The Democratic Party and its leftward drift

The Democratic Party and its leftward drift
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Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFarrow: Clinton staff raised concerns over Weinstein reporting Perry says Trump directed him to discuss Ukraine with Giuliani: report The Memo: Once the front-runner, Biden now vulnerable MORE can’t stop living in the past. On her latest stop in her “it’s not me, it’s you” multi-nation pity party blaming American voters for being too racist, misogynistic and gullible to alleged Russian mind tricks, it feels like she's stopped just short of blaming reptilian aliens for her loss in 2016. 

But, this past week, the former First Lady and failed presidential candidate took a new line of excuse. While in New York City at the horribly inaccurately named Shared Value Leadership Summit, Clinton made a stunning admission: Calling herself a “capitalist” during the Iowa caucuses hurt her election chances because “41 percent of Democrats are socialists or self-described socialists” in that state. Unfortunately for both Hillary Clinton and the country, she’s closer to the truth about the core of the Democrats’ party than many want to admit.

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While many on the left decry the Tea Party, saying the Republican Party has shifted too far to the right, they’ve failed to acknowledge just how far their party has shifted to the left. Take Candidate Obama versus President Obama as Exhibit A: Candidate Obama’s stance on gay marriage in 2008 would have made him virtually unelectable by 2018 in a Democrat primary. In fact, Candidate Obama in 2008 would almost certainly have lost to Candidate Obama 2012 just because of his 2008 stance on gay marriage. And a Democrat presidential candidate running on that stance in the 2020 presidential primaries? Forget about it. 

 

Just a little more than a decade prior to Obama’s election, Hillary Clinton’s husband signed the Defense of Marriage Act after it passed through Congress with the support of liberals like Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump touts Turkey cease-fire: 'Sometimes you have to let them fight' Mattis responds to Trump criticism: 'I guess I'm the Meryl Streep of generals' Democrats vow to push for repeal of other Trump rules after loss on power plant rollback MORE and Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidTrump thanks Reid for warning Democrats not to underestimate him Reid warns Democrats not to underestimate Trump Harry Reid predicts Trump, unlike Clinton, won't become more popular because of impeachment MORE. Imagine that happening today. Quite frankly, the only way it would happen today is if party financier George Soros ordered them to do it.  

In little more than the blink of the eye, the left has gone far past gay marriage and straight into a wholesale redefinition of the sexes, happily celebrating men who “courageously” use bathrooms of the opposite sex. This kind of radicalism hasn’t just been limited to social issues like marriage, abortion and gun rights, but has also spread its tentacles into fiscal policy. Clinton expanded on the socialist problem within her own party:

 “It’s hard to know, but I mean if you’re in the Iowa caucuses and 41 percent of Democrats are socialists or self-described socialists, and I’m asked ‘Are you a capitalist?’ and I say, ‘Yes, but with appropriate regulation and appropriate accountability.’ You know, that probably gets lost in the ‘Oh my gosh, she’s a capitalist!’ ” 

For years I and many on the right have been arguing that, increasingly, the core of the Democrats’ party isn’t the JFK-moderate types that just would like a larger, better optimized welfare state; the argument has gone beyond the typical left vs right dynamic. Increasingly, the core of the party is openly in favor of outright socialism. A 2017 poll found 37 percent of millennials said they would prefer to live in a socialist or communist country instead of a capitalist one. Beyond the fact that our schools have failed to teach the disastrous consequences socialism has wrought on the nations and people around the world, it’s now becoming more acceptable inside the Democrat Party to accept socialism.

More and more, this worldview is becoming the center of the Democrat party. In 2017 Pew released a poll showing just how far leftward the Democrats have gone. But it's really not that surprising.

The energy on the left doesn’t come from moderate issues like welfare increases or strengthening unions, but from the radical big government schemes of megadonors like Tom Steyer, Michael Bloomberg and George Soros. They aren’t interested in changes around the edges but, instead, in fundamental changes to what it means to live in America. The grassroots energy inside the Democrat Party is from the left with Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren raised more money from Big Tech employees than other 2020 Democrats: Report Krystal Ball reacts to Ocasio-Cortez endorsing Sanders: 'Class power over girl power' Saagar Enjeti praises Yang for bringing threat of automation to forefront at Ohio debate MORE and others. So, thanks to the leftist donors and grassroots, the Democrat Party “host” is literally being eaten from within by the “parasites” of the far left.  

While the party has borne the same name for roughly two centuries, its DNA has changed. The far-left dynamic has created an unholy doctrine to which Democrats must swear fealty, if they have any hope of being successful or being in leadership of the party: open borders, amnesty for all, abortion on demand, government-run energy sectors, a massive welfare state, single-payer health insurance, gender fluidity and gun confiscation, among other issues. 

While it’s deeply troubling to see one of our major parties rapidly drifting to the far left, at least we’re finally getting some honesty about what the left wants as they drop all pretense. Their goal is socialism, as they drop the mask of pretending to be center-left.

Hopefully in 2018, but certainly by 2020, Americans will have clarity in the choices they face regarding their future: do they want socialism, with its disastrous consequences on display in Venezuela, or do they want to return to more of the American tradition of limited government? Because the next few election cycles will determine what course we set as a nation, and there is a sincere hope that socialism in all its forms will be rejected by the American voter.

Ned Ryun is a former presidential writer for President George W. Bush and the founder and CEO of American Majority, which trains conservative political candidates and activists.