In Spain, recently, a nearly communist leader has taken over. This happened after corruption and incompetence was revealed in their populist government. Their populists and strong socialist parties had grown from what had been a traditional Euro-right and Euro-left pair of dominant parties, after the populations had grown tired of corruption and a perceived downward trend of the country. It was covered by the Blender here.
In Italy, recently, a populist government has taken over the country. This happened after the populace had grown tired of the two dominant parties for reasons of corruption and a perceived downward trend of the country. Beyond the populists, a nearly communist party is the second strongest, having split from the stronger left Italian party. It was covered by the Blender here.
In both of these cases (and more throughout the western world, from before the Blender was in existence) there was support by the Russian government for the populists – sometimes merely rhetorical, sometimes with allegations of financial aid or direct attempts to influence the public through things like social media campaigns. The result has been a rise in a nationalist party that is populated by people fairly new to politics or who have historically been on the fringes of a dominant party and do not have a strong base of political philosophy to use as guidance; and a similarly new/fringe group who have a strong base of political philosophy and can deliver a consistent message while having guidance on how to avoid corruption charges.
Now, to last night’s elections.
The socialists were far and away the biggest winners last night. They wrested primary victories away from old hands and established local “machines” within the Democrat party. Running on platforms made popular on the national level by Bernie Sanders, Ben Jealous won the primary for the Senate seat in Maryland, Jared Polis won the primary for the Governor in Colorado and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat Joe Crowley for his House seat in New York. (Politico)
In defiance of casual review, the Ocasio-Cortez win was the most important. Running as an unabashed socialist, she resoundingly defeated the second-in-command of the Democrat leadership in the House. Were she in a district where the Republicans or, indeed, any non-Democrat had any strength, this might signal a chance for a seat gain for the Republicans, the Greens, the Libertarians or some other party. It does not. Barring an unforeseen tragedy or blatant criminality, Ocasio-Cortez is going to win her election.
This is a strong signal to other socialists that they can win in the transforming Democrat party. This is the Democrats’ Eric Cantor moment, when Dave Brat proved that a “Tea Party Conservative” could win against the old guard and vastly strengthened the Tea Party groups nationwide – a position which was seized upon by populists to subvert the Republican party and change it into a large-spending, top-down control nationalist party.
One of the things that Ocasio-Cortez has done is to call for an abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (CNN) Another is for a universal jobs guarantee, and another is for universal medicare. (Washington Post)
President Trump, apparently unaware of what the win of Ocasio-Cortez means for the opposition to him (it has been greatly strengthened) tweeted out his delight at Crowley’s loss:
Wow! Big Trump Hater Congressman Joe Crowley, who many expected was going to take Nancy Pelosi’s place, just LOST his primary election. In other words, he’s out! That is a big one that nobody saw happening. Perhaps he should have been nicer, and more respectful, to his President!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2018
Jared Polis, in Colorado, is being helped by his sexuality. He stands a chance to be the first openly gay Governor of Colorado, and he has gained considerable local and national support for that reason, as people want to demonstrate their willingness to fight against intolerance. His issues, however, are in keeping with an only slightly cloaked version of the Sanders socialists. (Polis for Governor)
Economy: I know Colorado can lead the way in creating an economy that works for everybody, not just those at the top, and I have a plan to do it. I support allowing cities and counties to raise the minimum wage, providing paid family medical leave, and ensuring equal pay for equal work, and we can do even more to address rising income inequality and ensure that workers share in the value they help create.
Health Care: Let’s just get right down to it: Health care is a human right.
Ben Jealous, in Maryland, has a history of socialist activism, taking the NAACP hard left while he was in charge of it. Mother Jones, a socialist magazine and website, was thrilled last night, with a headline that read “Ben Jealous Is Trying To Succeed Where Bernie Sanders Couldn’t”
Of particular note, although ignored in most analysis, is that most of the socialists running in Democrat primaries are young, fairly photogenic, and minorities… and stand an excellent chance of garnering votes based simply on that combination in an era where many feel they must vote against hatred, as defined by perceived attacks on minorities. Their youth also puts them in a position to be influential for years, possibly decades, to come.
Just as the Republicans walked into the 2016 elections with a treasure trove of young, pro-Constitution conservatives ready to change politics back to the Reagan / Coolidge format – Cruz, Rubio, Jindal, Paul – and with a support squad that included Lee, the Freedom Caucus and more – the Democrats are likely to walk into the 2020 elections with a battery of strong socialists attempting to capitalize on any mistakes and corruption that the Trump administration produces.