The Battle Within: Dems’ Intra-Party Conflicts, Explained

In the midst of all the political instability and anger that have been all too common ahead of the 2020 election, the Democratic candidates for president are beginning to split into two factions: the progressive faction and the moderate faction.

In a move to distance themselves from the more progressive candidates within the Democratic party, some of the candidates have opted to underscore a more moderate agenda with the hopes of garnering more support. Cory Booker has staked his campaign on a belief that a “courageous empathy” will solve the crisis of political turmoil and argues that “we need a revival of civic grace.” Similarly, Former Vice President Joe Biden has said that “we are in a battle for the soul of this nation.” While both are equally interested in impeaching President Trump, the two candidates understand just how volatile the Democratic party is, which is why they are attempting to avoid divisive rhetoric and steer away from an agenda that is so far left that it is unlikely to entice conservatives and moderates.

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, both of whom have a far more radical and progressive agenda, have called for “Medicare-for-All,” a plan which would force millions of Americans off of their private insurance and would ultimately eliminate choice. Even fellow Democratic candidates, such as Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg, are questioning just how this plan can be funded and put into practice. Both Biden and Buttigieg prefer a public option in which Americans can choose whether or not they want to buy into the plan. In addition to “Medicare-for-All,” Warren and Sanders have proposed student loan forgiveness, yet another plan which they believe can be funded despite concerns and skepticism from conservatives as well as from the more moderate Democratic candidates. Sanders is also calling for the decriminalization of illegal border crossing and proposes the provision of welfare for illegal immigrants. This move is one more extreme measure that moderate Democrats fear is another way to help reelect President Trump, rather than defeat him and elect a Democrat interested in taking the country in a new direction.

Ultimately, this power struggle will continue until the Democratic nomination is secured. While the moderate faction writes off Warren and Sanders as radical, Warren’s response is that they are “making Republican talking points,” which is another way of saying that they are not progressive enough. While these two factions continue to wage war against each other, President Trump simply has to stress how disruptive the Democrats have been in their unrelenting efforts to undermine his presidency. These efforts began before he was even elected and they will continue until he is out of office.

Overall voter enthusiasm has increased significantly since the 2016 election. America is in an interesting position where many voters are fueled by the loudness of modern politics while others want to revert back to pre-Trump politics. If 2016 is any indication, anything can happen. Nothing is set in stone, however, the more Democrats focus on impeaching and defeating President Trump as well as on vilifying anyone who supports him, the less likely any of them are to actually entice swing state voters. In the end, only time will tell what direction Americans wish to go.