Editorial: Exit Dems — stage left
As the Democratic Party tilts ever leftward, it’s still not far enough left for some, especially some in what has become known as the Bernie Sanders wing.
After all, the Vermont senator is still officially an “independent” even as he sought the Democratic presidential nomination. So like-minded folks on the left side of the spectrum are urging him to make the break complete.
This week the Draft Bernie for a People’s Party got a rather high-profile devotee in Harvard professor Cornel West, who used an op-ed in The Guardian to announce his imminent departure from the Democratic Party.
“We must admit that the Democratic Party has failed us, and we have to move on,” he wrote. “Where? To what?”
The People’s Party, he added, “builds on the ruins of a dying Democratic Party and creates new constituencies in this moment of transition and liquidation.”
West, a professor of The Practice of Public Philosophy, did a fair amount of public philosophizing about the 2016 election, insisting that it was one “which Democrats lost more than Republicans won” in large part because the party “put forward a Wall Street-connected and openly militaristic candidate with little charisma.”
Ouch! It’s enough to make you feel sorry for poor Hillary. And apparently the current darling of Democratic progressives, Massachusetts’ Sen. Elizabeth Warren, just won’t do.
“Only the ubiquitous and virtuous Bernie remains true to the idea of fundamental transformation of the party — and even he admits that seeking first-class seats on the Titanic is self-deceptive and self-destructive,” West wrote.
As for issues, well, the movement wants single-payer health care, is opposed to fracking, opposed to TPP (just like Donald Trump) and West in particular is “opposed to Israeli occupation” (it’s unclear whether that means simply the West Bank).
And, of course, there is the matter of age. Sure, Bernie’s a robust 75 today, but that would make him 79 in 2020. Guess there’s no expiration date on lefties.