The Atlantic

The Democratic Party Is Radicalizing

Extremism isn’t just affecting the GOP.
Source: Carlos Barria / Reuters

The transformation of the GOP into the party of Patrick J. Buchanan and Donald J. Trump—defined by cultural resentments, crude populism, and ethnic nationalism—is among the most important political stories of this century. But the GOP is hardly the only party that is undergoing some alarming tectonic shifts. Liberals wondering why conservatives who worry about Trump don’t join the Democrats should consider what is happening on their own side of the aisle.

If you want to understand just how radicalized the Democratic Party has become in recent years, look at the ascent of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. A self-proclaimed socialist, Sanders served as mayor of Burlington, Vermont, and was then elected to the House in 1990 and the Senate in 2006. It’s hard to overstate just how left-wing Sanders’s views have been, at least by the standards of American politics.

Sanders has been a consistent of regimes led by anti-American dictators like Daniel Ortega and Fidel Castro. He took pains to his brand of socialism from the “totalitarianism” of the Soviet Union, but on a 1988 trip, repeatedly between the Soviet system and the United States that cast his own the nationalization of entire industries and 100 percent taxation on those making more than $1 million. Since then, Sanders has moved away from calling for government to own the means of production, but he has hardly experienced a Damascus-road conversion. He is still a proud leftist.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic3 min readPolitics
Trump Supporters Don’t Make Chants About Men
Where the president’s fans once called for a female opponent’s imprisonment, now they are longing for another woman to be literally banished from the country.
The Atlantic6 min read
The Blind Spot of Beyoncé’s Lion King Soundtrack
The singer’s musical accompaniment for the new CGI remake neglects to include any artists from the region that inspired the film—a curious lapse in narrative fidelity.
The Atlantic5 min read
Why That 13 Reasons Why Scene Took Two Years to Cut
If you are having thoughts of suicide, please know that you are not alone. If you are in danger of acting on suicidal thoughts, call 911. For support and resources, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text 741-741 for the