This isn’t a “Bernie or Bust” or a “Vote Blue No Matter Who” blog post. Let’s just go ahead and get that out of the way. What I do want to discuss is the fact that the Democratic Party has a very big problem they need to confront, and it isn’t Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Bernie Sanders or his supporters.
Currently, aside from President Obama, or Elizabeth Warren, Democrats really do not have any exciting political figures that energize the base. There is Cory Booker, the junior senator from New Jersey, but he’s flying just below the political radar for many voters across the country.
Bernie Sanders is probably the most popular politician in the United States right now, and he was an independent prior to this presidential campaign. He brings thousands of people out to his rallies, even if they don’t vote in the primaries due to a number of reasons, including restrictions.
The Democratic establishment obviously wanted Hillary Clinton to be the 2016 nominee, and if Bernie Sanders hadn’t jumped into the race, I doubt that there would have been any serious challengers. Only Martin O’Malley made it as far as Iowa before dropping out, which exhibits the lack of a talent pool Democrats can pull from in national elections.
If you are a Democratic Party official or strategist, that should scare the hell out of you. The DNC is already struggling to connect with younger voters, and the scarcity of lawmakers who appeal to us is a very real problem.
Republicans aren’t going to be able to convince most of us younger folks with their socially conservative platform – but a third party could attract some who aren’t thrilled with Democrats or the GOP. That alternative could be the Libertarian Party, and they have been aggressively recruiting disgruntled voters.
On the surface, the Libertarian Party appears attractive to be an attractive alternative, especially with their socially liberal views on marijuana legalization, gay rights and abortion. I have a number of independent friends who have been considering Gary Johnson due to their dislike of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Libertarians are completely wrong on the economy and corporate regulations. Many also believe in taking apart the social safety net, leaving people to fend for themselves. However, libertarians are doing a good job of hiding that behind their platform on social issues that appeal to liberals and progressives who support Bernie Sander.
Democrats aren’t likely to lose supporters to the Republican Party, but Libertarians are making a play for supporters from both partie right now. If the DNC does not get their act together quickly, they could lose part of their base – and the White House as well.