What the left’s surge means for the Democrats in 2020

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Rumors have been floating quite a few Democratic National Committee (DNC) names around for the 2020 presidential elections, generating a significant level of buzz.

The list of 2020 presidential hopefuls shows that there are two wings of the Democrats still battling for supremacy of the party. Kamala Harris and Corey Booker, lead the way for the continuation of Democratic politics by the center-right Clintonites, while Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren define the far-left faction of the Democratic party, which seeks to socialize healthcare, reform higher education and promote clean energy.

And then of course there are always going to be a few oddballs in the mix, whose lack of interest in running in the 2020 election does not seem to deter a media determined to speculate about celebrities like Joe Kennedy and Joe Biden.

2020 presidential hopefuls like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren show a significant rise in the power shifts of the DNC – from the old guard Clintonite Democrats of the center-right to the far-left democratic socialists whose Occupy Wall Street philosophies might just take the DNC by storm in 2020.

New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker has co-written a handful of economic bills with Republicans to incentivize growth in black communities, which follows the center-right Clintonism that has for long marked the mainstream Democratic party. Recently elected California Sen. Kamala Harris, another Clintonite, has clashed with the more left-wing elements of her party. As two center-right moderate Democrats, many are speculating a Booker-Harris joint ticket in 2020.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), considered to be to the left of the left wing of the Democratic party, has, on multiple occasions, said, “it’s time to leave Clintonism behind.” She has been leading the socialist insurgency from within the party for years. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-V.T), recently sat down for a CNN interview with Al Sharpton and summarized his democratic socialist political platform by stating, “Unemployment today is reasonably low. That’s good. But there are tens of millions of workers today who cannot afford to take care of their families on nine, 10, 11 bucks an hour. 30 million people have no health insurance. People who can’t afford prescription drugs. People all over this country are looking at their kids and see their kids will have a lower standard of living than they did. People are worried about the potential horrors of climate change and what it will mean to this planet.”

There are three types of policy platforms which distinguish a Clintonite from a Sandersist; foreign policy, economics and social issues. A Clintonite pursues a neo-conservative foreign policy agenda, while the Sanderists are incredibly non-interventionist. Economically, Clintonites are moderate and center-right, supporting tax cuts for economic growth but are open to the idea of socialized healthcare, while the Sandersists want to implement social programs across the board mirroring that of Western Europe. Finally, the Clintonites have not always been socially progressive, appealing to the more independent voters and conservative Democrats, but the Sandersists have always been socially progressive, even before it was cool.

But then there are those lion personalities. Those larger-than-life immortal superstars whose platforms don’t fall into either camp; unconventional mavericks who don’t align with the center-right or the far-left. Joe Kennedy is a 37-year-old representative of America’s most prominent political dynasty who has been making a name for himself in the House as a proponent of transgender rights and single-payer healthcare, plus he speaks fluent Spanish. If Joe Biden, the former Vice President, were to run in 2020, this would be Biden’s third time running in a presidential election, as he previously ran in 1988 and 2008.

But Kennedy and Biden are nothing but political superstars, whose talk of candidacy is more theater than anything else as these people don’t legitimately intend to run. But every election season we have men like these coming out of the woodwork left and right. Before Donald Trump actually ran for president in 2016, he was a candidate much in this vein. As a notorious real estate mogul he publicly toiled with the idea of running four times between 1988 and 2012, captivating media attention.

The Democratic Party chose the center-right candidate in the last presidential election, a moderate business-as-usual Democrat over the self-declared democratic socialist. The heart of the DNC shows that some of the younger representatives being elected like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lean heavy into the Bernie Sanders camp. In addition to the newer Democrats eclipsing the old guard Democrats in the Senate, another from the Sanders camp, Keith Ellison, the former head of the Democratic Farmer Labour Party, was just elected as deputy chair of the DNC last year.

The DNC currently finds itself locked in a power struggle between Sandersism and Clintonism. It will be a battle for the soul of the future of the Democratic party. Just as Trumpism, a blending of nationalism and populism, will forever change the policy platforms of the Republican Party. Sanderism, too, will change American politics forever if a far-left candidate rises from within pack of wolves that is the DNC primaries and claims the Democratic nomination in 2020.

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