Do Democrats only eat their own?
Two scenes played out this week in the public sphere that perfectly define and illustrate the crisis currently facing the Democratic Party.
The crisis is a generational battle, an economic battle, an environmental battle; a battle for the soul of the Democratic Party, a battle for the future of mankind, some say. It spans a nation, includes classic divides like city versus country, native versus immigrant, and newly divisive issues like LGBTQIA+ rights and a 100% tax on billionaires.
The older and wiser heads in the Democratic Party, perhaps mindful of the kind of gradual progress social issues can expect in a Democracy such as ours, caution patience, tolerance, and peace between Democrats.
As issues move from the public’s Overton Window to government purview and legislation, lawmakers with decades of experience like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, or former Vice President Joe Biden, understand far better than most activists how truly long and arduous is the process of crafting responsible social policy.
Former President Barack Obama has been particularly outspoken recently regarding Democrat on Democrat attacks within the party. Chiding the woke-scolds and the purity test progressives, Obama has been leveraging his bonafides as a liberal luminary to bring the Twitter-sphere to heel.
Whether not it will do any good remains to be seen. The former President has already received much pushback for his comments.
There is no question that he has a point. That doesn’t make the most outspoken voices in the party wrong.
Because there is perhaps another explanation for the crisis than simply some white liberal Democrats on Twitter have gone too far left for moderates and other members of the party; the old guard may be completely wrong. The militant progressives in the Democratic Party might have the right idea.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, as radical a candidate as the U.S. has ever seen, may be absolutely right: This is no time for small ideas.
Perhaps those people closest to the status quo, be they Republican or Democrat, are the most likely to be blind to its flaws, and beholden to its virtues.
Even the venerable Sen. Elizabeth Warren is a millionaire; so is her angry precursor Sen. Bernie Sanders. By virtue of their election to government; by virtue of the system they participate in and their privileged place in it; their fortunes couldn’t help but be improved. Neither of these qualified candidates faults the system that has proven so lucrative for them so much as they desire to expand the system so that it can benefit the many, not just the few.
But Warren is absolutely right; there are Democrats, and a growing number of them, who are simply not satisfied with the party leadership, the current crop of Democrats running for President, or anyone else with a “D” behind their name at this point.
Elected Democrats, it is beginning to be noted more and more frequently, haven’t been doing enough to advance the causes they claim to care about. The proof of this is the level of income inequality that persists, even in the face of the robust economy; intergenerational and community poverty; the archaic racial injustices that persist in spite of past and present efforts.
Tired of being told to go to the back of the line, some Democrats are anxious to have their voices heard at last. Pushing to the front of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s recent campaign stump and attempted appeal to black voters in Atlanta, shouting her down and demanding to be heard. Eventually, Warren was rescued by Rep. Alyanna Pressley, who scolded the crowd back to polite silence.
But they won’t be the last.
There is another group that isn’t willing to sit down and be quiet either. It’s not that they are tired of waiting on turns that never seem to come and seats at the table that are hard fought, won against unfair odds, and limited.
Young Democrats, anxiously courted by the Democratic establishment and tenderly grown on college campuses across the country, never learned to wait their turn, be polite while the adults speak.
They learned to rock the vote.
And rock it they will. They are tired of the dissimilations, excuses, and societal injustices that persist in spite of the best efforts of elected Democrats. These young Democrats also have been raised on a diet of the coming climate catastrophe and dire warnings about human driven climate change.
This week, climate protestors were arrested and removed from Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s congressional office. Clearly, these young activists don’t feel that the current leadership of the Democratic Party is taking their concerns seriously enough.
Perhaps the mandarins of the party need to practice what they preach and give more voice to those in the Democratic Party that still don’t feel politically empowered in the Democratic Party.
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)