It used to be that former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg standing there with his wallet out was the most glaring evidence that regular Democratic voters are miserably dissatisfied with the current crop of smelly socialists and wacky leftists running for their party’s nomination.
Now, the most obvious evidence that Democrats remain unhappy with the field is the inexplicable, continued existence of former Vice President Joe Biden, who is on pace to win the South Carolina primary.
No matter how bad he flubs, no matter how badly he mangles his own memory, no matter how downright senile he seems, Mr. Biden remains in the hunt to be the so-called “moderate” alternative to democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
And all the while, Democrat leaders and party establishment poobahs are terrified that the next piece of evidence that Democrats are unhappy with their choices will be, well, front-runner Bernie Sanders.
Mr. Sanders reveals Democrat dissatisfaction in two ways.
First, his ascension means that all his viable rivals who are actual members of the Democratic Party are so totally unappealing to regular Democrat voters that they feel they have no alternative but to go with the socialist — even if many of them reject the notion of embracing Soviet-style socialism that fueled the cruel and corrupt dictatorships in places like Cuba and Venezuela.
The second way Mr. Sanders‘ ascension exposes deep dissatisfaction among regular Democrat voters is far more disturbing for Democrats. Or, for anyone in America who wants to see a healthy opposition party help keep Republicans honest and true to their promises.
Many Democrat voters are so disgusted watching this repeat spectacle of the party’s establishment scrambling to strip Mr. Sanders of the nomination before he gets it that they are willing to throw in with the socialist even if they don’t exactly love him. This is similar to what we saw four years ago when many Republicans threw in with President Trump simply because party leaders and conservative think-tankers were so appalled by him.
As with Republicans four years ago, this exposes a far deeper problem between regular Democrat voters and the party that supposedly represents them.
But there is one major difference between Democrats’ civil war today and Republicans’ civil war four years ago.
Mr. Trump got elected promising to blow up Washington. He has kept those promises more than any politician in a generation, even as there is much more work left for him to do.
Mr. Sanders, on the other hand, is promising to blow up America.
He wants to give the federal government in Washington more power than any government in the history of the world. From cow farts to taxes, Mr. Sanders wants to empower the federal government to control virtually every aspect of Americans’ lives.
The result is that Mr. Trump has garnered applause and jubilation among Republican voters in a way we have not seen since Ronald Reagan. Also, he has severely eaten into the base of Democrat voters.
Mr. Sanders and his government-first, leftist Soviet-style socialism will never enjoy that kind of broad support among voters — Democrat or Republican — who love America and love freedom.
• Charles Hurt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @charleshurt on Twitter.
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