Issues & Insights

Don’t Be Surprised By Democrats’ Radical Turn – Fanaticism Is In Their DNA

I&I Editorial

Much of today’s political commentary is focused on the Democrats’ hard-left swing, how it’s now the party of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or the party of The Squad, to which she belongs, or is under the influence of socialist Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and the Bernie Bros gang of militants. This should surprise no one. The seeds of radicalism were planted long ago.

Democratic strategist and Friend of Bill James Carville recently said he is “scared to death” for the future of the Democratic Party.

“Are we going to be an ideological cult? Or do we want to have a majoritarian instinct to be a majority party?”

It is a party that is “unfit to govern” – its base impulse is to dictate rather than operate with constitutional confines – whose leaders are giving the country a preview of America’s “progressive” (and dystopian, we should add) future.

While the Democrats’ lurch to port looks like a recent event, it’s been decades in the making. The party has been a comfortable home to closeted authoritarians for decades. Its big government agenda is a safe harbor for socialists, statists, coercionists, and sworn enemies of liberty.

Democrats have a history of rejecting civil society in favor of political society. They have long believed all ills, both the real and imagined, can and should be resolved by government intervention. The party has rejected freedom and individualism and adopted a collectivist mindset that needs a fortune (always someone else’s) in tax revenues to function.

A man is known by the company he keeps and this is true of political parties. Long before anyone was wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt, Democrats were supporting some of history’s worst tyrants. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is a Sandinista devotee, as is Sanders, who made a “sympathizer” trip to the Soviet Union in 1988, and believed that Fidel Castro was just a prince of a fellow who generously kept “his” people fed, housed, and schooled.

More recently, leftist author Naomi Klein, a Canadian who endorsed Sanders for president, signed in 2004 a petition headlined, “We would vote for Hugo Chavez,” says the Los Angeles Times, then, “three years later, she lauded Venezuela as a place where ‘citizens had renewed their faith in the power of democracy to improve their lives.’” The love continues to be lavished on Chavez’s replacement, Nicolas Maduro, by “left-wing Democrats who parrot” the dictator’s propaganda.

Looking deeper into history we see that Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal was “alluring” for “those zealous Communists who, as cogs in the Democratic administration” could “promote the aims of the (Communist Party) and the Soviet Union, and pursue a government career at a good salary – all in one wondrous package!”

That was from a 1967 speech about radical intellectuals in the 1930s given by American Marxist George Novack, who also said in the same engagement:

  • “The Left intellectuals had the most widespread antagonism to capitalism and intense attachment to revolutionary socialism during the ‘30s.” 
  • “Edmund Wilson appealed to his fellow progressives to give up their expectations of ‘salvation by the gradual and natural approximation to socialism’ and urged them to become a militant minority actively struggling to attain socialism here and now.”
  • “Ideologically and politically, the American Left intellectuals of the ’30s lagged far behind their European counterparts who had assimilated Marxist ideas decades before. The crisis spurred them to catch up in a hurry and they did their best with the equipment at their disposal.”

Not that we need additional evidence, but let’s not stop there. A competent prosecutor would also mention that:

  • “Michael Harrington, the socialist political theorist who founded the Democratic Socialists of America, maintained, unlike the old guard, that the Democratic Party could be a vehicle for meaningful political change.” — The Nation
  • “Democrats like Franklin Roosevelt could just co-opt the ideas of the Socialists.” — The Nation
  • “What pundits today decry as a radical turn in Democratic policy and politics actually finds its antecedents in 1944. With the country fully mobilized for war, President Franklin Roosevelt called for ‘a second Bill of Rights … an economic bill of rights’ that would entitle all Americans to a ‘useful and remunerative job,’ ‘the right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation,’ the ‘right … to a decent home,’ ‘the right to adequate medical care’ and the ‘right to a good education.’” — Politico

The roots of today’s Democratic Party reach deep into the red soil of socialism and anchor the real and implied violence of extremism. The dense and twisted forest is nearly grown now, with more than three-fourths of Democrats saying they would vote for a socialist presidential candidate, according to a Gallup poll taken earlier this year. Anyone wondering why many of our big cities are under siege from rioters can quickly figure out why just by looking at that poll.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

We Could Use Your Help

Issues & Insights was founded by seasoned journalists of the IBD Editorials page. Our mission is to provide timely, fact-based reporting and deeply informed analysis on the news of the day -- without fear or favor.

We’re doing this on a voluntary basis because we believe in a free press, and because we aren't afraid to tell the truth, even if it means being targeted by the left. Revenue from ads on the site help, but your support will truly make a difference in keeping our mission going. If you like what you see, feel free to visit our Donations Page by clicking here. And be sure to tell your friends!

You can also subscribe to I&I: It's free!

Just enter your email address below to get started.


I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • I guess what I would say is shocking is that in spite of what is happening with the democrat party, regardless of how violent and radically Marxist they become, people like James Carville will STILL vote with and for them! What does that really say about these people? It tells me they have no principles. They are willing to allow the country and what it stands for to self destruct rather than to take a stand against what is happening. How can anyone say that this isn’t shocking! How can these people care so little for their country, it’s people and for themselves?

  • don’t overlook WWilson as a big gov’t acolyte. Many do , but he re established income taxes , the fed reserve and attempted the pre un (spit) league of nations. His drive for control so extensive that he stayed in the White House though incapacitated and the Mrs ran our gov’t . Very biden litke , no ?

  • Some fam still bitterly cling to that well they helped grampaw the factory worker 80 years ago.
    Reason and logic is lost as they let the enemedia think for them.
    They get even more upset if you ask just exactly what utopia the inevitable pantsuit princess Hillary was going to build.
    When you ask just what rights that Trump is stripping away or who is under oppression the drool just drops off the chin.
    Facts and truth mean nothing to fanatics, plan accordingly.
    The statist utopian cult will have to be dealt with or there is no future for the republic.

  • Amazing editorial. As I have been noting for years now, we have near 80 million or more Americans gleefully, wantonly, and relentlessly urging the Democrats to destroy America! We’re not going to get rid of those people, so, we live with treason and deceit and dishonesty for at least a couple more generations. Shame we don’t have an Israeli type God to make us wander the desert for 20 so years to wipe out this kind of hideous mentality.

  • It’s also useful to examine the ideas and baneful influence of dedicated Marxists such as Antonio Gramsci and Harold Laski. Each of them seem to have had an outsized influence over American socialist tendencies.
    Former Democratic candidate Pete Butiggieg’s father, the late Joseph, was a professor at Notre Dame University who wrote a 3-volume translation of Gramsci’s “Prison Notes”. Since this was major effort for him, it must be a topic in which he was interested. It would have been informative if his son Pete could elaborate on how Gramsci influenced his own thinking.

  • Coercionist is a new word for me and describes the attitude, policies, rhetoric, and agenda of the current Democratic Party.

  • Thank you for introducing another word into my vocabulary: coercionist perfectly describes the 2020 Democratic Party.

About Issues & Insights

Issues & Insights is run by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. Our goal is to bring our decades of combined journalism experience to help readers understand the top issues of the day. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis, because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide. 

We Could Use Your Help

Help us fight for honesty in journalism and against the tyranny of the left. Issues & Insights is published by the editors of what once was Investor's Business Daily's award-winning opinion pages. If you like what you see, leave a donation by clicking on donate button above. You can also set up regular donations if you like. Ad revenue helps, but your support will truly make a difference. (Please note that we are not set up as a charitable organization, so donations aren't tax deductible.) Thank you!