Should the Democratic Party move to the center or further to the left? | The Tylt

FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Should the Democratic Party move to the center or further to the left?
A festive crown for the winner
#LeanToTheLeft
#EmbraceTheCenter

Since the 2016 election, the Democratic Party has been in somewhat of a civil war, and the party's strategy going into 2018 remains unclear. Some insist the Democratic Party must move further to the left, supporting progressive policies that make it clear to the American people what the party stands for. But others worry the Democratic Party is moving too far left, alienating voters who live outside of liberal coastal cities, and the best path forward is through the center. What do you think? 🤔

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Should the Democratic Party move to the center or further to the left?
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It is no secret the Democratic Party is having an identity crisis. TIME magazine released a cover story in which Philip Elliott claims "Democrats are in their worst shape since 1929."

Mark Penn and Andrew Stein argue in the New York Time the Democratic Party must embrace the center if they want to start winning elections again. The former Clinton pollster and ex-councilman claim President Bill Clinton's move to the center is what won him reelection in 1996.

After years of leftward drift by the Democrats culminated in Republican control of the House under Speaker Newt Gingrich, President Bill Clinton moved the party back to the center in 1995 by supporting a balanced budget, welfare reform, a crime bill that called for providing 100,000 new police officers and a step-by-step approach to broadening health care. Mr. Clinton won a resounding re-election victory in 1996 and Democrats were back.

Penn and Stein believe Democrats' loss of working-class support is due in large part to an obsession with "identity politics" and the false belief that economic populism is what white working-class voters want.

Bigger government handouts won’t win working-class voters back. This is the fallacy of the left, believing that voters just need to be shown how much they are getting in government benefits. In reality, these voters see themselves as being penalized for maintaining the basic values of hard work, religion and family. It’s also not all about guns and abortion. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama both won working-class voters despite relatively progressive views on those issues. Today, identity politics and disdain for religion are creating a new social divide that the Democrats need to bridge by embracing free speech on college campuses and respect for Catholics and people of other faiths who feel marginalized within the party.
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David Frum, former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, writes in The Atlantic that the American people are longing for a political party that isn't overrun by its most extreme ideologues. Democrats are struggling with the question of whether to appease its base or attempt to win over independent voters and disaffected Republicans. The way to these voters, Frum believes, is not to move further left, but rather to embrace more centrist politics.

Should [Democrats] woo disaffected Republicans with business-friendly policies? Or energize their base by embracing single-payer healthcare? Should they take to heart their mass rejection by white working-class voters, formerly the bedrock of their party—by, for example, rethinking their party’s open-armed response to immigration, legal and illegal? Or should they write those voters off as irredeemably racist, and try to pile up the votes in their new core constituencies, especially racial and ethnic minorities?
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But others believe any attempt by the Democratic Party to water down its message and creep toward the center will only weaken the party. John Nichols argues in The Nation that a strong, populist economic message should be at the top of the Democratic agenda if they wish to win back working-class voters. Nichols believes the Democratic Party needs to change and evolve, but that evolution should move the party further to the left in order to address the issue of our time: economic inequality.

The party does need to change. It must become dramatically more militant on economic issues. Democrats cannot simply say “no” to Donald Trump; they must provide a clear and coherent progressive populist alternative to the “billionaire populism” of a president who never was—and never will be—committed to advancing the interests of workers, farmers, small business owners, students, and retirees.

Nichols argues it is time for Democrats to reject limousine liberalism, which only makes it more difficult for voters to discern what the party actually stands for.

Democrats must also provide a clear and coherent alternative to the “Third Way” politics that weakens the message, and the appeal, of their party. The era of the so-called “New Democrats” and the old DLC (officially the Democratic Leadership Council but, in reality, as Jesse Jackson explained, “Democrats for the Leisure Class”) must be finished—once and for all.
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Progressive Democrats like Senator Elizabeth Warren are appalled at the idea of moving the Democratic Party to the center. In a speech at the Netroot Nation convention, Warren didn't mince any words as she strongly rejected any notion of the Democratic Party "turning back the clock" on progress.

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Eric Levitz of New York Magazine argues centrist politics don't actually exist. 

Almost no one in the United States has uniformly “moderate” policy views; on individual issues, the electorate’s consensus positions are often ideologically “extreme”; partisan voters are typically drawn to one party over the other for reasons of group identity rather than personal ideology; such voters take their ideological cues, on most policies, from party elites; and many voters don’t know enough about each party’s policy commitments to vote on the basis of their ideological preferences, even if they wanted to.

And Democrats should seize this unique moment in our political history to pursue a strong, progressive path forward in direct opposition to the Republican Party.

Given the Democratic Party’s present weakness — and the severity of the threat that the modern GOP poses to America’s welfare state, climate, and democratic institutions — there has rarely been a greater need for a clear-eyed debate about Team Blue’s future. But to have such a discussion, we will need to accept that the center doesn’t hold.
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Many still believe Democrats would have a better chance at winning elections if they didn't give into the far-left ideologues within their party and embraced the political center.

#EmbraceTheCenter
#EmbraceTheCenter
#LeanToTheLeft

But others contend that the Democratic Party must stand for something, or it risks standing for nothing, and should wholeheartedly lean into the left.

#LeanToTheLeft
#LeanToTheLeft
FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Should the Democratic Party move to the center or further to the left?
A festive crown for the winner
#LeanToTheLeft
#EmbraceTheCenter