Biden Must Finally Decide Between Moderates and Democratic Socialists

MIAMI, FLORIDA - JUNE 27: Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders (L) (I-VT) and former Vice President Joe Biden pass each other on stage during the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate on June 27, 2019 in Miami, Florida. A field of 20 Democratic presidential candidates was split into two groups of 10 for the first debate of the 2020 election, taking place over two nights at Knight Concert Hall of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, hosted by NBC News, MSNBC, and Telemundo.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Come January, if we transition to a Biden administration, the Democratic Party will be left with a stark choice regarding the future of their platform. During the election, rather than supporting specific policies, Democrats largely unified against President Trump. However, while this decision may have been successful, will Democrats be able to unite over any issues other than their hatred of Trump in a post-Trump world? Having run against Trump’s so-called divisiveness, there are many growing divides among their own party members they will have to address before running against the GOP again in 2024, begging the question: what will the Democratic party choose to become?

On one side, the party can stick with their traditionally liberal platform, which would likely attract center-left and moderate voters, while potentially driving away far-left voters who yearn for more government involvement and even broader social welfare programs. In this scenario, the Democrats risk fracturing their base if the radical left reject moderation and form a third party.

The other choice lies with the growing subsection of the Democratic party, headed by self-described democratic socialists such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders. This faction in the Democratic party, though small, has been gaining momentum, especially among young people with whom the message of socialism resonates. Looking towards the long-term future of the party, the Democrats may decide to pivot towards socialism in order to cater to these younger generations.

The issue with this strategy is that the policies of the radical far-left, which includes the Green New Deal, defunding the police, and free healthcare, would become central to the Democratic party platform. Combined with the threat of Ocasio-Cortez and others to maintain a “list” of Trump supporters to presumably ostracize in the future, moderate Democrat voters would be presented with a difficult choice: vote for the Republicans, a third party, or abstain from the electoral process completely. For many in this large voting bloc, none of these options are ideal.

During the 2020 election, actions such as the rejection of Sanders’ Medicare for All platform were indicative of the moderate perception the Democratic Party hoped to achieve. Again, this was only made possible by the wider desire to unite against President Trump. Without Trump, such fundamental policy disagreements could tear the party in two. 

The Biden administration wouldn’t be able to hide behind shallow rallying cries of “orange man bad” or “vote him out.” Unless President Trump runs again in 2024, they will be forced to try and mobilize supporters around a single set of issues. Unfortunately for Biden, this can only be achieved by isolating a large group of voters, whether it be on the moderate wing or the radical wing. Without a common enemy in Trump, the Democratic party will be forced to finally address the growing policy divides which have been festering for years. With Biden claiming to be a moderate, and the radical far-left Kamala Harris waiting in the background, will it be the moderates or democratic socialists who truly lead the Democratic party?

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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