The 2020 election is just over a year away, but there is already a long list of candidates running on the Democratic ballot. In June next year, the DNC will hold their primary debates in Milwaukee with over 20 candidates participating. Those who lean anti-establishment have had their eyes on Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard, but it’s easy to forget that they are both polling below 2%. At the top are still Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and at the very top with 27%, Joe Biden.
In November of 2018, the United States held the midterm elections. It elected dozens of brand new faces to Congress; including the now infamous Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC). She is a “Democratic Socialist” and is a Congresswoman for New York’s 14th district. AOC’s success ushered in an entirely new era of democratic politicians. She proved that more radical policies can be popular and added to the growing pool of “socialists” in Congress. Bernie Sanders and AOC are the two most prominent democratically socialist thinkers in government right now. With this shifting climate against “the elites” in mind, it’s important to examine the ideas people are putting forth with a critical eye.
With concerns over what rising atmospheric CO2 levels are doing to our planet, politicians are scrambling to find solutions. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal is one attempt to solve this problem. Though the Green New Deal failed to pass, the private sector has made considerable progress towards sustainability. Multiple companies have developed technology that has been able to remove CO2 from the air, some with added benefits.
Garrett Summers | United States
On March 26, the Senate voted 0-57 on the Green New Deal. This is a Senate version of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s House Green New Deal. The Green New Deal was introduced to the Senate by Senator Markey (Massachusetts- D). Senate leader Mitch McConnell wanted the citizens to know where their Senators stood on the Green New Deal. Given such, he referred it to the floor for a vote.
Fearing that a rift between moderate and more radical Democrats, Democrats chose to vote “present” on the bill. This is interesting because a study highly touted by the Democrats claims that the world has 12 years to limit climate change or the world may face irreversible consequences. If Senate Democrats truly held this belief, why would they not vote for this bill? Many Democrats fear that support of the Green New Deal could alienate their moderate base and split the party. This is all the more dangerous, especially when approaching an election year.
Bernie Sanders, one of the nearly two dozen Democrats currently seeking nomination for the 2020 presidential race, and who also narrowly and controversially lost the Democratic nomination to Hillary Clinton in 2016, is an early favorite to win the progressive party’s ticket next summer. He has already received millions of volunteers for his campaign and has amounted millions of dollars in donations thus far. But just how progressive is his campaign actually? If you asked that question in 2016, most people on both sides of the aisle would have criticized his policies for being far too radical. However, just three short years later, many of the ideas headlined by the self-proclaimed Democratic-Socialist have become nearly mainstream.