Socialism catches up in national politics
After the surprising victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the Democratic primaries in New York, the United States is beginning to recognize the strength with which the country's Democratic Socialists are catching up.
The results of primary elections in the United States are a symptom of a society urging a radical change in the political system.
Since Donald Trump’s takeover, residents of the U.S. have been able to verify that, between Republicans and Democrats, the situation remains static and to the detriment of the least well-off.
That is why many are now questioning whether Sen. Bernie Sanders' election proposal actually failed during his 2016 presidential campaign, or simply planted a seed that would sprout later on.
Over the past few months, openly socialist candidates have been running for seats in Congress and other government positions using the grass-roots political style coined by Sanders with proposals such as health care for all, the strengthening of unions and the recovery of electoral power.
While many believed that the phantom fear of socialism would not allow the emergence of such politics in the U.S., campaigns like those of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York have surprised (and frightened) the entire country.
But the phenomenon is much bigger.
The New York Times reported that during the month of May "three young progressive women running for state Legislature in Pennsylvania, each endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) won decisive primary victories over men heavily favored by the political establishment.”
Among them, Summer Lee (30) and Sara Innamorato (32) defeated members of the Costa family, an icon of Pennsylvania politics.
For her part, Elizabeth Fiedler (37) announced her candidacy "only three months after giving birth to her second child." With a daycare in her campaign office, where other parents could leave their children to join forces, Fiedler spoke to her voters about Medicaid and child insurance.
For the Times columnist Michelle Goldberg, these candidates are the symbol of "a grass-roots civic renewal that is happening across this country," which has translated into "the sole source of optimism in this very dark time."
The political revolution that is taking place in the country goes hand in hand with the representation of women in campaigns once controlled by powerful white men, where the identification of the candidates with the community in the streets has allowed immigrants, people of color, and women in general to create a political model that suits them better.
According to the DSA platform, in 2017 there were 7,383 state legislators in the country, nine of whom are affiliated with the Progressive Party of Vermont, as well as an independent from Alaska.
For columnist Daniel Moraff, the growth of the left movement in U.S. politics has been slow but steady since 2014, with a "recent record of left-wing challenges within the Democratic Party."
"We can look at the bottom, where the California state party has seen a Sanders sweep in the delegate elections," Moraff continues. "We can look in the middle, where Working Families Party (WFP) challengers swept a slate of incumbents out of office in Rhode Island's legislative elections, or we can look at the top, where 22 statewide elections were won by Sanders, an open democratic socialist, including hotly contested primaries in New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Michigan.”
Now, and thanks to the fierce opposition that the Donald Trump government has detonated, several candidates have emerged in unexpected places, backed by the Democratic Socialists, such as Franklin Bynum in Texas or Kaniela Ing in Hawaii, who could become the next Kshama Sawant - who won the seat in the Seattle Council in 2013 with the Socialist Alternative campaign.
Nothing is safe so far. Nobody can guess the results of the elections in November, but if something is clear it is that there is an alternative to the bipartisanship rooted in U.S. policies, and what Bernie Sanders called "a social revolution" is closer to becoming reality.