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The Democratic Tea Party - March 2018

posted Mar 26, 2018, 4:03 AM by RSO The Fenwick Review   [ updated Mar 26, 2018, 4:05 AM ]

            By William Christ '18             

        Since the election of Donald Trump as the forty-fifth President of the United States, liberals and Democratic activists have denounced everything the President has said or done. Their zealotry  has resulted in a record number of declared Democratic candidates for the upcoming midterm elections in 2018. However, these candidates, and the vocal #resistance movement, have successfully shifted the Democratic Party even further to the left. As a result, the Democratic Party has dramatically reduced its chances of success in the 2018 elections.

        Within the past month the Democratic Party of California demonstrated how hostile its base is towards politicians who even consider working alongside the President. Politicians like California’s senior senator, Dianne Feinstein, are condemned for being insufficiently liberal, and have adapted their policy preferences accordingly. Last month, California’s Democratic Party refused to endorse its senator of twenty-six years at its convention, where her challenger Kevin de León amassed seventeen percent more delegates. Although Senator Feinstein began her career without the expressed approval of her party’s convention delegates, this year’s convention demonstrated that her record—which couldn’t be called anything close to conservative—isn’t sufficiently progressive for her party. The surge leftward by the Democratic Party ensures a hostile primary and general election for their senior senator and the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee. More likely than not, Senator Feinstein will overwhelmingly win re-election, but the resources given to her to ensure her political survival will be allocated from financially strapped candidates who need the party’s support. Additionally, the overwhelming number of declared Democratic candidates for House seats held by Republicans could lead to them losing House seats that they should win.

        The overwhelming vigor and ardent activism of California Democrats could potentially lead to them becoming the minority party in the House again due to the California primary system, which states that the top two candidates, regardless of party, advance to the general election. The nightmare scenario for the Democratic Party is that their multiple candidates will split the vote of their base, while only the Republican candidates advance to the general election. This isn’t a baseless fear; according to Politico, there are at least sixty-seven Democratic candidates running in the fourteen Republican-held districts in California. The strongest path Democrats have toward retaking the House is by winning several House races in California.  If that fails to occur, their chances fall dramatically.

        Democratic optimism isn’t isolated to California; there’s even talk of a “Blue Wave” in Texas. For weeks leading up to the state’s primaries, media and Democratic activists insisted that their voters would outnumber the Republicans, thanks to their candidates’ newfound liberalism. National Democrats believed that the way to win Texas, and the House, was through a more liberal agenda. However, in the days preceding the vote even Democrats acknowledged that their strategy was not working as the Democratic Party targeted its own House candidate, Laura Moser.

        Despite all the propaganda, it turned out that “blue wave” predictions were a wash. Without much effort, Republican Ted Cruz won twice as many votes as his now general election opponent Beto O’Rourke. While Democratic turnout was at a historic high, it failed to overcome the Republican dominance of the state, demonstrating that the liberal strategy of the new Democratic Party needs rethinking if Democrats are to succeed in winning races in Texas this fall.  Although they consider their progressive agenda to be the solution to their electoral woes, the Democratic Party’s radical agenda will bring losses in 2018.

        While their animosity to President Trump and his conservative policies can motivate Democratic supporters, their radical liberal agenda will fail to convert moderate voters. Concerning the issue of abortion, the Democratic Party has become intolerant of any positions other than pro-choice. Previously, pro-life Democrats have faced primary opponents and have subsequently lost. The Democratic Party is  currently funding a pro-choice progressive primary challenger to a pro-life Democrat from Illinois, Representative Dan Lipinski. By primarying a moderate Democrat, the Democratic Party officials admit that their party has no place for moderates and asserts that they are willing to risk a House seat for a candidate that supports their uncompromising stances.

        Democratic candidates have  also adopted a more radical view on immigration. The party now believes that arbitrary and haphazardly drawn borders are not incongruent with American democracy. Furthermore, while the overwhelming polling  data indicates popular support for action on immigration, public opinion should not be the basis for any policy. The foundation of America’s republican system decries arbitrary and shifting passions in favor of the written law. While Americans recognize the charitable and compassionate aspects of the Democratic immigration plan, they also believe that security from intruders and respect for immigration laws are far more important. The belief that immigration policy should be made out of compassion and not by existing laws or our regard for our national security will not be electorally beneficial to Democrats in 2018.

        The ever present lurch of liberalism by the Democratic Party has already alienated voters with moderate views on abortion and immigration. By shifting left and adopting even more radical policies, more voters will be unable to support the new Democratic Party. Like the Tea Party movement, the progressive march leftward will put the Democratic Party at risk of losing seats and with them a very winnable midterm election.