Editor’s Note: In a statement attained from Representative Susan Wild’s office, as of February 15, she is a co-sponsor for the bill Medicare for All.
As each day makes it harder to survive under the crushing weight of job demands and bills, let alone to pay for a doctor’s visit, the majority of Americans show support for Medicare For All (M4A). Yet recently, Pennsylvania Representative Susan Wild, among many other first-term Democrats, took back the support for the bill she showed on the campaign trail by joining the New Democrat Coalition caucus, which is explicitly anti-M4A. Why do Democrats run on progressive policies, then quickly abandon them once they become elected? And why do so many of the Democratic presidential candidates hold views that would be considered right-wing in any normal country?
Other than obvious glaring issues with our political system like lobbying, the ideological answer to this broad question comes in one of the most insidious ideas in politics: that the most rational response to a problem can be found in the “center”. Yet it appears that only one party believes in this logic. As Democrats keep pandering to Republicans, and Republicans keep moving farther and farther to the right, it’s no wonder voter turnout in America is so low. Neither party is speaking to the desires of a growing section of Americans that understand the way things are in our country are not only unfair but also untenable if our environmental standards keep loosening each day to benefit corporations.
Democrats do this to show that they’re “reasonable” and are willing to be “team players.” Yet bowing to the demands of Republicans isn’t reasonable, it’s grasping at straws to appeal to middle-class Americans that Democrats think for some reason are ashamed of the state their party is in. What incentive do they have to vote against a man who represents everything they want? If you really want to ban immigrants from America, you’re not going to care if the person who represents your interests isn’t “respectable.” That’s why he got elected. Democrats will continue to let Republicans run our country if they stop trying to appeal to a group of people who don’t exist instead of, you know, the people who actually would turn out and vote for them if they had good policy ideas.
As Democrats keep pandering to Republicans, and Republicans keep moving farther and farther to the right, it’s no wonder voter turnout in America is so low.
If you’re still skeptical that some of the top names in the Democratic party are basically Republicans at heart, let’s take a look at some of the Democratic presidential candidates.
Cory Booker has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from pharmaceutical companies, voted against an amendment that would make prescription medication more affordable and worked with tech ghoul Mark Zuckerberg to “improve” Newark’s schooling system by funneling tons of money into private charter schools.
Kamala Harris was a District Attorney who tried to block the release of nonviolent offenders from overcrowded prisons because prisons would lose free labor. Felony conviction rose from 52 to 67 percent when she was serving. Many of those convictions were drug offenses, which disproportionately keep black and Latinx people in jail for nonviolent offenses — the same people that she tried to keep in jail because, you know, it makes no sense to pay people a fair wage to make license plates when you can have them made by what is essentially slave labor, right?
Elizabeth Warren, who will most likely announce her run by the time of this article’s publishing, isn’t a Big Pharma stooge or “California’s top cop”, but one has to wonder if the time she spends taking DNA tests could be better spent promoting her bills to regulate Wall Street. Thankfully, the momentum built by Medicare For All organizers is hopefully making support for the bill an essential platform for any Democrat with a brain.
For Susan Wild to take back her views on Medicare For All to fall in with the status quo in D.C. is lying at best and betrayal at worst. And she’s one of many Democrats who have failed to live up to their campaign trail promises, if they even try to appeal to voters on anything substantial anymore. And as far as the presidential candidates go, a new president won’t fix how far right our country has swung. When “good” politicians promise one thing and then do another, it’s easy to feel hopeless and like change is impossible. Making a change is easier than you think, though. There are tons of progressive groups a short distance outside the “Muhlenbubble”, including the Lehigh Valley DSA (of which I am a member), POWER Lehigh Valley, Put People First PA and many more. If you are interested in this event, or getting involved in truly progressive politics at Muhlenberg, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.