It’s no secret, the animating forces behind the Democratic Party are true, radical leftists. These aren’t your classic JFK Democrats interested in a large government safety net or stronger unions.
No, these folks are socialists, unafraid to affiliate themselves with ideologies and beliefs that just about any Democrat elected since Ronald Reagan would have balked at.
And nowhere have we seen these ideals better distilled than in the campaign of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Democratic candidate Ocasio-Cortez unseated U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) in what was perhaps the biggest congressional upset since David BratDavid Alan BratTed Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists Corey Stewart to lead pro-Trump super PAC The animating forces behind the Democratic Party are true, radical leftists MORE (R-Va.) took down then-House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorBottom line Virginia GOP candidates for governor gear up for convention Cantor: 'Level of craziness' in Washington has increased 'on both sides' MORE (R-Va.) in 2014.
Crowley has been a mainstay in the Democratic Party, gaining prominence in his 20 years in Congress. Crowley was seen by many as a major contender to take over as the Speaker of the House if Democrats are ever able to flip Congress.
Now Crowley’s congressional career is over, beaten by a 28-year-old socialist. Ocasio-Cortez is an avowed Democratic Socialist whose local New York City chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America tweeted out just a few days ago what they believe: Abolish profits, abolish prisons, abolish cash bail, abolish borders, abolish ICE.
Unfortunately, the Democratic Party has decided to abandon positions they held just a few years ago in favor of some of the most radically leftist positions their party has ever held.
Ocasio-Cortez has joined the growing chorus of liberals calling to abolish ICE, the agency tasked with enforcing our immigration laws. Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandHochul tells Facebook to 'clean up the act' on abortion misinformation after Texas law Democratic senators request probe into Amazon's treatment of pregnant employees The FBI comes up empty-handed in its search for a Jan. 6 plot MORE (D-N.Y.) joined radical leftists like Ocasio-Cortez and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, describing ICE as a “deportation force."
Well, of course it is, that is exactly what Congress designed ICE to do: Enforce the laws on the books that say, if you illegally enter the country, you will be sent back to your country of origin. Just a few years ago then-state Sen. Gillibrand firmly opposed illegal immigration.
Her campaign website claimed “Gillibrand has been a firm opponent of any proposal that would give amnesty to illegal aliens ... she strongly supports legislation that would significantly increase the number of border patrol agents,” a stark contrast to her new “abolish ICE” platform.
These folks have decided that enforcing our laws at the border is actually bigotry and, instead, we should abolish the agency specifically designed to enforce immigration laws and move to some kind of free-for-all open-borders policy.
Leftists would have you believe that anything less is tantamount to Nazi death camps. A reporter at the New Yorker went so far as to accuse an ICE employee of being a Nazi because of a partially obscured tattoo; it turned out that the ICE employee’s tattoo was a depiction of his Marine Corps platoon symbol.
Of course, this too-good-to-fact-check tweet was blasted to the world, defaming the Marine veteran, a double amputee who lost his legs in an IED blast in Afghanistan. The radicalism of the left, abandoning positions they held just a few years ago, has led them to blindly strike out at anyone who disagrees with them which, unfortunately for their party, is most of the American public.
Instead of rallying around the latest leftist group-think, Democrats should take a look at the polls. A new survey from Harvard-Harris and former Clinton pollster Mark Penn found that 64 percent of Americans believe those who cross our borders illegally should be sent home.
Even more resounding, 70 percent of Americans believe we should have stricter enforcement of our immigration laws. What should be even more troubling for Democrats is that 69 percent of independents agree.
One refreshing aspect in the current immigration debate is that many Democrats are dropping the masquerade and letting the American people know exactly where they stand: For all intents and purposes, they want open borders and amnesty for all, and in the process they are siding with illegal immigrants over the American taxpayer.
But Democrats are on the wrong side of the American people right now and they’ll be in a world of hurt if they make this open-borders agenda a mainstay of their 2018 and 2020 political campaigns.
The problem for them is that, even if rational Democrats like Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHarris, CBC put weight behind activist-led National Black Voter Day Seven takeaways from California's recall election Live coverage: California voters to decide Newsom's fate MORE (D-Minn.) want to pull back from the radical talk, it’s too late: The Democratic Party is under the sway of far-left donors and grassroots, and will be compelled to move even further left. What’s becoming more and more apparent is that only a soul-shattering loss in 2020 might potentially wake up the party and bring it back to its senses.
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.