The emergence of new generations of the Democratic Party incline the formation to the left, despite the distancing of Biden
Leftist and socialist movements have grown in the US during the four years of Donald Trump’s government; a model of progressivism that gained momentum with the Occupy Wall Street movement in the past decade, and has been consolidated with the failed nominations of Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination, in addition to the arrival of new legislators, such as Alexandra Ocasio Cortez, who openly declare themselves socialists.
“People have become even more interested during the pandemic, which has made it very clear how our country operates to serve the top 1%, the wealthy, and the largest corporations, while most people suffer and Frankly, death, “says Ellen Miller, a member of a small formation known as the Socialist Alternative, while protesting in a park in downtown New York in support of measures to reduce funding for the Police and higher taxes on the rich.
In another protest, outside an electric company in Brooklyn, about twenty people demonstrate against the new construction of a gas pipeline. They carry posters alluding to climate change and sing slogans in favor of the environment and a sustainable economy.
Three letters appear on some of the signs: DSA. They are the acronym, in English, of the Democratic Socialists of America, one of the organizations that has grown the most, and to which Ocasio-Cortez belongs.
“We seek a society and an economy that is truly democratic, made by the people, and for the people, that is not run only for the benefit of a small elite. We are considering how to exercise controls in services that are for public use, such as health, housing or education, ”says Chi Anunwa, one of the co-chairs of the New York branch of DSA.
Extend the public health system
The organization advocates extending Medicare, the public health system promoted by Obama for the most vulnerable population, to the entire population, as well as pressing for a minimum wage of $ 15 an hour or for a new ‘green pact’ that ends with harmful emissions into the atmosphere.
The DSA – which is not a party, Anunwa recalls – had 8,000 paying members four years ago. Now it has more than 70,000, and two legislators in Congress, which it will probably expand to four in the next electoral appointments.
“Since Trump won, we have grown, in part because we have a younger generation of people who grew up without the ideological burden of the Cold War, and do not instinctively associate socialism and communism with aspects of other generations,” believes Anunwa, from 31, years old, who was born the year the Berlin Wall fell.
Criticism of the DSA
The DSA has been highly criticized by Donald Trump and the Republican environment, who point out the party members to be friends of the governments of Cuba and Venezuela.
Without going any further, the president has come to assure this Thursday in a message posted on his Twitter account that the Democrats want to turn the United States into “communist Cuba or socialist Venezuela” if they win the elections.
“Our opponents want to turn the United States into communist Cuba or socialist Venezuela,” Trump said through his account on the social network Twitter, in a message in which he promised that, “while he is president,” the nation America “will never be a communist country.”
“The organization’s greatest common ground with those two countries,” Anunwa responds, “is that the US should stop meddling in their affairs, regardless of how people may feel about Fidel Castro or Hugo Chávez. You cannot violate the sovereignty of other countries.
Biden distances himself from the movement
The Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, has repeatedly distanced himself from the most leftist postulates. “There is not a single syllable that I have ever said that could lead you to think that I was a socialist or a communist,” the Democratic candidate for the White House recently said.
“Biden also has his problems,” says Anunwa in this regard. “We don’t like that it doesn’t support Medicare for all. Not the anti-crime laws it passed years ago. If he wins, we have to keep mobilizing. You have to build a powerful left movement in the US, even if Trump is gone, which is what we all want, “he adds.
They are not words that fall on deaf ears. The Brooklyn protest, which she has attended, is targeting the Democratic Governor of New York State, Andrew Cuomo. The organization of which two Democratic congressmen are part is, in this way, protesting against a prominent politician from that same party.
Democrats lean to the left
The DSA, and other leftist organizations, could be, analysts believe, leading the Blue party to more progressive positions.
The candidates of these movements for the Democratic primaries, facing positions in Congress, have been strong in internal electoral processes, often defeating more moderate candidates, not only when it comes to running for new seats, but also the time to defend those already obtained. One of the possible reactions to the phenomenon is that the moderates end up leaning towards more progressive positions in order to win the primaries.
“It is possible to shift the Democratic Party to the left. We have already seen it. The most centrist of the party have been forced to open up because ours are winning the primaries, with less institutional support, and less funds, “says Anunwa. “But whatever happens with Biden, there is still going to be that dominant centrist force in the party,” he points out.
The socialist movements, collectively, have options to win a total of eight seats in Congress, all of them supported by the Democratic Party.