There are two prominent political ideologies in America: liberalism and conservatism, left-wing and right-wing, represented by Democrats and Republicans… right? Well, looking at what true left-wing ideologies stand for, it becomes abundantly clear that Democrats and liberals do not do justice to the left that they supposedly represent.
Firstly, leftists are fundamentally anti-capitalist. This means that, either by reform or by more radical change, leftists seek to end the exploitation of the poor by billionaires and corporate elites. One example of this is their support for Medicare for All, as opposed to the current capitalist healthcare system. However, according to Forbes, Democratic senators, while they may appear to be against corporate interests and privatized healthcare, have been funded by big pharmaceutical companies, just like the establishment Republicans they so fervently denounce (forbes.com).
More broadly speaking, American leftists tend to be in favor of more egalitarian politics, with the vast majority of them supporting progressives like Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Arguably, these politicians represent the bare minimum of left-wing ideology, as their “radical” agendas like universal healthcare and the Green New Deal have been achieved in many other developed countries and are literally vital to the survival of the American people. Popular non-progressive democrats like Vice President Joe Biden and Mayor Pete Buttigieg do not support either of these bare-minimum policies, which really begs the question of why they represent America’s left wing. Junior Alexander Wicklund said, “I believe that the Democratic Party should have a range of progressiveness that can account for everyone voting in that party.”
A final issue many of those on the left are in favor of is Second Amendment rights. Yes, you read that correctly. According to one leftist quoted in a VICE article, many of those on the far left agree that the government and law enforcement shouldn’t have a “monopoly” on gun violence: “until [the state] disarms, citizens (particularly poor ones of living in blighted, over-patrolled and/or surveilled communities) shouldn’t either” (vice.com). In contrast, the movement to ban assault rifles has become an expectation for any liberal to support, with virtually all of the democratic presidential candidates including similar restrictions on guns in their campaign promises.
Many conservatives believe that this distinction between leftists and liberals does not exist because of the solidarity they see between Biden and Sanders on certain policies. At a speech at the Rose Garden, President Donald Trump said, “…Joe Biden released his unity platform, developed with socialist Bernie Sanders, describing what he would do if elected President. The Biden-Sanders agenda is… the most extreme platform of any major party nominee, by far, in American history… and he’s doing that because he’s begging for [the left’s] vote” (whitehouse.gov). What the president described is what leftists wish Biden would do. The truth is, not one of Biden’s policies even remotely addresses the wants and needs of the left, even with the Biden-Sanders unity plan taken into consideration. These are compromises, not radical changes, and the President is clinging onto his miniscule amount of “proof” so he can continue to fearmonger and convince his base that Joe Biden is some sort of communist, when in reality even Bernie Sanders is barely a democratic socialist, if that.
So, the left is much more “radical” than the liberals of the Democratic Party. Politicians like Joe Biden do not represent the left, and even progressives only represent the bare minimum of leftist ideology. So, how can the left ensure that their ideology becomes more mainstream? Vote for Biden. What!? Well, with four more years of Trump, he will keep with his narrative of moderate democrats being “radical,” in turn moving the Republican party further and further to the right. With mainstream conservatives being so far to the right, bare-minimum left wing policies like those of Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez will be seen as absolutely insane. With a Biden presidency, although it does not approach the interests of the left, at least there will be a relatively unbiased idea of political ideology in government, with moderates still being moderates and leftists still being leftists.