Is There Method To "the left's" Madness ?
Back in 2016 Democrats were faced with a fork in the road. Bernie Sanders, a self avowed democratic socialist was running for the party nomination on a platform of medicare for all, free college for all, a $15 per hour national minimum wage, and other "leftist" policies. The other road was the more traveled one following Hillary Clinton. At the time, many Democrats thought the more prudent thing to do was nominate Clinton because we knew that Trump was a human and governmental disaster in the making, and Clinton was better poised to beat Trump than a "socialist" would be. As it turned out Clinton lost, and Trump has been a disaster. Realistically, Sanders end result wouldn't have been any worse, and may have been better. We will never know.
I do remember at the time the progressive celebrity activist, actress Susan Sarandon , speaking for some on the left when she said that she would rather see Trump win than Clinton because if Trump was president it would speed up the "revolution" from the left but if Clinton won it would be the same old thing in Washington.
Now we are two years into Trump and the next election is on the distant horizon. The Democrats are said to be "split" as to whether it will be easier to beat trump with a "centrist" or with a progressive (what the right wing calls "socialist").
The theory behind choosing a "progressive" as the Democratic candidate is an interesting one, in that it could present centrist Democrats and independents with a dilemma - should they vote for a "left" of center candidate like a Warren or a sanders, were they the nominee, or vote for the abhorrent but ineffectual Trump? Presumably this would be a tough choice for an unknown number of "moderates".
So, what is the left's response to this dilemma? It is that nominating a centrist like Biden or Bloomberg or Kloubuchar or Booker, or maybe even Harris, will not excite young people who will then stay home , again , in the 2020 presidential election.
The gamble of the left argument is that if the Democratic nominee is a "progressive" with policy proposals to the left of the mainstream, young people will come out and vote in numbers never before seen for that progressive candidate. Numbers that will more than make up for any loss of moderates , centrists or independents.
It is an interesting theory, but one that has never been tested in a national election. We know that young people support progressive policies, but will they vote for them at a level that will make up the difference from moderates who either stay home or in extreme cases even vote for Trump?
That is the roll of the dice facing the Democrats this year and next year. I think it is possible that a progressive could win the presidential election, but maybe we would be more sure of getting rid of the plague of Trump with a more centrist Democratic candidate.
Most people want to get rid of Trump, I think.