There is no denying that in recent years the Democrats and the Republicans have strayed from their original foundations and have become increasingly polarized. As a centrist conservative, this worries me greatly. We have seen a wave of the left moving further and further left, with the right becoming more reactionary as a result. Both parties have alienated much of their support base, with Republicans bending their ideals to win and Democrats yielding to a more socialist viewpoint. Since the beginning of the Obama administration, the Democrats have begun a shift further and further from the center of the political line. With bills such as the “Affordable Healthcare Act”, and the proposed “Green Deal”, the left has begun to cling to socialist values. This culminated with Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont running on for the Democratic candidate against now President Trump. Sanders, a well known socialist, gained a great deal of traction before ultimately conceding to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. But even with the loss, Sanders still won . He began an alarming transition to more socialist values that many Democrats did not fight. Some even joined the stance, such as Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joining the Democratic Socialists of America.
Now, this is not to say that the Democratic party is inherently bad or evil for moving too far to the left. There are ebbs and flows to politics, and in this climate, it is hardly unreasonable to understand why the party has gone so far away from the aisle. However, this does not make the change towards socialism safe. There are socialist values that I can respect, as the wish for everyone to have some form of affordable healthcare is an ideal that is respectable in some aspect. But to move completely to socialist values is dangerous and does not work. There is no country whose economy is based off of socialism that is flourishing. Countries such as Vietnam, North Korea, and Venezuela are all suffering because of socialism. There has been a recent trend of younger generations of liberals following these ideals disturbs me greatly. Much of what we take for granted is all due to capitalism. The innovation and the ability to choose what one does, is capitalisic in nature.
The other issue that has caused the Democrats to falter is the lack of leadership in the party. Currently, it is hard to tell who the leader of the party is. You have Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Chuck Schumer, and other party members that have gained influence in the party. But unlike the Republicans, who by and large are led by President Trump, the Democrats to not have one de facto leader. This has caused schisms in the party where members will vote against bills, even to the detriment of the party. An example of this was a recent bill, which funded emergency border procedures. The four members in question, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan are a group of freshman representatives known colloquially as “the squad,” went against party wishes and voted no on the bill. Without a uniform leader, the party has gained little traction in the senate and just recently lost a seat in North Carolina.
Polarization in the Democrats continues to be a substantial issue in the party. With the virulent spread of socialism beginning to creep into the party and lack of leadership, the party is losing power. And unfortunately, without becoming as reactionary as the Republican party, they have little opportunity to fight in this growing chasm between both sides.