For people who grew up as conservatives in the late 2000s and 2010s, Obama represented a vision that was opposite of the traditional view of America. We always respected him as a president, but disagreed with him vehemently. For Democrats, Obama was almost God incarnate. His popularity among Democrats and Independents allowed him to serve two terms.
The last round of Democratic debates revealed an ideological rift that has been brewing in the Democratic Party. Several of the candidates lambasted Obama on immigration, healthcare and legislative achievement. They believe his policies are TOO right wing. Five minutes ago, he was being praised as the greatest president in modern history. The outlook for Bill Clinton is even worse – they want nothing to do with him or his legacy. What changed?
Moderate Views vs. Progressive Views
The left is being put to a decision: do we appeal to moderates or go all in on socialism/progressivism to beat Trump in 2020? The left’s activist base really wants a hard-core progressive to run for office. Someone who is for open borders, socialist economic policies and hatred of America’s traditional values. Here’s the problem: moderates are not attracted to extreme progressive policies. They may favor expansion of healthcare, social programs and increased legal immigration – but they are not for burn-the-bridges socialism, anti-Americanism and hatred of laws & law enforcement.
Obama and Clinton Viewed as Right Wing
This shift in thinking is what would prevent cornerstone Democrats like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama from running in 2020. Clinton enacted a bipartisan 1994 crime bill that has been one of the most successful pieces of legislation in modern politics, slashing crime after it peaked in the 80s and 90s. Today, Elizabeth Warren is campaigning on repealing this bill. Obama deported more illegal aliens than Donald Trump. He said, “We are a nation of laws. Undocumented workers broke our immigration laws . . . they must be held accountable, especially those who may be dangerous.” This stance is considered “right wing extreme” in today’s activist, progressive Left.
Democrats need moderate policies to win moderates – will they turn away from extremist views in the future? Time will tell.
Photo Credits: New York Post.