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Culture

Bernie And AOC Have Been Blacklisted, And It’s Causing An Identity Crisis In The Democratic Party

By Katarina Bradford·· 6 min read
bernie sanders and AOC usa today
USA Today

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders have been blacklisted by the Democratic Establishment. Why? Well, because they are doing nothing short of challenging the very fabric of the Democratic Party itself.

Here’s your brief recap of what’s been happening on the campaign trail and how the Democratic Party is trying to squelch the AOC and Sanders’ Socialist threat. 

A Brief Recap—Sanders Faces the Force of the Entire Democratic Establishment

If you haven’t been up-to-date with the Democratic primaries (maybe due to news about the coronavirus blowing up your feed…) here’s your recap. March 10 marked another major day in the election year as six more states— Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, and Washington state — held their primary elections to vote for the next Democratic Presidential Candidate to face off against President Trump in November. As the dust settles after March 10, one thing is clear: Joe Biden is winning. Since the March 10 primaries, Biden has continued to win Illinois, Arizona, and Florida, giving him the staggering lead with a total of 1,165 delegates while Sanders falls behind with 880—which is 285 delegate votes behind Biden.

Sanders is ushering in the opportunity for a Socialist revolution to American politics, and this entails changing the fabric of the Democratic Party. 

Bernie’s losing, and he knows it. So why is he staying in the race? The reason is the reason why he is losing, namely, the Democratic Establishment. Ever since Biden became the front runner in the Democratic Primaries against Sanders, the Democratic Establishment has done everything in their power to garner support against Sanders. As an outspoken Socialist, Bernie Sanders isn’t merely proposing Democratic solutions to political policy; rather, he is proposing Socialist solutions to the Democratic platform itself. In other words, Sanders is ushering in the opportunity for a Socialist revolution to American politics, and this entails changing the fabric of the Democratic Party. If successful, Sanders would change the Democratic Party as we know it, and the Democratic Establishment would surely lose much of their long-standing power. 

This week in a press briefing, Sanders said, “While our campaign has won the ideological debate, we are losing the debate over electability.” He continued, “I cannot tell you how many people our campaign has spoken to who have said — and I quote — ‘I like what your campaign stands for. I agree with what your campaign stands for. But I’m going to vote for Joe Biden because I think Joe is the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump.’ End of quote. We have heard that statement all over this country. Needless to say, I strongly disagree with that assertion, but that is what millions of Democrats and independents today believe.”

Despite his clear recognition of Biden’s lead with the backing of the Democratic Establishment, Sanders is staying in the race—and not merely for the election. His mere presence in the Presidential race, regardless of whether he wins or loses the nomination, is disrupting the Democratic Establishment and inciting progressive reform across the country, and we should expect him to challenge the Democratic Establishment directly throughout the remaining campaign trail. 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Challenges the Democratic Elite in Congress

Meanwhile in Washington, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—perhaps one of Sanders’ only supporters in the federal government—is actively campaigning for Sanders and paving the way for a Socialist-friendly Congress. She has publicly endorsed Sanders and even joined him on his campaign trail. But it doesn’t stop there. 

The Democratic Establishment wants AOC out, and they are willing to redraw district lines to do so.

Ocasio-Cortez does not only see the Republican Establishment as the only threat to her platform, rather, she is challenging her own party—the Democratic Establishment—claiming that they too are the enemy to her social reform as long as they are reluctant to endorse Socialist policies and accept corporate funding. And this isn’t just talk. In February, Ocasio-Cortez announced that she is sponsoring seven Progressive women to run against seven long-standing Democratic members in Congress through her PAC “Courage To Change.” This might seem counterintuitive to sponsor people to run against your own party, but that is exactly the point. Ocasio-Cortez is trying to change the very fabric of the Democratic Party through dismembering the Establishment member by member. 

She tweets, “It’s time to elect a progressive majority in Congress accountable to strong, grassroots movements that push support for issues like Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, racial justice, & more,” she tweeted Friday.  She says further, “My ambition right now is to be a little less lonely in Congress.” 

As a result of her challenge to long-standing Democratic incumbents, the Democratic Establishment has blacklisted her. What does that mean? The Establishment is using all of their power to try to get her out of office.  There has been talk that the State of New York will redraw its district lines, which will consequently redraw her 14th District. This means that New York can redraw the 14th District to include voters from a demographic who are less likely to vote for Ocasio-Cortez as an incumbent. In short, the Establishment wants her out, and they are willing to redraw district lines to do so.

So why are Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blacklisted by their own political party, and why are they challenging the long-standing leaders within their own political party? The answer is significant. Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez want to accomplish something that has never been accomplished before in American politics—they want to revolutionize America into a Socialist democracy. Since their ideas are so radically new, there isn’t a pre-existing platform within a political party that represents what they want to accomplish. Rather than strengthening the Democratic Party, they want to fundamentally change it to represent their Socialist platform. If this means changing the platform itself and getting rid of any incumbent Democratic leader that stands in their way, then they are up for the challenge. 

Sanders and AOC represent a fundamental change in the political psyche of America—for the first time in American history, Americans are open and friendly to the idea of a Socialist regime. 

Consequently, the Democratic Establishment wants them out, and they want them out fast. The Democratic Establishment has put their entire support behind Biden in the Democratic Primaries in hopes that his influence will end once Biden wins the primaries. Similarly, the Establishment is working on ousting Ocasio-Cortez from Congress, whether through redistricting or public shaming. 

Closing Thoughts

Though Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez are facing the full force of the Democratic Establishment, their influence in modern American politics cannot be denied. Whether or not Bernie wins the nomination or Ocasio-Cortez continues her career in Congress, they represent a fundamental change that has emerged in the political psyche of Americans—namely, that for the first time in American history, Americans are open and friendly to the idea of a Socialist regime. 

The biggest thing to keep in mind as you keep track of the 2020 election is this—what is the future of the Democratic Party? Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez have caused liberals to question the very fabric of their party, and as the voting results come in, it is likely that we will see a large disaffiliation of liberals from the traditional Democratic Establishment and a re-aligning with the champions of a new Socialist Democratic Party—Bernie Sanders and Alexandriaf Ocasio-Cortez.

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