When Barack Obama was elected as the 44th president of the United States Nov. 4, 2008, it would have been difficult to predict how much the country would change. Within the eight years he held the position, not only would healthcare become more accessible to more members of the public, not only would people within the LGBTQ community have more equal rights, including the right to marry, but also, the image and views of the two dominant political parties would be drastically altered, especially that of the Republican Party.
It is difficult to pinpoint when exactly that change began. Some say it could have been the result of former Texas Rep. Ron Paul’s failed 2008 presidential bid, others say it was truly set on fire when Obama was elected as the first African-American president. However, one thing is clear: the Tea Party began as an understandable movement of hostility to an environment that was not exactly the best towards middle-class America, to say nothing of lower-class America led by Republicans, supposedly due to the Democrats controlling both the House and Senate at the time.
At that time, the Dow Jones and the U.S. economy had been experiencing the worst recession in its history since the stock market crash in 1929, the unemployment rate was increasing, companies were shutting down and executives were making money while cheating their customers through tax loopholes. Understandable and justifiable.
However, as the Tea Party movement grew and the problems of those involved became more obvious, the Republicans were going to try and stack the deck against Obama, thus starting the radicalization of the modern-day Republican Party with that of the silent minority of neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members who usually vote as Republicans.
From the 2010 midterms to 2016, when Donald Trump was elected, the Tea Party was able to get more of their endorsed candidates to replace some members in Congress. These candidates include Scott Brown as a Massachusetts senator, Mike Lee as a senator in Utah, and Tim Scott, who would become a representative of South Carolina. However, there would be no truly central voice that would lead the movement for some time, which was the biggest hurdle in trying to replace Obama with Mitt Romney.
Even conservative media such as Fox News, which had been still palatable by many, began to follow suit, with an increase of calling President Obama a fascist, blaming him instead of a divided House and Senate for why nothing was getting done, when fundamental policies were being passed, and giving unlimited positive coverage to the members of the Tea Party, rather than a “fair and balanced” view on Washington.
As the years went by, and the longer Obama was in office, the more the country seemed to be headed toward a red wave, which eventually came with the election of Trump and what has happened since.
While this change has been happening within the Republicans, even if most people have failed to notice, or have just tried to ignore it, a very similar change has been occuring within the Democratic Party, in particular with the Democrat’s progressive movement which can be classified as the far-left or alt-left, depending on how you see it.
They were responding to bad trends within the Republican Party that had tried to block Obama from making even bigger changes and tried cutting him at the knees, as well as the rising leadership that was sexist, racist, misogynistic, xenophobic and nationalistic.
The election of Trump just made things much worse, as the Democrats had no definitive leadership, and, as such, went with those who came after Trump the most such as Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Keith Ellison and Bernie Sanders, all of whom pushed for strong economic reform that would break up the big banks and potentially financially devastate America in the long term. However, it appealed to a new generation of millenials, who, after watching Hillary Clinton win in the primaries, would either decide to vote third-party or not at all.
Now, we have CNN who has been focusing more on Trump’s numerous errors and lies than on actually reporting the news, apart from a few reporters such as Anderson Cooper and Christiane Amanpour. And now, in the midterms Nov. 6, we have, primarily progressivist candidates who have followed in the shadow of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to the point where they are campaigning for them.
Is the pattern clear? The Democrats have created their own version of the Tea Party, however, they have moved in the opposite direction, going to the left instead of right, rather than staying in the center. If they follow this trend, too, Donald Trump will be elected for a second term, as there is no true definitive voice in the Democratic camp, and, as such, they would get run over by Trump, who, despite his faults, will still go down as a somewhat-successful president due to economic and job growth. Then, in 2024, the president will become a left-leaning Democrat who will end up pushing this country further into the brink of destruction.
However, I’m getting ahead of myself. The point is, this is a trend that needs to not only be recognized, but stopped immediately. Politics has always worked best when the political parties are closer to the center than at opposite ends of the spectrum. If nothing is done now, when there is still time, it just may be too late.