At first, progressives recoiled in horror at the Trump Administration’s electoral success and inclusion of far-right extremists among its ranks. Jeff Sessions – a long-time opponent to racial equity – ascended to the role of attorney general, where he has since used his power to instruct federal prosecutors to pursue maximum sentencing for drug offenders in a throw-back to the failed tough-on-crime polices of yesteryear.
But as grassroots activists become increasingly engaged at the local level (and as the Trump Administration descends into disarray and scandal), that initial dismay is transforming into positive, progressive results.
After the American Healthcare Act vote, the 2018 midterms could be an absolute nightmare for congressional Republicans, caused both by the deception and lies that the GOP has promulgated to its supporters as well as the historically low favorability of the incompetent Trump. A recent primary vote in Philadelphia could be an early sign of just how motivated the grassroots left is, tperhaps confirming these predictions.
Progressive Larry Krasner effortlessly won the Democratic primary for Philadelphia’s district attorney. His campaign – endorsed by a variety of progressive activist groups – represents a dramatically different vision than Sessions’. The civil rights lawyer defended Occupy and Black Lives Matter activists, and has promised some of the most progressive reform measures – including most just sentencing for drug offenses – that the nation has seen in recent history. His stances pulled the entire field of candidates to the left, leading many to proclaim resistance to the death penalty.
That such bold, progressive values resonated so resoundingly seems to vindicate the argument that the Democratic party needs to anchor itself to a contrasting platform to that of Republicans. Hopefully, the party reads the mood of its grassroots and adjusts accordingly.