Progressive candidates continue to primary tenured centrist democrats. The progressive movement within the democratic party grows as their policies and positions began to gain popularity amongst voters, especially younger ones. Unfortunately, Rep. Bernie Sanders, a champion of progressive policies, continues to fall behind in his quest to become the 46th President of the U.S. The Sander’s campaign has raised $181,211,792 to date. Should history repeat itself, the Sanders campaign will donate to down ballot progressive democratic races.
On a brighter note, “when younger Americans did swing to voting in the 2020 Democratic primaries, they usually cast ballots for Sanders by large margins, even in states that Sanders lost by large margins.” Progressive policies are attractive to young voters partly because they will be most impacted by them. Student loan debt cancellation and Medicare for All would drastically improve their quality of life.
A government that works for the people is a desire that voters aren’t shy about demanding. Americans are becoming increasingly fed up with elected officials that continue to aid and abed corporations in their quest to pay as little as possible in taxes, while extracting great wealth. For example, during the Coronavirus stimulus bill discussions, corporations had the unmitigated gall to ask the government for the following:
Airline Industry – $50 billion
Private Space Industry – $5 billion
Hotel Industry – $150 billion
International Council of Shopping Centers $1 trillion
These same industries are doing the bare minimum and some nothing at all for their workers impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. Marriott, is not paying their workers. They chose to furlough them instead. Shopping centers are closed and retail workers have paltry sick time benefits if any.
After 30 years in office, San Francisco, California Rep. Nancy Pelosi has a progressive challenger. Attorney, Shahid Buttar is running for the seat. Pelosi is rumored to retire in 2022. According to his website, some of Buttar’s positions include:
- Ending the war on drugs and supporting communities healing from its racist effects
- Supports the historic “Medicare for All” proposal by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, H.R.1384.
- supports legislation to make election day a national holiday, and to increase election security by requiring hand-marked paper ballots and risk-limiting audits by any state seeking federal funds.
Buttar has been endorsed by Senator Sanders, California Youth Climate Strike, and Dr. Cornel West amongst many others.
Eight-term Democratic congressman, Rep. Dan Lipinski of Illinois, lost his primary race to progressive challenger Marie Newman. According to her website some of Newman’s positions include:
- Bringing mental health services to all health care facilities, decreasing the stigma of mental health diagnoses, and restoring a budget for mental health research
- Protecting DACA recipients
- Ending Citizens United and adopting a small-dollar fundraising model for all federal campaigns/support H.R.1
Centrist and corporate democrats can continue to resist progressive polices at their own peril. Each day it becomes increasingly clear that a government that works for the people is the only way forward. This current Coronavirus pandemic highlights exactly what’s wrong when the priority of the government is not the people. Furthermore, progressive candidates are in prime position to draw a stark contrast between the current government and a progressive one.
They operate from a place of priority purpose and passion.