by Martin Armstrong, Armstrong Economics:
The Democrats cheered the election of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) for they were sure that they were now going to be the party of the millennials. However, there is a growing division with the Democratic Party that for the first time may see itself fracture and divide as was the case when it split from the Democratic-Republican Party becoming the Democrats v the Republicans over slavery.
The list of Democratic presidential candidates keeps growing, and with them the promises seem to grow ever more robust. The Democrats have really been a party of coalitions between groups that always cast themselves as victims be it minority races, gender, or class. These traditional coalitions are being confronted by not just expanded entitlement spending to guarantee new welfare benefits, but with structural changes being demanded under this Green New Deal.
We have the promises of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren who has endorsed a universal federal provision of childcare to be paid for by a 3% wealth tax. Then there is Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders who proposes “Medicare for All.” Then there is Andrew Yang who fears AI and robots will replace everyone so that leads to the universal basic income proposition. Sure, Medicare for all sound fantastic. But it would be further subsidization of the medical industry. Socialized medicine in other countries works to some extent because the doctors are government employees like we have here in the VA hospitals. It is not remotely possible without nationalizing hospitals.
Meanwhile, we have Senators Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, and yet others who have all backed the Green New Deal, which promises to address climate change and inequality by providing universal health care and creating millions of jobs by taxing the rich who creates the jobs. Then there are rumblings again that all blacks are entitled to reparation payments because their ancestors were sold as slaves by the Dutch. All of a sudden, there are divisions appearing between the traditional groups of race, gender, and class.
Based upon reliable inside sources, from the halls of Congress to the presidential campaign trail, Democratic moderates are beginning to push back against the wave of liberal energy and shoot-the-moon policy ideas that have captured the party’s imagination over the past two months.
The Democratic-Republican Party split into two parties following the 1824 presidential election. The leaders of the two major factions of the party, Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams, were both nominated for president. Other Democratic-Republican Party support went to William H. Crawford and Henry Clay. Finally, on February 28th, 1854, the Republican Party was founded in Ripon, Wisconsin.
What is interesting is that three waves of 51.6-years brought us to 1979 and the Reagan Revolution in politics with the slogan – let’s make America Great Again. Reagan was reversing the socialism of high taxes and high regulation. Of course, the next wave brings us to 2030. From the 1854 political split, we arrive at 2009. Besides picking the low in the economy and stock market crash from 2007, this turning point marked what many called the Second Republican Revolution.
Normally, the sitting president’s party usually loses congressional, statewide, and local seats during the midterm elections as Trump just experienced. However, the 2010 midterm election featured some of the biggest losses since the Great Depression. The Republican Party captured a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, gaining 63 seats compared to Trump’s loss of 40 seats. The 2010 midterm election was the largest single-election shift in House seats since 1948 and the largest midterm election shift since the 1938 midterm elections against FDR. Republicans also gained six seats in the 2010 midterm U.S. Senate and 680 seats breaking the previous majority record of 628 set by Democrats in the post-Watergate elections of 1974. Clearly, the 2010 midterm election was reasonably named the Second Republican Revolution.
Of course, Abraham Lincoln won the presidential election on November 6th, 1860. Three waves of 51.6-years brought us to about 2015. That merely confirmed our model on political trends which forecast back in 1985 that the first time we would see a potential third party win would be 2016. The beginning of this Private Wave was 1985.65 and the Pi Turning point was also 2017.05. This pinpointed virtually the day Trump was sworn in.
They worry that the sweeping proposals and hardball tactics of liberal firebrands could alienate centrist voters in the 2020 election, even as they hold out hope that Democratic primary voters, focused on defeating President Trump, will check the party’s move to the left.
The moderates’ concerns came to a head this week when one of the newest Democratic stars appeared to threaten colleagues who would not toe the liberal line, raising the specter of a fracture in the party between moderates and purists, similar to a long-standing divide in the Republican Party.
Any way we slice and dice these numbers, they are all pointing to the same outcome — a rise in third-party activity. That also applies to the Democratic Party. There are serious fissures emerging behind the curtain that I doubt CNN would report. This movement that is beginning to fracture the Democrats is actually being instigated by AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)) There are threats being made behind the scenes that some of her colleagues could find themselves “on a list” of primary election targets if they do not support her and especially following anyone who voted for a Republican amendment that required undocumented immigrants who try to buy guns to be reported to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
One group that is making such threats are known as the Justice Democrats, who are a liberal group that backed AOC primary campaign. They are attempting to dictate to the entire Democratic Party that it is their way or they will fund people to replace them. This is what Boehner was doing to Republicans who would back the Tea Party Conservatives. The power has gone to the head of AOC and she clearly thinks all the attention she is getting means she should be in charge. She was born October 13th, 1989 so she will be 35 just a few weeks from the Presidential election in 2024 for which they are preparing.
By turning Democrats against Democrats, the risk of a split is very high. These latest tactics are creating a Nixonian type of hit-list. She is really behind this demand of unification for her Green New Deal. Imposing this sort of political test is not only anti-Democratic insofar as individual candidates cannot stand for something different, but this sort of dictatorship will lead to a Democratic version of the Conservative Tea Party rebellion that transformed the GOP and kicked Boehner to the curb.
The Tea Party surge brought Republicans new energy and new voters, but it’s also cost the GOP some congressional races and legislative victories. It also set the stage for the rise of Trump. The Fox poll that was shocking since it showed that the new voters who rallied to the GOP were not there for politics as usual. This poll illustrates the tendency for the rise of 3rd parties and the end of the 2-party system.
Many Democrats who have entered as presidential candidates have quickly endorsed these sort of sweeping leftist policies, including a Medicare-for-all health plan, a “Green New Deal” to combat climate change, and even reparations for African Americans. They seem to be willing to just go with the flow and promise whatever seems popular at the moment.
There are older Democrats who are becoming very concerned that U.S. politics has become hostile. I fail to see how we can now return to a more civil place as politics used to be. You accepted the vote and moved on. Those days seem to be history now.
The Republicans had their extremists known as the House Freedom Caucus, which opposes legislative compromises. The Democrats under AOC appear to be adopting these sort of tactics demanding compliance with their vision or else. They are arguing that the Democratic Party has become timid and it needs to be bold. They are pointing to the surge of new voters in the midterm elections as their proof that they should lead.
However, as I have just shown, that surge was normal and by no means historic. This perception that the Democratic Party’s primary voters are enthusiastically liberal and will support AOC is not based on data. Even AOC’s election was over 40,000 votes less than the incumbent won during the previous election. The number just do not support her. There is no way that AOC represents the majority of Democrats. About 50% of the Democrats identify themselves as moderate — not leftist or extremists. Thirty-three of the 40 GOP seats that Democrats picked up were won by candidates who had been endorsed by the moderate NewDem PAC – not the Justice Democrats.