WHAT KAMALA HARRIS’ SUPPORT OF SINGLE-PAYER HEALTHCARE MEANS FOR THE LEFT
POSTED AUG. 31TH 2017 | BY DYLAN JAMES HARPER
Judging in terms of ability to accomplish political goals, the Democrats, in their current form, are one of the weakest parties in recent memory. There’s no better example of this than their capitulation to Republicans during the Obamacare discussions; Democrats made over a hundred GOP suggested changes to the landmark healthcare bill, but none of those changes yielded any legitimate Republican support for the bill.
Once more, learning nothing, the Democrats refused to run on a single-payer healthcare platform, which tends to poll very well with voters in key states, throughout the 2016 election. Kamala Harris’ recent announcement that she will support single-payer healthcare, and her inevitable run for President, might signal a shift in the Democrat’s approach to electoral politics under the Trump regime.
There’s no secret about it, when the (just barely) left of center political infrastructure known as the Democrats feel threatened, they tend to shift even further toward the center, often going right past the middle and stopping on the right side of the political spectrum. This has been evident in virtually every presidential election of the modern era. Bill Clinton and his third way ideology, Barack Obama’s stances on immigration and deportation, and of course Hillary Clinton’s opposition to single-payer, which she framed as support for Obamacare. For what it’s worth Sanders, who had a lot of nice rhetoric, also capitulated to conservatives in his own state on a handful issues, gun control being the one most exploited by Clinton during the primary. Harris seems to be trying to maybe push left a bit in gearing up for a presidential run.
Although single-payer healthcare tends to be well liked among key voters, and certainly plays well with young voters across the board, it’s unclear whether this will be an effective strategy. What’s important, however, is that this potential change might signal that the Democrats are finally willing to listen to those to the left of them, even if just a little bit. This might not seem entirely meaningful, but it certainly would be an improvement over the current state of running elections of conservatives against other conservatives with a D next to their name.
The Democratic Party is almost certainly not worth saving, there’s no way around that. However, it still has immense political power compared to virtually every non-major political party. If the Democrats are now more vulnerable to pressure from the left, that should signal to the left that it’s time to keep the pressure up as much as possible. This won’t be an overnight change, but if there’s any potential for the left to wield the existing political infrastructure as a tool, it needs to be exploited. Hopefully Harris is signaling just such an opportunity.
Watch CSUTEMUSIC.com's exclusive documentary Kamala Harris - Persistence to Power about the California Senator and rising star in the Democratic Party.
Dylan James Harper is the Chief Political Editor for CSUITEMUSIC.com
Read more from Dylan at http://www.dylanjamesharper.com/