by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
“Wake up, Democrats!” cries the cover of the most recent issue of The Economist.
They won’t, at least not before the midterm elections.
The editors of The Economist, sensing an impending midterm blowout and the ensuing empowerment of a Trump-friendly GOP, beg the Democratic Party’s leaders to distance themselves from their fringe elements:
“Fringe and sometimes dotty ideas have crept into Democratic rhetoric, peaking in the feverish summer of 2020 with a movement to “defund the police”, abolish immigration enforcement, shun capitalism, relabel women as birthing people and inject “anti-racism” into the classroom. If the Democrats are defined by their most extreme and least popular ideas, they will be handing a winning agenda of culture-war grievance to an opposition party that has yet to purge itself of the poison that makes Mr Trump unfit for office.”
“The Democrats have begun to put this right, but they lack urgency.” …
… Hey, I’d love to see an American political culture characterized by sane centrist Democrats arguing with a sane conservative Republican Party, moving the country in a gradual, steady, center-right direction. But that’s not going to happen anytime soon.
First, out of all the possible times for the leaders of the party and its centrist members to embrace a fight with their hard-left grassroots, four months before Election Day is perhaps the worst time. Right now, Democrats desperately need progressives — the Bernie Bros, the Squad fans, and your crazy Aunt Edna with the Ruth Bader Ginsburg prayer candles — to turn out in November; they’re disappointed enough with Joe Biden already. …
… Second, rebuking the fringe Left is going to be difficult, and few people embrace difficult change until they hit bottom. Nobody likes admitting that they got something wrong, and nobody in politics wants to admit that their approach didn’t work — until after they’ve paid a high price at the ballot box.