“America will never be a socialist country” has become an applause line President Donald Trump uses with increased frequency. Under other circumstances, in another time, one might chalk this up to the Donald’s habit of hyperbole. Sales talk, after all, can require some creative license, and a little bit of down-talking the competition. Undoubtedly, Trump excels in both areas from decades of practice.
But when it comes to the Democratic field going into the 2020 election, these warnings are justified. While Bernie Sanders is – thus far – the only candidate to openly identify as a Democratic Socialist, the Democratic Party’s platform could be described as “Sandernista.” On every major issue, from the environment to immigration, there has been a dramatic shift to the left, and it’s taken the Democratic 2020 presidential field along with it.
Of the plethora of Democratic hopefuls, most of the big names have already signed on for massive expansions of federal government power and spending. Candidates like Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Corey Booker are all on board with “Medicare for all.” The top-tier contenders are also supportive, at least rhetorically, of the so-called “Green New Deal.” Throw in free college, enormous increases in federal regulation, and perhaps some slavery reparations, and America will be on the fast track to Democratic Socialism if a Democrat takes the White House.
Sure, there’s still the off chance that former Vice President Joe Biden, despite a recent spate of bad press from his habit of nuzzling and smooching unreceptive women in public places, will get the nomination. He would be a return to mainstream Democratic politics, where there’s plenty of room for big business and the donor class to get their way. Technically, he remains at the top of the polls even though he hasn’t thrown his hat in the ring.
But Bernie Sanders is part of a growing movement of far-left Democrats who aren’t going to accept the old DNC regime. In the background of the presidential election’s early days, a hostile takeover of the Democratic Party is occurring. According to social media metrics, the most powerful member of Congress is currently a 29-year-old former bartender, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, more commonly referred to as AOC. She epitomizes the perfect Marxist combination of sanctimony and ignorance. With a single tweet, AOC can drive the national news cycle. She demonizes capitalism and embodies the “woke” style of lefty grievance politics.
Anyone on the Democratic side of the aisle who wants to have a realistic shot at winning the nomination will have to co-opt such progressive zealots. And once that happens, it won’t be possible to walk that ideology back to the center against Trump. This is how a polarized political environment turns into a socialized Democratic platform.
What would it mean for the average American if one of these radicalized Democrats were to win? If there’s one thing we know government can do, it’s overpromise, under-deliver, and overspend. A 2020 Democratic victory could put the nail in the coffin of private health insurers, drive up electricity prices, and collapse our immigration system into a de facto open-border status. None of this would be good news for any of the millions of Americans struggling to pay their mortgages, or credit cards, or build any kind of financial security.
The good thing about 2020 predictions is that nobody really knows anything at this point. Speculation is fun and free. Given the wild ride America had in 2016, even the most far-left candidates on the Democratic side cannot be entirely dismissed today. We simply don’t know who will come out on top. All we can do is identify the macro political trends of the party.
With that in mind, we do know that whoever wins the nomination – if they are able to defeat Trump – will take the country in a dramatic turn to the left. Whether that means America will be a true Democratic Socialist state in five years or 15, we will just have to wait and see.
Buck Sexton is host of the nationally syndicated talk radio program, The Buck Sexton Show, heard on over 100 stations across the country. He’s also a former CIA and NYC police department intelligence officer.