Many so-called Democrat ‘moderates’ would prefer Donald Trump to retain the US Presidency than for Bernie Sanders, or another genuine leftist, to defeat him.
In this sense they are mirror-images of establishment Republicans, such as George W Bush and Colin Powell, who publicly expressed support for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 contest.
The ensuing passionate exchange clearly exposed the two camps in the Democratic Party: the ‘moderates’ (representatives of the party establishment whose main face is Joe Biden), and the more progressive democratic socialists (Bernie Sanders, perhaps Elizabeth Warren, plus the four young congresswomen baptized by Trump as the “Dem Squad”, and whose most popular face is now Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.)
It may appear that the moderates make a convincing case. After all, are democratic socialists not simply too radical to win over the majority of voters? Is the true struggle not the contest for undecided moderate voters who will never endorse a Muslim, like Ilhan Omar who keeps her hair covered? And did Trump himself not count on this when he brutally attacked the ‘Squad,’ thereby obliging the entire Democratic party to show solidarity with the four girls, elevating them to the status of party symbols?
Unfortunately, this strategy was already tested: Hillary Clinton followed it, and a large majority of the media thought she couldn’t lose because Trump was unelectable. Even the two Republican Presidents Bush, father and son, endorsed her, but she lost and Trump won. His victory undermined the establishment from the Right.
What is so refreshing about the leftist wing of the Democratic Party is that they left behind the stale waters of Political Correctness, as recently seen in the ‘MeToo’ excesses. While firmly standing with anti-racist and feminist struggles, they focus on social issues like universal healthcare and ecological threats, etc.
Indeed, a quick look at their program makes it abundantly clear that they pose no greater threat to Western freedoms than Willy Brandt or Olof Palme did.
However, the true miracle is how many who have joined forces with “old white men” like Sanders represent the older generation of ordinary workers, people who often tended to vote Republican or even for Trump.
What is going on here is something that all the partisans of Culture Wars and identity politics considered impossible: anti-racists, feminists, and ecologists joining forces with what was considered the “moral majority” of ordinary working people. Bernie Sanders, not the alt Right, is the true voice of the moral majority, if this term has any positive meaning.
So no, the eventual rise of the democratic socialists will not guarantee Trump’s re-election. It was Hickenlooper and other moderates who were actually fedexing a message to Trump from the debate. Their message was: “we may be your enemies, but we all want Bernie Sanders to lose. So don’t worry, if Bernie or someone like him will be the Democratic Party candidate, we will not stand behind him – we secretly prefer you to win.”