The election showed progressives win, do not let the establishment gaslight you

Updated: Jul 6

The Democratic party is an embarrassment that lost seats in an election in which their presidential nominee won the popular vote by nearly five million votes. A deconstruction of why this happened will be the topic of debate in every MSNBC segment and congressional backroom for the next two years. It is an argument the left cannot afford to lose.

Since the 2018 midterms, progressives have been picking up steam and growing their political capital. Congresswomen Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Talib and Ayana Pressley took the national spotlight as millions of Americans looked to them as a gateway to a better future.

In 2020, the squad has expanded. Jamaal Bowman, Cori Bush, and many others are now joining their ranks to resist a Neoliberal 2012 era Biden administration. This is an incredible victory and a sign of changing times. However, the democratic party backed up by its corporate hacks are prepared to stomp the left out from under them.

On a Democratic Party phone call Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) said that the left is why the Democrats lost seats in the house. She chalks it up to two things: “Defund the police” and “socialism.”

Her and other moderate Democrats are rewriting history before our eyes and it cannot be allowed for this to become the overarching theme of the 2020 election. Spanberger’s theory is that the “defund the police'' message adopted by Black Lives Matter (BLM) was a major reason moderates and republicans did not break for Democratic candidates.

The Democratic party needs to understand something: Republicans will never vote for you. They do not care how moderate you think you are; Republicans will vote Republican.

This is evident by the fact more Republicans voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 than they did for Joe Biden in 2020. The most moderate Democratic candidate for president up for nomination during the primary process pulled less Republicans than Hillary Clinton.

Women like Spanberger should be grateful for “defund the police” and BLM because this movement was the catalyst for a massive increase in voter registration. A study conducted by Target Smart concluded that Democrats saw an incredible increase in voter registration as a direct result of the protests. Some of the largest surges took place in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota all states responsible for Trump’s defeat.

As shown by the chart below, BLM voter registration drives increased registration rates in Virginia, so maybe Spanberger herself has BLM to thank for her nail-biting victory. But no, in true Democratic Party fashion she will spit on the faces of color that brought her to power.

Her second point was that all the talk of “socialism” was scaring people away, and progressive congresswomen like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) need to tone down their language.

While there is a case to be made that flying the hammer and sickle might not be a good look while running for office in The Unites States, the notion that progressive politics were too extreme and scared people off is ludicrous. Medicare for All, the go to progressive policy currently in The United States, was highly successful this election.

If we look at which Democratic candidates won their elections in 2020, we notice an interesting pattern. Every single Democrat who supported Medicare for All won, and only candidates who did not support Medicare for All lost. Even in swing districts like Pennsylvania’s 8th, which had been represented by republicans for fourteen out of the last twenty years, Matt Cartwright won reelection. He was an open advocate for Medicare for All and even went on Fox to make the case for it.

Progressives are winning and will continue to win until we take over the Democratic Party. Whether women like Spanberger like it or not, her time is running out, and a new coalition of young people, people of color, and the working class will change this county. Their historical revisionism will not work. We will not let it work.

Anthony Buono (CAS ’21) is from Long Island, New York. He majors in mathematics and statistics with a minor in history.

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