I have previously complained about how US politics has been turning into an endless campaign, and you’ve probably seen it firsthand if you’ve been following the news recently.
Despite election day being nearly 2 years away, campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination are already in full swing, and it’s turned into a media circus.
While most of the coverage has been kind of useless, focusing on the drama of the election, it’s also provided us with some valuable insight into Democratic policy.
All of the politicians on the campaign trail have been forced to engage with voters and lay out their platform, which has allowed for everyone to see what they’re actually thinking. For once, we’re having a real conversation about where we’re going as a country and what we want to do about it.
There’s a problem, though. While it’s undoubtedly a positive thing that we’re having actual discussions of policy, we’re not talking about it in the right way.
For one, the media is constantly focusing on what Democratic policy means for the direction of the party. It’s become cliche to say that Democrats are moving further left, and we’ve heard the signature Democratic rallying cries so much that we’ve stopped thinking about them practically.
Many members of the Democratic base now know that they like the policies candidates are putting forward, like a $15 minimum wage or legalized marijuana, but they haven’t thought about their full implications or how they’ll be applied in practice.
For example, the idea of single-payer healthcare is logical, and it’s becoming increasingly popular among Americans. Bernie Sanders even proposed a bill in the Senate that would create a Medicare-for-all system in the US.
Unfortunately, very few people have read Sanders’ bill, and it will never pass through the Republican controlled Senate, meaning it’s essentially dead in the water. After that, there’s no solid plan for how that bill, or any Democratic healthcare plan, will manage to get actually put in place.
By most measures, however, single-payer healthcare is doing a lot better than most Democratic policy. A lot of Democratic policy goals don’t even have a bill in Congress, and instead are just utopian ideas that get thrown around.
It’s hard to be truly invested and hopeful with the Democratic Party when all they have are policies they’d like to put in place, but not plan for how to do so.
What they really need is a practical policy road map. They need a concrete, well made and well known plan for how they’re going to enact their policy plans and what the specifics of them will be. That will eliminate any doubt from people like myself that these aren’t serious ideas, and it will allow for them to actually happen when Democrats retake power.
Right now, they’re simply dreaming, and while it’s nice to dream, there’s a time when the dream has to end and the governing has to start, and Democrats need to be prepared when that happens.
I truly hope Democrats are able to turn their policies into a reality for Americans, but that can only happen if they use this time right now to not only energize their base, but develop a concrete strategy for how they will run the country.