Dec 4, 2020 | OPINION | By Hank Bedingfield | Illustration by Xixi Qin
The article titled “Far-Left Views Need to Take a Back Seat” published last week in The Catalyst grossly mischaracterizes Colorado College students, the Democratic base, and the American electorate as a whole — in what may be the most blunderously misguided article this middling college paper has ever published.
The author of this article spins the most recent November election as the beginning of the end for the Democratic Party — despite Biden’s historic win, a Democratic majority in the House, and a still possible majority in the Senate — and seems to borrow most of her analysis from Tucker Carlson and the like. Phrases like “radical-leftism” and “socialized medicine” accent the article with alarmist and misleading rhetoric, the same fear-mongering tactics used by the right to muddle the true meaning of progressive policies.
As CC students have now been charged as “guilty of advocating for less centrist candidates,” and forgetting that “parts of the country don’t run as deeply blue as some of our hometowns,” according to the editorial, I feel it is now time to debunk some of this piece’s baseless generalizations and reject the advocacy for such middling centrism.
The article I am referencing can be summarized by the single assumption that “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.”
Without acknowledging the empty fluidity of dropping terms like “liberalism” and “radical-leftism” without any context or explanation, this claim is largely invalid. When you strip away manipulative rhetoric and inflammatory language, polls reveal that the radicalism we are supposedly guilty of advocating for is not that radical.
One poll reveals that 70% of Americans want Medicare for All, 64% of Americans want to legalize marijuana, 60% want tuition-free public colleges, and 58% want a $15 minimum wage. Americans are ready for some “radical-leftism.”
These policies, some of which are historically founded at the base of FDR’s New Deal, have surged in popularity in recent years. People are ready for real change, not moderate campaign promises. While political euphemisms — like “socialized medicine”— are crafted and perpetuated to muddle the truth out of common-sense politics, the numbers don’t lie.
Advocacy for compromise — a word included not once, but twice in last week’s Catalystarticle — is not advocacy at all, it is a surrender. Should we be praising Biden for his refusal to condemn fracking? Should the Democratic Party abandon calls to defund the police?
Calls to centralize the Democratic Party into some watered-down lesser of two evils are not only feeble fits of conviction-less passion but also grossly misinformed. The mere suggestion of such concession is evidence of minor brainwashing — the internalization of right-wing narratives where one actually believes that step one of a government takeover is free healthcare and college.
As the 2022 election cycle grinds closer to the present, the Democratic Party must not only listen to its so-called leftist members but to the American people. Radical policy, accented by universal healthcare, free college, and something so dastardly as a living wage, is no longer radical: it’s the majority — not to mention, the morally sound stance. To eschew progressive policy in search of an ill-defined group of moderates — who will supposedly crawl from their fearful covens of frantic indecision in support of centrists — would be a grave miscalculation.
Americans are demanding change and demanding it boldly. It’s time to take the “radicals” seriously and vote on convictions, not concessions.