To the left, to the left, everything you own in the box to the left.
Okay, okay I won’t try and sing. I do want people to come to this site! And I promise I have not lost my mind (entirely). So why am I quoting the irreplaceable (see what I did there) Queen Bey? Because this past week I was able to discuss these words, just with an entirely different meaning.
On Wednesday evening, I was lucky enough to participate in a live debate discussing the motion The Democratic Party has moved too far to the left. I, along with a partner, was assigned to argue against the motion.
This topic, certainly relevant to the current political atmosphere, has garnered attention from pundits and the Twitterati across the political spectrum, as well as fueled a few bar room brawls (maybe? Isn’t everyone talking about politics all the time? Just me?)
Regardless, its implications will affect the results in 2020 and years to come. My personal opinion on the matter, to be honest, is mixed—sorry
to straddle the fence here and not pretend to be an oracle. In regards to policy, I am mainly behind a strong progressive platform. As I argued in the debate, I feel our current political atmosphere demands bold policy measures in many arenas-from climate change to health care to institutional reform. However, I am also practical. As much as I want these policies, if the Democrats don’t win back the Presidency, or lose seats in the House and Senate because they run on them, does it even matter what I want? I also believe that not all actors in the Democratic Party need to have the same role.
I do believe that not all individuals in the Democratic Party, or any political group, need to play the same role. So while it may be important that candidates are careful to not appear “too far” left to scare off general election voters, the voices of advocates and some legislators calling for more progressive action and inserting new ideas into the conversation is important. For example, no matter what you think about the Green New Deal’s practicality, it is important that voices like AOC are heard to emphasize the importance of such legislation, in my opinion (but if you ask my opinion on this tomorrow, it might be entirely different. Thank 2016 for my lack of confidence in political prognostication).
I am including below an audible version of the debate, which I highly encourage listening in its entirety if you have a chance. I am trying to work out a better version and will hopefully be able to include an easier link in the future, but for the moment, I ask you to copy and paste the link below and the tape should come up (I am at my wits end trying to get it to work otherwise at the moment, but want to provide what I have for now).
Although my side lost, all debaters truly injected different perspectives into the discussion. It will certainly make you reflect on the topic, or at least it did for me. I would also like to offer my congratulations to Eric Carter and Kyree McLauren-Davis on their debate victory, and my extreme appreciation to Chris Ewald for partnering with me. I would also like to thank the entirety of the NYC Political Forum for providing me with the opportunity to debate.