The Democratic Party has had a multitude of struggles in recent years,and it doesn’t seem that unity has been a key component to the party in the recent year.
In fact, the only unifying factor of this party seems to be a unanimous sense of disenfranchisement amongst voters. A recent poll by Rasmussen shows that nearly 60% of Democrats feel their party needs ‘new leadership.’ This new outlook on their representatives is becoming increasingly popular and not just by happenstance.
After facing severe losses in Congress and the Senate, it’s no surprise Democratic constituents are viewing insurgency as a viable solution. However, the moderate belief that democracy works through voters complaint with the actions of their representatives, alongside the more radical progressivist yet, equal untruth that democracy is functional without compromise could very well be the fall of representation for all liberals in the U.S.
“I believe the current Democratic gures and the new progressives are going to tear the party apart,” said long time Democrat voter Phyllis Crowell. “They’re too concerned about themselves.”
While many long-term Democrats disagree with their more left-leaning peers distancing themselves from the more moderate DNC platform, it is imperative voters understand where this divisiveness stems from.
Many political analysts contend that recent dysfunction within Democrats became apparent after the 2015 senate election, where the GOP’s landslide victory proved that Americans were becoming dissatis ed with Democrats and liberalism as a whole.
“I had a lot of family members who were die-hard Democrats, but ended up voting for Republicans in 2015,” said member of the Republican party, Edwing Martinez. “People didn’t like the shape of our country around that time. Obama did nothing to stop ISIS from becoming a huge terrorist group, and Republicans were the only people capable enough to wipe them out.”It is important to note that Martinez refused to respond when asked what Republicans did to fight ISIS since that election cycle.
While many loyal Democrats take offense to voters who switch off, it is the political leaders of the Democratic party who must work to ensure they keep their voters happy. However, in 2016, Bernie Sanders’ campaign for presidency thrived off of the basis that the role of bureaucrats is not to serve ones party, rather their constituents: a belief that is incredibly far from the current status quo.
“When I vote for someone, I do it because I believe that they are going to best represent what I believe in. The reason I didn’t support Hillary Clinton in the primaries is because it was obvious she became a politician for personal bene t,” said Democratic voter, Enrique Tovanche. “The only people who would get anything real off of her victory would be long time Democrats who had enough money to make an impact on her campaign. I wanted someone who is going to do something because they feel it’s the right thing to do, not because they’re getting paid to do it.”
Of course, there are many somewhat reasonable critics to this perspective, It’s nothing short of justi able to criticize Sanders, a man who hardly af liated with the Democratic Party before his term, and was even elected in as an independent while serving as the junior senator of Vermont.
“Democrats have a very specific platform, so you know what you’re voting for when you vote for any Democrat,” said Democratic voter Charmaine Radcliffe. “If you’re a liberal, the voting record of almost any Democratic candidate will re ect what you believe in.”
However, the fact that a large chunk of Democrats believed that a man who purposefully distanced himself from
Democrats during the entirety of his political career better represented their ideals as opposed to Clinton, a woman who serves as the epitome of a Democrat politician, says something about the average US citizen’s outlook on government and their role in it.
“The Democratic Party once stood for resistance and opposition to the immorality that came hand-in-hand with the GOP. It feels like Democrat leaders slowly became what they claimed to ght against,” said Cynthia Shaw, a registered Democrat for 42 years. “The worst part is that the only alternative is to vote for a Republican. I have no choice but to vote for someone whose policy I don’t agree with.”
This statement explains the deep and inherent aws that come with the ‘Two Party System’, especially when implemented in a nation where over 40% of registered voters aren’t af liated to a single party.
While the abolishment of both the Democratic and Republican parties is a ridiculous pursuit, this turmoil can be solved. The DNC needs to come to terms with the fact that they need a change of face. Americans have had their fair share of Nancy Pelosi, a number of Clintons, and even Chuck Schumer.
In Congress and the Senate, these long time members need to accept that their party is changing and if they wish to stay in power, they need to change as well.
There are a large number of contributing factors that have made these people unappealing, and possibly the largest of these is their disconnection from the American people.
While having someone voted into of ce even though their constituents deem them unappealing seems almost impossible in a democratic nation. Senators and Congressmen no longer need the approval of their constituents in order to keep their seats through the power of political action committees or PACs.
In 2016, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi raised over $1 million from PACs, out of over $4 million accounting for roughly over a quarter of her total donations, explains how she has a 30% approval rating and manages to stay politically a oat.
PACs are not people and the legalization of this type of funding in 2010 was a direct blow to grassroots democracy.
Corporations now have the power to shell out thousands of dollars to what are now shells of representatives. As selling out becomes the new norm, it has become increasingly dif cult to be heard by representatives without the money necessary.
Progressives are aware of this and was a major component of the Sanders campaign. While his candidacy came to a close long ago, it is imperative that this understanding of democracy catches fire within the Democratic Party to allow citizens to have their voices heard in government: the true role of a politician.
The new wave of progressives must come to grips with Loyalist Democrats feeling compelled to back their party. Both factions must work harder and nd common ground, or this nation will continue to fall into the hands of Republicans. It is only through the civil discourse and a mutual understanding that moderates and progressives both want what is best for this country. The only way for Democrats to accomplish any real goal is by working together, not against one another.
Democrats must envision a party that works for the many, not for the few; for a government that can ght to represent the liberal agenda is truly “a future to believe in.”