Recently, former President Obama issued a warning about Democratic candidates not swinging too far to the left. The idea is that Dems don’t want a candidate that independents and moderate Republicans won’t vote for. It ignores shifting sentiments within the Democratic party, as well as shifting values between the parties.
Primary elections are all about appealing to one’s base. That’s their whole point in this country. You don’t get the nomination if you don’t win at the polls. Nobody’s going to care about the niche candidate who’s liked by focus groups but couldn’t get someone to actually vote.
And, if I’m being honest, Obama’s comments are tone deaf. They’re out of touch with reality. It’s the kind of elitism that excused “Too Big To Fail” and “I can’t close Gitmo yet.” More people are getting tired of nothing happening. So they’re going to shift towards the extremes.
The worst thing is that the more left-leaning candidates are the only ones talking about real solutions to real problems. They’re addressing student loan debt, income inequality, climate change, and other things. Some of their solutions aren’t great, but they’re the only people who at least look like they’re trying. Pretending to care counts for something. Trump did it better in 2016, and he won.
Bottom line is that there are some serious challenges facing our nation these days. It’s not extreme to talk about them. Shifting left isn’t a bad thing in and of itself.