Lanhee Chen: The Ascendancy of the Socialist Left

A passing of the torch happened last weekend, when one progressive icon—Bernie Sanders—accepted an endorsement of his campaign from another progressive icon, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Her endorsement came as no surprise to political observers, but heralded an important moment for the ascendancy of far-left wing politics within the Democratic Party. No longer can socialist policy positions be considered the fringes of the American left. Indeed, the movement led by Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez isn’t merely a minor blip in history to be dismissed with the next political cycle. It is the pathway down which the Democrats will take their politics, policymaking, and rhetoric in the years to come.

The ascendancy of the socialist left is a gift to President Trump and Republicans in Congress, who will run as defenders of a free-enterprise system that—while not perfect—has been the linchpin of American prosperity for generations. That’s an electoral fight that will be tough for Democrats to win.