Pushing the Democratic Party to the Left

Ever since Elizabeth Warren dropped out of the race, I’ve been taking my time deciding who would be the best person to support as the primaries have narrowed to two candidates: Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. Joe Biden’s recent primary victories last Tuesday makes it clear that he is on the path to win the most delegates to secure the Democratic nomination when the Democratic convention comes along. I’ve read a few articles though that argue that one can support a candidate for other reasons other then securing the nomination. One can support a candidate in the hopes that the candidate can influence their eventual nominee and the party to a more progressive direction.

I’m strongly inclined to support Bernie during the rest of the primaries in the hopes that he can influence both Joe Biden and the Democratic Party in a more progressive direction. I will support Joe Biden during the general elections. Unlike some progressives, I have no hostile feelings towards moderate Democrats. I see both moderate Democrats and Democratic Socialists as competing friends, not as ideological enemies.

I am a liberal Democrat, though, not a moderate Democrat or a Democratic Socialist. I agree with the premise underlying both the Elizabeth Warren and the Bernie Sanders campaigns: this country needs bold structural changes to address the growing economic inequalities that are destabilizing the American middle class and putting too much economic and political power in the hands of the wealthiest segment of the population.

This problem of economic inequality has left struggling and desperate communities vulnerable to the appeals of demagogues and white nationalism. It has also pushed the Republican Party too far to the extreme Right, making it impossible for the Democrats to find common ground with Republicans to solve issues like climate change, gun violence, minority rights and economic inequality. It becomes a vicious circle.

My hope is that Elizabeth Warren (from behind the scenes) and Bernie Sanders (challenging Biden on the campaign trail) can influence both Joe Biden and the Democratic Party towards a more progressive direction. From reading a lot of American history, I believe that social change in the U.S. comes about when reformers inside the system and radicals outside the system work simultaneously to pressure the system to change. It’s important to win against Donald Trump in the Fall. But I also think it’s important to address the problems that made Donald Trump’s rise possible in the first place. If we don’t address those problems, we’ll continue to have these problems even after Trump leaves the Presidency.

Here is an excerpt of a speech Bernie Sanders explaining why he is staying in the race:

“What became even more apparent yesterday is that while we are currently losing the delegate count, approximately 800 delegates for Joe Biden and 660 for us, we are strongly winning in two enormously important areas which will determine the future of our country.
Poll after poll, including exit polls, show that a strong majority of the American people support our progressive agenda. The American people are deeply concerned about the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality in this country, and the American people want the wealthy and large, profitable corporations to start paying their fair share of taxes…

…But it is not just the ideological debate that our progressive movement is winning. We are winning the generational debate. While Joe Biden continues to do very well with older Americans, especially those people over 65, our campaign continues to win the vast majority of the votes of younger people…

…While our campaign has won the ideological debate, we are losing the debate over electability. 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.

On Sunday, I very much look forward to the debate in Arizona with my friend, Joe Biden…

…So, let me conclude the way I began. Donald Trump must be defeated, and I will do everything in my power to make that happen.”

About angelolopez

I’ve wanted to be an artist all my life. Since I was a child I’ve drawn on any scrap of paper I could get a hold of. When I went to San Jose State University, I became more exposed to the works of the great fine artists and illustrators. My college paintings were heavily influenced by the humorous illustrations of Peter De Seve, an illustrator for the New Yorker magazine. I also fell under the spell of the great muralists of the 1930s, especially Thomas Hart Benton and Diego Rivera. I graduated with a degree in Illustration. Angelo Lopez has had illustrations published in Tikkun Magazine, the Palo Alto Daily News and Z Magazine. From April 2008 to May 2011, Angelo's cartoons were regularly published in the Tri-City Voice, a weekly newspaper that covers the Fremont, Hayward, Milpitas, Neward, Sunol and Union City areas in California. He did a political webcomic starring his cartoon character Jasper for the progressive blogsite Everyday Citizen. Since December 2011, Angelo does a regular weekly political cartoon for the Philippine News Today, a Filipino American newspaper based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Angelo is a member of the Sunnyvale Art Club, and the Northern California chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. During the 1990s, he was a member of the part-timer workers SEIU unit in the city of Sunnyvale. Angelo won the 2013, 2015 and 2016 and 2018 Sigma Delta Chi award for editorial cartooning for newspapers with a circulation under 100,000. He has also won the 2016 RFK Book and Journalism Award for Editorial Cartoons. Angelo won first prize for the Best of the West contest in 2016 and third prize in 2017. Angelo is married to Lisa Reeber. They enjoy taking walks, watching movies and hanging out with their nieces.
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