This embrace of radical progressivism and its colossal price tag is almost certainly going to hurt Democrats politically—most of their gains in 2018 were in suburban districts, among voters who tend to recoil at radicalism of any kind—and it could be politically disastrous. (Ocasio-Cortez enthusiastically embraced the label radical, saying, “It only has ever been radicals that have changed this country.”)
But beyond the electoral ramifications of the radicalization of the Democratic Party is what conservatives like myself consider to be its destructive animating philosophy. The trend is toward growing hostility to free markets and capitalism, in many cases to the point of barely contained contempt for it and for the wealthy. (When former Governor John Hickenlooper, a successful businessman and one of the more moderate candidates in the Democratic field, was asked by MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough if he would say he’s a capitalist, he repeatedly ducked the question. Beto O’Rourke, while declaring himself a capitalist, added, “Having said that, it is clearly an imperfect, unfair, unjust, and racist capitalist economy.”)
Many progressives champion the centralization of government power and collectivism, extreme egalitarianism, and a secularism that can bleed into intolerance toward people and institutions who hold traditional religious views on sexual morality.