The Old Guard is fighting to maintain control of a middle ground that is unsustainable while trying to hold down the upstarts.
By David Todd McCarty | Thursday, July 11, 2019
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is defending calling out four liberal freshmen and trying to belittle their efforts by saying they are “just four votes.” The Squad, as they have become known, are Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Ilhan Omar (MN), Rashida Tlaib (MI) and Ayanna Pressley (MA). They counter that the Speaker is trying to isolate and intimidate them in an effort to minimize their efforts to push for real change in the party. Speaker Pelosi says that they represent a threat to party unity.
The fact is, no matter what you call them, AOC and company have shown the ability to move public opinion in ways Pelosi no longer can. She’s a powerhouse to be sure, and she knows how to wrangle votes. But she’s presiding over a losing battle.
The fact that the old guard of the Democratic Party continues to advocate for a moderate position in the face of unprecedented and unconstitutional obstruction by the Republican Party is mind boggling. It would appear, that for many in the party, a return to the “old days,” is the best possible solution. Which is why you see so much establishment support for Joe Biden.
Forty years ago, Bernie Sanders was thought to have pretty radical ideas, but today, a vast majority of Democrats share his ideas. Time pushes forward. But the problems we face today, let alone tomorrow, are unprecedented, and will not be solved by traditional means. They call for radical solutions, and career politicians aren’t known for their radical solutions. Bernie’s ideas are no longer even considered radical and represent what should have been done decades ago, but most likely don’t represent a vision for the future.
If Democrats have any chance of winning, let alone leading the country, they need to get out of neutral and stop trying to maintain the status quo. They’re pretending to be the adults in the room, but really they’re the geriatrics in the room, pining away for the good old days. Innovation almost always comes from youthful inexperience. You can’t know what you can’t do if you don’t know you can’t do it.
The Overton Window is a concept that basically states that if you have middle ground between two opposing groups, the only way to move the center is to aim for the edges. The Right has consistently pushed hard to the Right, while the Democrats looked to occupy the Center, which is why after decades of this, the Center is actually much farther to the Right than it was when Reagan was President. If Reagan ran today, he’d be considered a moderate Democrat.
The Republican Party is in danger of imploding on itself through sheer arrogance and ineptitude, but the Democratic Party is in danger of dying a slow death due to their inability to think big.
America has some big hurdles ahead, and it needs smart people with good ideas. Big ideas come from taking risks and opening your mind. We need radical thinking and we need our leaders to stop being afraid.