The establishment’s last stand

The best way to describe the last four years from a social perspective would be “identity-focused.” More than ever, individuals rallied around their identities, both political and personal. Violence and hate directed towards different identities increased dramatically, and America elected a president that reminded the country that prejudice still runs deep in our veins. This heightened time of tension convinced many of the American people that the status quo allows for far too much injustice.

As we enter the new decade, the political center has all but disappeared. The populist campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump pushed sides further right and further left, leaving scant room for mainstream moderate platforms. Public opinion of such moderates has decreased; two out of three Americans believe that now is the time for radical change in America, whether it be further right or further left, according to a Quinnipiac poll. As destruction creeps closer for the establishment Democrats, their last chance lies in Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren. 

It might be worth explaining as to why Elizabeth Warren is defined as “establishment,” since her campaign so closely mirrors Bernie Sanders’. Although her policies lie further left than the average establishment Democrat, according to the New York Times she signaled to key Democratic insiders that she plans to work closely with them if she wins in 2020. She also stated, both publicly and privately, that she plans to “revive” the Democratic Party, not overthrow it. At its best, this is sucking up to the rich and powerful. At its worst, it is an attempt to shove the focus of the DNC back to Sanders, which may lead to a situation similar to the 2016 election where a Clinton-biased DNC attempted and succeeded to secure Clinton’s nomination, as per Politico. As nationwide favorability for Biden continues to decline, the Democrats may shift their resources towards gathering support for Warren.  

Biden, as a candidate, is intrinsically flawed. His political history, for one, is extremely contentious among the Democrat voter base, having worked with racist lawmakers to enact segregationist legislation in schools in 1975. Later on in 1988 he ran for president, but his campaign crashed and burned after accusations that Biden plagiarized his speeches.  Biden’s unprofessional nature, questionable legal and political background, and reliance on his role as vice president to score political points places him at the lowest tier of candidates, yet his polling numbers are still astronomically high for a man of his caliber. Why? Because he’s the “safe bet.” This, more than anything else, is the Democratic establishment’s superpower. For the average American, political and social upheaval is a net negative for their wellbeing. Soon, they may realize this might not be the case, and that supporting good people who truly care about them is more important than anything.

Take Bernie Sanders or Andrew Yang, for example. Above all else, ignoring all political games or policy proposals, they are upstanding characters. Sanders has been a champion for civil rights since the 1960’s, and frequently displays morality unbecoming of a politician. Yang runs his own company, Venture for America, that acts as a sort of Y Combinator for young entrepreneurs. He fought relentlessly to dismantle stigma surrounding autism ever since his son was diagnosed. These two men have dedicated the majority of their platforms toward supporting the working class in innovative and caring ways. They do not deal in the morally grey battlefield of Washington, D.C.

It is a nationwide contempt for scheming and dishonest politicians that helped elect Donald Trump in 2016. Those who have their fingers on the pulse of America acknowledge this, and their numbers increase by the day. Soon, the Democratic voter base will have no choice but to acknowledge that their identity as Democrats cannot, with a good conscience, be defined by underhanded political tactics and a corrupted bureaucracy. Instead, they have an obligation to support the Bernies and Yangs of the nation. This is an eventuality, and the best of the establishment’s efforts will only serve to delay the inevitable.