Read this op-ed by David Brooks in today’s New York Times (click on screenshot) and see if you disagree with it. His fear, which is also is mine, is that the Dems, by moving ever further left in an effort to out-woke each other, will improve the prospects of Trump:
An excerpt (Brooks is a centrist):
According to a recent Gallup poll, 35 percent of Americans call themselves conservative, 35 percent call themselves moderate and 26 percent call themselves liberal. The candidates at the debates this week fall mostly within the 26 percent. The party seems to think it can win without any of the 35 percent of us in the moderate camp, the ones who actually delivered the 2018 midterm win. . .
The party is moving toward all sorts of positions that drive away moderates and make it more likely the nominee will be unelectable. And it’s doing it without too much dissent.
First, there is health care. When Warren and Kamala Harris raised their hands and said that they would eliminate employer-based health insurance, they made the most important gesture of the campaign so far. Over 70 percent of Americans with insurance through their employers are satisfied with their health plan. Warren, Harris and Sanders would take that away.
According to a Hill-HarrisX survey, only 13 percent of Americans say they would prefer a health insurance system with no private plans. Warren and Sanders pin themselves, and perhaps the Democratic Party, to a 13 percent policy idea. Trump is smiling.
Second, there is the economy. All of the Democrats seem to have decided to run a Trump-style American carnage campaign. The economy is completely broken. It only benefits a tiny sliver. Yet in a CNN poll, 71 percent of Americans say that the economy is very or somewhat good. We’re in the longest recovery in American history and the benefits are finally beginning to flow to those who need them most. Overall wages are rising by 3.5 percent, and wages for those in the lowest pay quartile are rising by well over 4 percent, the highest of all groups.
Democrats have caught the catastrophizing virus that inflicts the Trumpian right. They take a good point — that capitalism needs to be reformed to reduce inequality — and they radicalize it so one gets the impression they want to undermine capitalism altogether.
Third, Democrats are wandering into dangerous territory on immigration. They properly trumpet the glories immigrants bring to this country. But the candidates can’t let anybody get to the left of them on this issue. So now you’ve got a lot of candidates who sound operationally open borders. Progressive parties all over the world are getting decimated because they have fallen into this pattern.
Fourth, Democrats are trying to start a populist v. populist campaign against Trump, which is a fight they cannot win. Democratic populists talk as if the only elite in America is big business, big pharma — the top 1 percent. This allows them to sound populist without actually going after their donor bases — the highly educated affluent people along the coasts.
. . .The debates illustrate the dilemma for moderate Democrats. If they take on progressives they get squashed by the passionate intensity of the left. If they don’t, the party moves so far left that it can’t win in the fall.
Right now we’ve got two parties trying to make moderates homeless.
There’s more; read the whole piece. And then weigh in.
I, of course, will vote for any Democrat over Trump; I haven’t seen one who wouldn’t get my vote in such a contest. But I also want Trump gone for good in the next election.