(UnitedVoice.com) – There are two primaries next Tuesday, Aug. 11, that could change the Democratic Party for the foreseeable future, and perhaps forever. Some of Congress’ most extreme and controversial figures are up for reelection.
In 2018, four Congresswomen, known as the “Squad,” were elected to the US House of Representatives. They are part of the extreme far-left wing of the party, and they are highly divisive. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) have challenging paths to re-election as they face daunting primary challenges on Tuesday from the center of their party.
Just how controversial are these two individuals? In short, extremely. However, the devil is in the details, and those details could be there undoing.
Nonetheless, whether Omar and Tlaib win or not, the Democratic Party is still going to wrestle with the split occurring within its ranks. That split is going to affect the future of the party, and perhaps even the future of the Republican Party.
Omar’s Controversial Term
Over the last two years, few in Congress have been as controversial as Ilhan Omar. As a refugee from Somalia, Omar has significantly benefited from the generosity of the United States. She escaped a civil war as a child to eventually immigrate to America and become a US citizen. In 2018, she was elected to Congress as the first Somali-American Muslim.
Her story is what inspires people from around the world. However, instead of championing the United States because of her incredible story, she has, at times, undermined it severely.
She has been censured by the Democratic-led House for anti-Semitism, called the terrorists of 9/11 “some people who did something,” paid her husband’s company more than $600,000 from her campaign finances, and declared war on America. In addition, rumors have swirled for years that she married her brother in order to get him into the country. While unproven, the FBI is investigating the allegations.
Her challenger in the Democratic primary on Tuesday is Antone Melton-Meaux. Melton-Meaux is an African American who is backed by the Jewish community and others who feel Omar is too divisive to lead the district. He claimed that Omar is “Trump’s best dream,” not the nightmare she claims to be. Melton-Meaux has raised double the money Omar has, and Friday evening’s debate showed that Omar is, at best, a mediocre politician.
Will her constituents agree on Tuesday?
Tlaib in Serious Trouble
Rashida Tlaib’s personality and statements are not as controversial as Omar’s, but her far-left views and votes are just as problematic for conservatives. She sits in the seat of former Rep. John Conyers (D-MI). Tlaib pulled off the win in 2018 in a six-way contest to replace him. This time, it’s much more difficult as she runs against only one opponent, longtime Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones (D-MI).
Jones is deeply entrenched in the Michigan political apparatus and is considered a more moderate, professional candidate. Jones shares the endorsement of the Detroit City Council and several highly prominent Black ministers. While Tlaib has a significant fundraising advantage, Jones’ campaign says their money has been raised within the district. That’s a far cry from Tlaib’s money, which overwhelmingly is from around the country.
The Democratic Party Is Changing
Moderates in the Democratic Party have been alarmed at how far left the party has moved, and at how quickly it’s happened, since 2016. However, moderates in the Democratic Party are not necessarily moderates politically. They are progressive liberals who do not subscribe to the socialist tendencies of the extreme left wing of the party. If moderates can’t take back the party, they risk becoming alienated without a place to call home.
The moderate-left Democratic National Party (DNC) was able, for a second time, to hold back socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) from winning the nomination. However, they are having a difficult time in congressional districts in the upper Mid-West and Northeast.
Additionally, presidential candidate Joe Biden is moving farther left to court the extremists in the party. Without them, he fears he can’t defeat Trump. However, he could be alienating moderates in the process. The former vice president is tiptoeing around as danger looms for Biden and hopes Democrats can defeat Trump.
Finally, the primary potential benefactor of the challenges in the Democratic Party is the GOP. If the Dems become permanently divided, it opens the door for Republicans to become the lone national party. Democrats would maintain power in regions of the country but lose widespread influence in the halls of Congress and the Electoral College.
The question is, what happens after the 2020 election? Will one side or the other become so discontent they abandon the Democratic Party altogether?
Next week’s primary election could go a long way in determining the future of both parties, and Donald Trump’s re-election chances.
Stay Tuned! November is only three months away, and things are starting to heat up.
By Don Purdum, Freelance Contributor
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