Democrats, sensing weakness on the other side of the aisle after the spectacular failure of repeal-and-replace, may have overplayed their hand this week. Eager to demonstrate to progressive voters that they aren’t part of the “old guard,” young Democratic presidential hopefuls like Cory Booker and Kamala Harris threw their support behind Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All Act – a bill that would set the U.S. on the road to socialized medicine. And by doing so, they not only opened the door for Republicans to finally fix the steaming pile of dung known as Obamacare, but they may also have cost themselves the 2018 and 2020 elections.
The truth is that poll after poll has shown that there is very little appetite for universal healthcare in America today. Even among Democratic Party voters, there is still enough presence of mind to realize that the last thing this country needs are the long lines and poor healthcare found in many of our European sister countries.
Even liberals, for the most part, grew up in a culture that instills values of independence, hard work, and personal success. They don’t always remember the lessons they’ve learned, but they learned them all the same. The idea that we would start flushing all of that away in exchange for (much) higher taxes and a government-run healthcare insurance scheme…it’s too much for most Americans to abide.
While progressive voters are not as likely to see government as “the problem” in the same way conservatives do, they are alert enough to see that endless miles of bureaucracy do not an efficient system make. After all, they’ve grown up with the same tired, lazy institutions all of us have. Is there any sector in which public and private companies compete…and the public companies prove superior? Sure, there are individual private schools that are worse than individual public schools, but we’ll take the best private school in America every day of the week over the best public institution. And most people don’t want to see our healthcare system sold to the lowest bidder.
Democrats are in serious trouble, and it’s largely because of personalities. Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama are enormously popular among liberals, and in neither case does it have much to do with their policies. They are popular, in large part, in spite of their policies. They are popular because people LIKE them. The party has confused the issues, mistakenly believing that it’s the other way around. Marry these ultra-liberal policies to a humdrum candidate like Harris, and the walls will come tumbling down in a hurry.
It could set Republicans up for a couple of successful elections…even if they haven’t done much to deserve success.