(UnitedVoice.com) – Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Harlem’s Riverside Church on Monday, New York Democratic Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) claimed that the Democratic Party leans to the right of the political center.
“We don’t have a left party in the United States. The Democratic Party is not a left party. The Democratic Party is a center or center-conservative party. We can’t even get a floor vote on Medicare-for-all — not even a floor vote that gets voted down. We can’t even get a vote on it. So this is not a left party. There are left members inside the Democratic Party that are working to try to make that shift happen.”
AOC at Odds With Fellow Democrats
AOC has made similar claims over the last year saying that the Democratic Party is not welcoming to far-left Socialist Democrats and that the party is “too big of a tent” as it attempts to be all things to all people.
Earlier this month, when asked about Joe Biden AOC said, “Oh God. In any other country, Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party, but in America, we are.”
She also said that the Democratic Party needs to be better at ensuring the enforcement of ultra left-wing orthodoxy. Anyone not far left enough should be removed from the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “They let anybody who the cat dragged in call themselves a progressive. There’s no standard.”
Is AOC Hurting the Democratic Party?
In the 2018 midterms, 40 moderate Democrats won seats that Republicans won in 2016, putting Democrats in the majority.
If the following are staples of the Democratic platform in 2020:
- The Green New Deal
- Free college
- Student loan debt elimination
- Open border policies
- The continuation of President Trump’s impeachment
…then, would these policies hurt moderates who chose to run against Republicans in tight swing districts?
What AOC is advocating for is turning away moderates that make up the middle of American voters where elections are won and lost. AOC’s district may lean far-left, but that’s not the majority of Congressional districts around the country.
According to Gallup, 41% of voters identify as Independents with 28% identifying with both Republicans and Democrats. Most independents identify with one of the two parties. However, in every close election, it’s centrist independents that swing between the two parties that many times decide who wins and who loses.
Is the Democratic Party Really Conservative?
In January 2019, Vox interviewed incoming Democratic, freshman members of Congress and learned that the majority of them were moderates who didn’t align with AOC. They were focused on improving (not overhauling) healthcare, addressing infrastructure issues, and had serious reservations about far-left policies.
Currently, there are 18 Democratic toss-up Congressional districts compared to just 5 Republican with 73 total swing seats.
Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) said, “Voters trusted us, went outside their normal voting patterns, so we have a tremendous obligation.”
While the Democratic Party is not a completely far-left party as AOC wishes it would be, it’s also not a conservative party.
That begs a question… how far left can the Democratic Party continue to move before they begin to lose House seats or even their majority status?
By Don Purdum, Freelance Contributor
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