The far-left United Kingdom Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, has taken an utter shellacking from the Conservative Party. The votes will continue to be tallied, and analysts will pick through the aftermath of the Labour Party wreckage for months after this election. But American liberals and progressives are already sounding a warning alarm: Democrats need to beware far-left extremist politics, or risk re-electing Donald Trump in 2020.
While U.K. electoral results were rolling in, Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report commented, “If you’re a [Democrat] who thinks your party doesn’t have much more room to fall outside of big cities, you need to tune into the BBC right now and disabuse yourself of that notion.”
Others on the left were more blunt. Jonathan Chait, over at New York Magazine, pulled together a number of essays by American leftists who had cheered on the rise of Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders. He called their belief in Corbyn/Sanders-style socialism “delusional wishful thinking” as an electoral platform. Chait blasted Corbyn supporters, saying their “moralistic fervor made any sober political calculation impossible.” He continued:
Proceeding from the erroneous Marxist view that capitalism is growing more oppressive, and a working-class backlash is therefore inevitable, they glommed onto bits of data and ignored and large and growing array of evidence to the contrary.
If you’re a Democrat watching these results, it probably should make you look at the field of candidates and ask why some of them are running. Bernie Sanders is an easy comparison to Jeremy Corbyn. But Elizabeth Warren has happily jumped on that train as well. Warren staked out a position in the Democratic field as a policy wonk, which has effectively meant she says she has a “plan” to implement various socialist policies.
Warren has faded, and perhaps that’s a good thing if you want to win a general election. But Bernie Sanders maintains a core base of support, through sickness and health, hovering around 15% of the Democratic electorate. If Sanders can find some momentum forward, as candidates like Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren drop out or lose ground, he could provide a challenge to Joe Biden.
Or, barring a direct challenge to Biden, Sanders could use his base of support to pile up delegates to try and force either a contested election or concessions from Democrats. That should be an anathema to any Democrat who wants to win — because the lesson isn’t just from the UK. Australia held elections this year as well, and conservatives there hammered the far-left policy positions of their opponents and won a majority.
In the 2018 midterm elections, National Journal elections analyst Josh Kraushaar and socialist activist Sean McElwee put together an agreed-upon list of nine far-left, progressive candidates who would be bellwethers. If these candidates, who were all socialist or very far-left, could win, it would validate the Bernie Sanders move of the party. Those candidates, which included people like Stacey Abrams in Georiga and Andrew Gillum in Florida, all lost. Progressives went 0-9 in those races.
And these results shouldn’t shock us, because the candidates who gave Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats their majority in the House of Representatives won in moderate districts. They ran on center-left issues like healthcare, trade, and the economy. These are the same Representatives who are thinking very hard how they’ll vote on impeachment — they aren’t the firebrands that the socialist wing keeps around.
In Australia, the United Kingdom, and in the United States, the people are rejecting extremist progressives and socialists. As a conservative, I find this fantastic news because it means that one of the worst political systems of human history, Marxism, through socialism, is being defeated at the ballot box. That remains true even while some of its most ardent supporters are trying to convince people otherwise.
All of this put together suggests that Donald Trump and his 2020 team were right to want to face Elizabeth Warren in a general election. She’s the weakest of the field, by far. But if trendlines and data are any indications, Bernie Sanders wouldn’t be that far behind her. Unlike Warren, he does believe in raising taxes on everyone, canceling everyone’s health insurance, and wrecking the country in the name of installing full-on socialism.
The election results in the United Kingdom are a massive win for a free society, and the ability of nations to control their own destiny. It’s a rejection of socialism, anti-Semitism, and all the other rot of the British Labour party. Hopefully, Labour takes a long look in the mirror and rejects everything — and I do mean absolutely everything — that the Corbynistas of their party represents.
Change is long overdue.