by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
[H]ere we are, in February 2020, and a self-identified democratic socialist appears poised to be the candidate of the Democratic Party. That could easily change, and the party establishment will work hard to ensure it does, but let us not take for granted how stunning it is that a man as radically leftist as Sanders is the likely nominee as primary season heats up.
As Sanders and his supporters boast, he is not a normal Democrat candidate. He is the most radical member of the Senate. His platform would make him the furthest left major party nominee in the modern era.
Sanders is a European-style ideologue who seeks to radically transform the government and the economy, dismantling the system of free enterprise, and he’s not bashful about that. To be sure, his success has pushed other candidates left on issues such as health care and higher education, but Sanders still stands as the most radical candidate, which makes him the most appealing to many of his supporters.
As Sanders surges in the nominating contest, the sheer extremism of his platform should not be normalized simply because he’s earning a decent slice of the Democratic primary vote.