In a recent New York Times essay, education researcher Fredrik deBoer asked his fellow socialists to consider whether their lack of electoral success might come down to their ideas just not being all that popular.
In the op-ed, titled “Democratic Socialists Need to Take a Hard Look in the Mirror,” deBoer traced the dismal performance of Democratic socialist candidates in the Nov. 3 elections to incompatibility with the views of most Americans.
- “It’s time for young socialists and progressive Democrats to recognize that our beliefs just might not be popular enough to win elections consistently,” he wrote. “It does us no favors to pretend otherwise.”
- DeBoer acknowledged the problem of institutional resistance from the Democratic establishment, but pointed out that, at the end of the day, voters are not choosing far-left candidates.
- “The inconvenient fact is that Mr. Sanders received far fewer primary votes than Mrs. Clinton in 2016 and Mr. Biden in 2020,” he wrote, referring to Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. “He failed to make major inroads among the moderate Black voters whom many see as the heart of the Democratic Party. What’s more, he failed to turn out the youth vote in the way that his supporters insisted he would.”
Factions within the Democratic Party are blaming each other for crushing losses in last month’s elections.
- While moderates argue that losses in Virginia and New Jersey were a wakeup call to steer clear of radical economic policies and “woke” cultural talking points, progressives insist they have a mandate to veer further left.
Meanwhile, new polling suggests Democrats are right to be anxious about getting their messaging right.
Strongest preference for Republicans since 1981.
If something doesn't change soon, we're in for an enormous red wave in 2022. pic.twitter.com/cYTEXzdIOc
— Noah Smith 🐇 (@Noahpinion) November 18, 2021