In the wake of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez winning the Democratic primary in the 14th congressional district of New York, a lot of centrists have been losing their minds.
Joe Lieberman wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Ocasio-Cortez’s win might “hurt Congress, America and the Democratic Party.” (https://www.wsj.com/articles/vote-joe-crowley-for-working-families-1531868231) Two days ago, James Comey tweeted “Democrats, please, please don’t lose your minds and rush to the socialist left. This president and his Republican Party are counting on you to do exactly that. America’s great middle wants sensible, balanced, ethical leadership.” (https://twitter.com/Comey/status/1021132108381683712) And many others have followed.
As someone who claims to be center-left myself, I find this argument ridiculous. I have been a vocal supporter of establishment politics and the traditional role of the two party system, but as long as the prevailing logic is that this will lead to the Democratic party becoming unelectable, then even I have to take a step back. In case these critics have been asleep for the last few years, the Democratic party has been unelectable for awhile.
The last thing I want is for the two extreme bases to be dictating the terms for the larger middle, but you also can’t win against the other side by becoming them. All that does is give fuel to the belief that both parties are the same. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was elected because that’s who the voters of that district wanted, not because they were forced.
It’s time for the Democratic party to actually fight for what they say they believe in. At this point, it’s the only thing that’s left.
May 24, 2017