Normally, two years after the presidential election, the makeup of the House and Senate backs away from the party that wins the White House. But this time, in 2018, I’m wondering about the influence of Bernie Sanders and whether he can push it in the opposite direction – in this case, to the left.
Put another way, he’s enough of a veteran of the hardball politics to know you win some and lose some; it’s all about averages. This time, though, if the Democratic Party captures the political center, as it’s poised to do, the opportunity may be to push left in two years for that shift in some districts, rather than right, in reaction to White House positions and some inevitable voter disappointment.
Much would depend on Bernie’s ability to harness the enthusiastic youth from his primary campaign for local and regional races, as well as U.S. House and Senate drives. Achieving his progressive promises requires majorities in both halves of Congress, rather than the obstructionism of the Republicans during the Obama administrations in the aftermath of disastrous low voter turnout.
Call them Green Democrats, if you will, but they could be Bernie’s biggest legacy, with more clout than if he’d won the presidency.
The thought alone is tantalizing, even if the work ahead proves daunting.
A parallel development in other districts might be the emergence of centrist Democrats, which is fine by me. The national party, Republican or Democrat, is ultimately a coalition, state by state. I’m all for increasing a diversity of representation, meaning the people rather than the One Percent Citizens United.