On top of that, his stances on immigration and gun rights put him to the right of the present Democratic dogma.
It’s little wonder then that he’s having trouble appealing to African-Americans and other groups of the Democrat coalition. The crowds he draws are white to the point of pasty. There’s nothing that indicates any sort of multicultural Feel-the-Bern coalition is on the horizon.
While Hillary Clinton is no social justice warrior either, she’s in a better position to win over the various demographics due to her treasure trove of campaign funds and promises to rectify every special-interest wrong.