It is no secret that the Democratic Party is in rapid evolution. On one hand (it’s right), it is taking in hordes of dissatisfied Republicans fleeing the Trumpification of their party. But, on the other hand (the left), it is facing thousands if not millions of new voters, younger voters, and progressive voters who are not afraid to use the s-word (socialism), and are pushing the Party to go still more in a left direction. The question is how the party will react to that.
For a bird’s eye view of the problem, check out this article in the New York Times, There Is a Revolution on the Left. Democrats Are Bracing, by Alexander Burns. In it, Burns looks at how this new generation or generations of younger voters is shaking the party to its roots. He says that while these progressive voters “may not represent a controlling faction in the Democratic Party, at least not yet. But they are increasingly rattling primary elections around the country, and they promise to grow as a disruptive force in national elections as younger voters reject the traditional boundary lines of Democratic politics.”
And the Party elites are not happy about it. They fear that these younger, more socialist voters will frighten away moderates. But, it isn’t clear that the Party has much choice in the matter. Increasingly, it seems that these newcomers will be deciding on what the Democratic party will be in future. Says Burns, “Energized to take on President Trump, these voters are also seeking to remake their own party as a ferocious — and ferociously liberal — opposition force. And many appear as focused on forcing progressive policies into the midterm debate as they are on defeating Republicans.”
So what does the future hold for the Democratic Party? Will the new voters be able to force real change on it? Maybe, maybe not. But given the fact that it is the younger and impassioned voters who are bringing new energy to the Party, it might not be wise to bet against them.