While activist firebrand freshmen (freshpersons?) such as Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) get all the attention from both the liberal and conservative press, most of the Democrats elected in the 2018 landslide were moderates from purplish districts that will decide the 2020 election. They ran on health care and other issues, but also on the promise to be a check on Trump’s “abnormalcy.” Promising to turn down the political temperature, reducing not just the drama of Washington but the centrality of it in our lives and conversations, would still leave lots of room for a Democrat to advance his or her agenda.
Right now, Joe Biden is the only major Democratic presidential contender who seems both interested in and capable of pursuing such a strategy. The rest of the field seems to think that Twitter likes and retweets will count as primary votes, and that there’s an appetite in the country for left-wing radicalism on par with what they see as Trump’s right-wing radicalism.
Rather than vow to keep the economic boom going while returning Washington to normalcy and enacting reasonable reforms with bipartisan support, they talk about socializing medicine, making slavery reparations, forgiving student loans, banning guns through executive orders, and implementing a Green New Deal. And the media obsess over impeachment.