Nov 20, 2020 | OPINION | By Emma Logan | Illustration by Jubilee Rivera-Hernandez
Although Joe Biden’s White House victory has been accepted by most of the country— apart from those who have lost any grip on reality — many Democrats are debating whether the entire party should be celebrating.
While Democrats continue to hold the majority in the House, as of Nov. 15, they lost eight seats and remained unable to take power in the Senate. During a caucus call on Nov. 5, moderate Democrats argued that the disappointing results of many House and Senate races were due to the emphasis of radical leftist messaging in recent months.
Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C) stated that “if we are going to run on Medicare for All, defund the police, and socialized medicine … we’re not going to win.” This same sentiment was echoed by Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) who argued that the use of the term “socialism” was at fault, and that if the party continued to tolerate this messaging “we will get fucking torn apart” in 2022. They make a solid point.
Critics of these moderates claim that bold progressive policy is what motivated a historic record of young, Black, and Latinx voters to actually show up at the polls. Yet, while this may have been the case in the Presidential election, this enthusiasm hasn’t transferred to district-level races. One of the main reasons for this is that leftist rhetoric — such as “defund the police” and “profit is theft”— directly dissuades moderate and swing voters from voting Democrat in rural areas.
Biden worked hard to separate himself from these sentiments and, despite his attempts to centralize his candidacy, 70 million people still voted for Donald Trump. This speaks toward a terrifying number of assumed Libertarians and moderate Republicans who still saw Biden as a radical weapon of the Left. House and Senate candidates struggled with this same characterization.
A shift away from “liberalism” and towards “radical-leftism” may be enticing to young progressives in urban blue hubs, but it is proven to isolate moderate voters who are not surrounded by that ideology. Trumpism in America has pushed the Democratic Party back decades, and we must acknowledge this fact and act accordingly.
The tyranny of the Trump administration has made winning elections, as opposed to meaningful policy, the primary concern of Democrats. Although it feels defeatist to accept, the future of the Democratic Party must reject radicalism.
I think it is a fair assumption that the average Colorado College student most likely identifies as a left-leaning voter. And at risk of generalizing my peers further, I bet a large group of us are guilty of advocating for less centrist candidates. However, it is essential to acknowledge that compromise is needed in parts of the country that don’t run as deeply blue as some of our hometowns.
Despite Hickenlooper’s win against Gardner, in our adopted home state, and Biden’s win of our electoral votes, Colorado is still at risk of rejecting compromise. As one of the most liberal college campuses in Colorado, we must be careful not to perpetuate a radical, leftist narrative. We can’t afford to get fucking torn apart in 2022.