The Future of the Democratic Party
February 15, 2021
Given the recent inaugurations of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Democrats across the country are feeling ecstatic. This is the first time in over six years that they’ve controlled the executive and legislative branches. On Biden’s first day, he stopped construction of the border wall, undid Trump’s “Muslim Ban”, and rejoined the Paris Accords. Not only that, he also plans on submitting an immigration reform bill to Congress that reportedly surprised activists by how progressive it was (for Biden’s administration, anyway). These recent victories, along with the fractures in the GOP between the old guard and the Trump loyalists, must have Democrats riding on an unbelievable high. However, if they don’t assess their flaws, they’re going to implode in 2022 and 2024.
In order to gauge the party’s future, we need to go back to the first week of November. For all intents and purposes, Democrats lost that election. They lost the state legislatures, they lost seats in the House, and they didn’t get a Senate majority. Americans voted for Biden and then chose Republican legislators to go to Congress (a great way to get rid of Washington’s partisan gridlock). Centrist Democrats refused to admit that they should’ve been more aggressive in their ad campaigns and progressives refused to admit that running further left candidates in places like West Virginia wouldn’t help their image at the moment. One of the main reasons that the Dems aren’t in shambles right now is Stacey Abrams and her Herculean voter organization efforts in Georgia. The party’s nationwide strategy failed and they relied on Abrams to work a miracle. That strategy won’t work in the future.
The Democratic Party can’t pack any federal courts, they have no hope of eliminating the filibuster, and their Senate “majority” is only classified as such because Joe Manchin, a pro-life, pro-fossil fuel, anti-$2k stimulus senator, identifies as a Democrat. The party’s opponent in the Senate is still Mitch McConnell, a man who said, “You seem to be under the mistaken impression that I care” to Joe Biden attempting to persuade him of the merits of a certain bill he wanted passed. He’s fantastic at being obstructionist, and with a 50 seat “minority”, he’s going to pummel Chuck Schumer into the ground. The only thing going for Democrats is the insurrection (strangely enough) and the fact that the GOP has to figure out how to act in the post-Trump era, especially after many of its young members called it “the Party of Trump” and after more than a hundred members attempted to overturn a legitimate election.
Unless Democrats get over the useless idea that the 2020 GOP is the same as the 1990 GOP, they’re going to get beat on every field they can imagine. They underestimated the ruthlessness of the GOP in the Obama administration and were unable to appoint federal judges, failed to pass any gun control measures, and they even came close to getting the ACA repealed. At this point, the two parties aren’t even playing the same game anymore. Watching the Democratic Party attempt to play politics is like watching 14-year-olds playing in the NBA. Unless they can fight off the conservative propaganda machines that talk about “death panels” and deem government action to be socialist, create a grassroots voter organization effort, and overcome the cynicism and suspicion that’s taken hold of most of this nation, they’re going to lose every single election going forward. Unless they get a grip and start playing the same game as the GOP, the future of the Democratic Party could be disastrous.
The views expressed within this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of Cistercian or The Cistercian Informer.