Under pressure from millions of Bernie Sanders supporters, the Democratic Party is moving to finalize a platform draft that brings the party much further to the left than their presumptive nominee would suggest. Hillary Clinton is desperate to sell herself as a moderate in the general election – a reasonable alternative to the “dangerous” Donald Trump, even for wary Republican voters. But her rhetoric doesn’t match the direction of her party. That direction has been guided by the man she beat.
Polls show that the majority of Sanders supporters will vote for Hillary in the fall. And despite his endorsement on Tuesday, those polls also show that around 20% of his followers will not. Hillary and the DNC could promise to break up the banks, and those followers would still turn their backs on the woman they see as a Wall Street shill. By buckling to his socialist demands, the party has gained nothing.
But they haven’t lost anything either. Not unless Republicans let the American people know how far to the left the Vermont senator has pushed one of the country’s two major political parties. Contrary to what you might think, the majority of registered Democrats are not raging liberals. Many of them are already growing uncomfortable with the party’s slide towards socialism. If they get a good look at the DNC’s new platform, they may decide that the party has finally moved just a little too far from where it was when they joined.
But to work, this strategy can’t be over and done with in a week. It must become a consistent message, repeated over the following weeks and months. A message that says: Don’t believe everything Hillary Clinton tells you. She’s no moderate. She’s no centrist. She may not be a committed Communist like the guy we have now, but she’s going to push for the same tired, extremist positions. Positions that are now being codified into the official Democratic Party playbook.
The average Democrat probably wants to “do something” about climate change, but they don’t want to put the energy sector out of business and ruin the American economy.
The average Democrat probably wants to “do something” about the minimum wage, but not if it will cause low-paid workers to become unemployed.
The average Democrat probably wants to “do something” about insane college tuition rates, but they don’t necessarily think the answer is to make everything free.
Democrat voters are woefully misguided, but they aren’t children. With the exception of the millennial voters, they are grown-ups who understand the basic principle of work and return. They don’t see that the left’s agenda will end America as we know it; they think we’re just a nudge and a tweak away from getting the country “just right.” And they think that Democrats will stop pushing once we reach that equilibrium.
They’re wrong, of course, and for most people reading this, that goes without saying. But if we want to start winning the war on liberalism, we need to say it. We need to keep saying it. And we need to make sure that our audience includes Democrats.