The MAGA crowd is not the only group of disaffected voters. On the other side of the aisle are the Berniecrats and the democratic socialists.
After the 2016 primary, many of Bernie Sanders’ supporters said that he had been cheated, most brazenly in Nevada. Bernie endorsed the winner of the primary and his supporters coalesced into the Democratic Socialists of America. The DSA is an old caucus within the Democratic Party: the general strategy of the Berniecrats was to take over the institutions of the party and push its political machine to the left.
After the 2020 primary, which was riven by scandals of rigging and blatant corruption, many of Bernie’s supporters became nihilistic defeatists. They ‘took the black pill.’ Some went along with Bernie and his campaign team as they endorsed Joe Biden, arguing weakly that this was the only way to defeat ‘fascism’ in the person of Trump.
It remains to be seen whether the Democrats and their reluctant stooges in the DSA will lose the faith of the voting public. Certainly their elected officials and core membership will stay the course: AOC and ‘The Squad’ will continue to follow President Biden, and the DSA is unlikely to split from the party.
But what about those who voted Democrat, who wanted Bernie or some equivalent, and are not invested in the party machine? What about the millions of Americans without health insurance, stable jobs, livable wages, or secure housing? What about the voters who had no stake in the race until Sanders’ movement made Medicare For All a real possibility?
Common sense says that some will stay with the party, the ones who are closest to its politics. Common sense says that many will go back to being apathetic non-voters believing that nobody speaks for them in Washington.
Common sense hasn’t been very reliable for the last four years.
If someone wants to win those votes then they have to offer policies that would make a real, material difference in the lives of the people. This won’t be the two big parties. Which do everything in their power to repress true popular democracy.
With the Republicans and Democrats competing to deliver less and less to the public there is a wide open field for a third party. One that has not betrayed its popular support or their demands. One that is populist, patriotic, and promises Medicare For All (Americans). One that can draw cynically from left and right to win over a cynical and worn-down nation.