July 20, 2019

Time for 2020 Progressives to Seize the Moment

“On Wednesday and Thursday, 20 Democratic candidates for president will file onto the stage of a Miami theater for the first formal debates of the primary season. There are so many contenders that the DNC and hosts NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo must platoon them in, 10 per a night. Each debate lasts two hours and has two moderators, three panelists, commercials and theme music, leaving each candidate, on average, nine minutes of airtime. It’s not the ideal format for a party desperate for a real debate.

The debate the party needs has been brewing since Bernie Sanders’ 2016 crusade. On one side is everyone who’s ever held a party leadership post, nearly the entire donor class, and most pundits of major media outlets sympathetic to Democrats. On the other side are progressive voices, louder and stronger than the party has heard in some 50 years; some old, many young.

The elites say the party’s veering too far left to draw the swing voters it needs: educated white suburbanites Trump drove away from the Republican Party; white blue-collar voters Trump lured away from the Democrats. They think global finance capitalism needs a paint job, not a gut rehab, and that a return to bipartisanship in Congress and foreign affairs can cure most of what ails us.”

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