Bernie Sanders may never be president, but his socialist fingerprints are all over the latest draft of the new Democratic Party platform. The 35-page document was drafted in St. Louis last week, and it signals a troubling, extreme left-turn for a party that is already unacceptably liberal.
If the platform were to be adopted by the next president and successfully turned into federal law, Americans would see a number of significant changes – many of which could do incalculable harm to the economy, our culture, and our foreign policy.
Among the proposals:
New regulations for the Federal Reserve that would prevent financial executives from sitting on the bank’s regional boards.
New restrictions on securities trading.
The abolition of the death penalty.
A national $15-an-hour minimum wage.
An end to corporate tax deferrals on overseas earnings.
A new law mandating 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.
Federal election reform, aimed at ending “secret, unaccountable money in politics.”
Many of these proposals are presented in a soft, populist blanket meant to hide the insidious truth at their center: Namely, the expansion of federal power. If passed into law, this platform would represent one of the most stunning diversions from democracy this country has ever seen. Any talk of a “private sector” would begin to sound like an unfunny joke; Democrats want to turn the free market into a mere subsidiary of the federal government.
Thankfully, these platforms rarely have much to do with how the president actually behaves when in office. And since Hillary Clinton is only approving these ideas to grab Sanders supporters, she’s unlikely to feel particularly inclined to fight for them once elected. Her own liberal streak is bad enough, but she’s not an extremist like Obama and Sanders. She doesn’t care about re-imagining America; she just cares about being president.
But that is small comfort, indeed. A woman without core principles is nearly as dangerous as a radical leftist. Should she become president, her guiding light will be the polls. And – perhaps because of the Republican Party’s woeful lack of effective messaging – the American public is getting very comfortable with these socialist policies. If Hillary senses that intense liberalism will boost her approval numbers, that’s exactly what she’ll embrace.
And, as we’ve seen over the last eight years, we can’t count on Republicans to keep her in check.
Any conservative would be forgiven for having serious concerns about some of the proposals made by Donald Trump. But while Trump is fascinated by the polls, he’s not driven by them. And when it comes to conservatism, he’s sure as hell further to the right than his general election challenger.
Some of Trump’s Republican critics have suggested that it would be better for him to lose in November, allowing the party to regroup and return in 2020 with a more ideal candidate. The new Democratic Party platform demonstrates exactly why this is such a dangerous strategy. We cannot rest our hopes on a centrist version of Hillary Clinton. She will go where the winds blow. Winds that currently have Barack Obama sitting above 50% approval ratings. Winds that have culminated in this extremist DNC agenda. Winds that very nearly gave us a self-proclaimed socialist as one of our major-party candidates.
Those winds could blow us right past the point of no return.