President Donald Trump has liberated the elected members and leaders of the Democratic Party to be the socialists they really are.
That became clear with Thursday’s publication of the “Green New Deal,” a utopian legislative idea championed by first-term Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and endorsed by at least five candidates for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, including the current frontrunner, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA).
The “Green New Deal” reads like a term paper for UC Berkeley’s “Capitalism, Gender and the Present Moment” seminar, hastily completed during an all-nighter after a week of mid-afternoon bong hits and Netflix binges.
The plan calls for the entire U.S. economy to switch to solar and wind power in ten years, and guaranteed jobs for all, including those “unwilling” to work. It will be paid for by printing money. And if you disagree, the planet will die.
Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” is not the first crazy idea to be proposed in Congress. But it is the first crazy idea to be taken so seriously — co-sponsored by ten U.S. Senators and a third of the House Democratic caucus so far.
A close second would be “Medicare for All,” which Sen. Harris endorsed last month, adding that she would “eliminate” private health insurance — though she later said she was open to other paths to socialized medicine.
“Medicare for All” is not even popular in Harris’s deep-blue home state of California, where a plurality of voters opposes the plan, according to a Quinnipiac poll released this week. Yet the same poll revealed that the policy is very popular among Democrats, with 61% in favor and 24% opposed. When Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Los Angeles) blocked a similar idea in 2017, saying there was no way to pay for it, he received death threats.
Many Democrats have long believed in having the government run everything. Until now, however, they have felt the need to hide it.
When Barack Obama led an insurgent campaign against Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, he attacked her health care plan for including an individual mandate that would force every American to buy health insurance. After he won the presidency, he signed that same individual mandate into law.
After watching Trump win the 2016 election, however, and govern successfully for more than two years, many Democrats have stopped pretending. They are going full socialist. They are embracing 70% tax rates, cheering abortion through delivery, and calling for ICE to be abolished.
Partly that is because the party’s “progressive” base is better organized, and more social media-savvy, than the defeated, shell-shocked Clinton establishment.
But is is also because Democrats have convinced themselves that the best way to beat Trump is to emulate him — at least, the version of Trump in their heads.
They see him as a fascist — so they feel less restrained to share their radical views. They are told by the media that he is a liar — so they simply make things up. They believe the border wall was a cynical gimmick — so they have adopted catchy labels like “Green New Deal,” regardless of substance.
What they fail to understand is that for all his bluster, Trump is a conventional president, whose beliefs are well within the mainstream of American politics, whose policies have restored the constitutional balance and helped the “working class” Democrats think they represent.
On Tuesday, he told Congress: “Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”
With Democrats’ help, Trump can run on that promise in 2020, and win.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.