This is a column by opinion writer Adam Van Brimmer.
Since Election Day 2020, we’ve heard right-wing dog whistlers howl about how Democrats are going to ruin the country, about how they’re going to remake America in a socialist image, about how Joe Biden is. a puppet of the progressives, on the dangers posed by the “radical liberals”.
A year and a week later, Democrats are trying to prove that such propaganda is the truth.
The November 2 election results showed that the 2020 results were not a call for radical progressive change in America. Swing voters rejected then-President Donald Trump and his toads on Capitol Hill. The country turned blue last year because voters believed Democrats offered a pragmatic approach to politics and values ââas opposed to the callousness and recklessness that defined Trump and his administration.
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Between election day and nomination day, however, Democrats convinced themselves of an alternate reality. Instead of addressing the kitchen table issues that impact the daily lives of all Americans – the economy and tax policy, public health and COVID-19, education – they have fallen into a trap classic politics: confusing an electoral victory with an ideological mandate.
You would think Democrats would recognize this given the Trump saga. In a short time – about five years – he divided the Republican Party and distorted the very nature of conservatism. Trump has given Democrats an unprecedented opportunity to expand their ranks by claiming the political middle ground ceded by the GOP in the name of populism.
But power is intoxicating, and just as Trump has dragged Republicans to the far-right fringe, progressive forces have beefed Democrats on the left. The moderates have retreated, and the result is a majority party distracted from embracing politics and actions that will make a difference with those not obsessed with cable TV news networks and identity politics.
As the New York Times Editorial Board wrote last weekend, âa National Democratic Party that talks about progressive politics at the expense of bipartisan ideas, and which dwells on Donald Trump at the expense of pro-political ideas. future, risks becoming a marginal Democratic Party appealing only to the left. “
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Time is fleeting. Candidates are campaigning for the mid-terms of 2022, and the longer Democrats play with their lesser partisan instincts, the harder it becomes to get 2020 voters to trust and support them again. Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin has shown that a Republican who keeps Trump at bay can win swing voters while retaining the base.
It is no coincidence that Democrats brought forward the bipartisan infrastructure bill in the days following the 2021 election. Democrats’ medium-term hopes hinge on their ability to capitalize on that momentum.