Rebooting the Democrats
Why the younger, more radical members of the Democratic Party are going to be vital for the future
With Joe Biden on the cusp of booking a moving day to the White House next year, America is once again set to have a President who is a Democrat. For the last four years, Donald Trump has divided the nation in one of the most controversial terms in recent history. He moved America back towards the right after eight years of Barack Obama. The Democrats have the chance to improve on the Trump years, but before they do so they need to get their own house in order.
Divisions within the Party have been an issue for some time. In Michael Moore’s 2018 documentary ‘Fahrenheit 11/9’, which covers the 2016 election onward, this is brought to light. In the 2016 West Virginia Primary, every country nominated Bernie Sanders for the Democratic candidacy. However, it was Hilary Clinton who was nominated by the state. It was an issue within the delegation system which led to this, and it was which discouraged many Democrats to vote in West Virginia. Donald Trump would go on to win the state.
At the Democratic National Conference in 2018, an overhaul of the system which led to this issue in 2016 was discussed and brought into place. If the changed system was applied to West Virginia, then Bernie Sanders would have been given the states nomination. The system infuriated many within the Democratic Party, so its overhaul is a step in the right direction.
‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ also allures to divisions between the young and old in the party. There was a suggestion that the older members of the party resisted being too radical in order to maintain the status quo. This is perhaps because the younger people who are making their mark in American politics want to move aside all those who have had the opportunity to make a difference, on both sides of the House of Representatives.
The younger face of the Democratic Party started to make a noise in 2016, in 2020 they are starting to bring the house down. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been a US Representative for New York’s 14th District since 2019. The 31 year old has thrived as one of the fresh personalities within the party.
In the wake of news that Joe Biden was the President-elect, she sat down for an hour long interview with the New York Times. She talked about the need to bring the Democrats together and how, after unexpectedly losing some seats in the election, the party must deal with its internal issues.
When asked how open she felt the Biden administration would be to the left, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez talked of how important the early days after the election will be.
She said: “I don’t know how open they’ll be. And it’s not a personal thing. It’s just, the history of the party tends to be that we get really excited about the grass roots to get elected. And then those communities are promptly abandoned right after an election.
“I think the transition period is going to indicate whether the administration is taking a more open and collaborative approach, or whether they’re taking a kind of icing-out approach.”
It’s been some time since a political party in America has been able to have consecutive Presidents in the White House. In fact, the last five Presidents have alternated between Democrat and Republican, going back to George H. W Bush in 1988.
The promising individuals which are coming through the ranks of the Democratic Party are making their mark. If they continue to grow into their roles, or be allowed to, then the future of the party looks bright.
They can see what needs to change within the party; they just need to be able to get on with it.