Blue-Wave Democrats are just Rebel Republicans and that is Fantastic for the Country
As the Trumpets sound on western-liberal democracy, a new party is forming. They bear a Democratic brand but have demonstrated that they are more than just a bunch of people who like the color blue, diverging from their moderate comrades. They stake too much on the vigilance that color is meant to represent, which is odd in this new age of doubtful liberalism.
In fact, they are obsessed with the color — this new party is promising to submerge the political arena in a blue wave, and it is getting harder to doubt they may succeed. They are the Blue Wave Democrats, a left-wing party with a republican ethos that is laying waste to traditionally GOP districts, turning red maps blue.
Mainstream media is trying to define what Blue Wave Democrats (BWDs) stand for and what they want, but media organizations are having a tough go at it — much in the same way they continue to fail to comprehend Trump voters.
Their shortcomings are due to an ignorance of where BWDs originated; it is difficult for media to understand that their origins parallel the party of Trump.
BWDs come out of years of intense economic inequality and a failed national identity, leading to an embrace of extreme platforms while rising populist, extremist sentiments internationally buoyed them to legitimate candidacy. This story should sound familiar.
However, BWDs are a rare means out of the tumultuous contemporary political arena due to a unique upbringing as the first party to find success after the political devastation of 2016, rather than contribute to its destruction.
BWD success is due to their very nature. As the party raised in the violent hypocrisy that governs modern politics — idealism is woven into their very bones.
They are not democrats at their core — they are rebel republicans. BWD candidates are people who realized political parties are superficial means to ends, devoid of true belief, and have managed to repurpose once-exclusively GOP-political-zealotry and apocalyptic rhetoric to support democratic policies as a result.
Similar to how Trump followers are rebels against a democratic party that abandoned them and wear a republican label just out of economic desperation, BWDs are truly republicans who have been abandoned by their party and wear their rival’s label superficially. BWDs have finally achieved what right-wing extremists managed for the last year: disguise as their political rival.
Journalists love Trump voters because they are duped into seeing some part of themselves in them; Trump voters echo the left-wing economic angst and social complexity in their rhetoric. The appearances of BWD candidates in traditionally republican districts are for the same reason — voters see themselves in the candidates.
The BWD appearance comes at a time when nations across the world face their political parties’ superficial appearances transforming in conflict with their core values, endangering institutions once-heralded for their authenticity as they inevitably fail to adapt to the contemporary era.
BWDs are the latest iteration of that, yet are also unique since they are first party to emerge as a result of this internationally hypocritical environment and have not merely adopted a new strategy of political lying as a means to succeed in it; for BWDs, being rebel republicans is authentically who they are, even if they wear a democratic label. Party affiliation means too little to matter for BWDs — what matters is a person’s ideology and their dedication to it.
As a result of their disregard for party affiliation, BWDs do not know themselves. People recognize BWDs only when they see them, through the drinks they share at downtown bars or by the speech’s they give, and not by the letters next to their names. So, the party only has influence at the local level; yet that grassroots organization can be the most powerful tool in politics today.
BWDs are the first signs of hypocritical politics’ collapse, as the lines between true and fake intentions, appearances, and causes blur in the way of self-ignorance and ideological zealotry. All the BWDs say and do is a result of what they know, rather than as a grand political strategy at play, contrary to their GOP forebears.
And although BWDs are late to emerge from the same factors that created the alt-right and the party of Trump, it is important to remember they are political siblings. Most of all, BWDs play a vital part in the upcoming elections as the first true children of the contemporary, self-destructive political environment.
America’s Cooked Books
BWD rhetoric took shape out of GOP hypocrisy. As the self-appointed party of financial responsibility, the GOP was the party responsible for balancing the U.S. budget. And as the GOP consolidated its power over the country’s wallet after the financial crisis, national GDP began to soar, and international economic superiority was self-evident.
The grand measurements that purported the U.S. as the richest nation in the world were echoed on Capitol Hill as justifications for the GOP to be America’s accountant.
However, little of those riches were shared by the lower classes and the wealth the U.S. accumulated was kept in only a few people’s pockets. So, while the U.S. superficially built a reputation as the land of gold-paved roads, in practice its people were still suffering. They were just being told that their suffering was not their country’s fault; America’s workers were told they should not complain since unemployment was falling, yet wages stagnated as their bosses’ pay skyrocketed.
In essence, the GOP cooked America’s books to appear successful while the rest of the country languished; while the U.S. economy weakened for workers, politicians faked its prosperity by providing more success for the already successful through tax breaks and increased debt. These policies only served to consolidate wealth around a few as the economy naturally grew, creating the illusion that if the average American did not feel economically advantaged, it was their fault.
Those economic policies were coupled with intense right-wing rhetoric which not only strong-armed democrats to follow along during a deadlocked Congress, but also rallied once-fringe-republican parties like the Tea Party to justify harmful economic policies with nationalism, and to integrate that political strategy into mainstream platforms.
According to republicans, if only they were good enough Americans, wealth would one day trickle down to workers.
The definition of what made a ‘good American’ became embroiled in race and identity politics for the GOP, ignoring its classist and economic roots.
That rhetoric developed a sense alienation and hopelessness among the working class as wealth was shared in relatively decreasing chunks, and that alienation is now fueling populist movements. Rank-and-file GOP behaved like the good Americans they were told they should be no matter their unique racial or socioeconomic circumstances. If only they persevered through economic hardship, the rank-and-file believed they would be rewarded.
Yet, despite putting increasingly more effort into being good Americans, rank-and-file GOP never shared in the extravagant wealth of the wealthy. Neither did anyone of any other party.
People want the future to be better than the present, and that call for constant improvement was unmet economically while the gap between expectation and reality was justified politically. The national institutions that are meant to advocate for change instead demanded stagnation for the sake of its GDP, and people bore the brunt of that decision.
Republicans separated the country from its people by isolating them from its wealth and justified it through nationalistic rhetoric. Now, BWDs are using nationalist rhetoric against the GOP, buoying their own position in red counties with rhetorical familiarity.
A Failed National Identity
Where republicans once spoke about jobs and opportunity, they now ramble on about deep-state conspiracies; meanwhile, gun-rights platforms are failing to appeal to the country as a whole.
GOP rhetoric that was once about protecting the American dream and uniting the country in some 1950s utopian dream (yes, the 1950s were very racist and were far from perfect, but the GOP has never been the party of social justice) is no longer about the American dream.
BWDs have taken up the mantle of national unity by trying to construct a new national identity with rhetoric designed around traditional American ideals.
In BWD rhetoric, welfare programs and SNAP are not handouts, but instead create new opportunities for the average American. Wealth redistribution and corporate taxes are no longer socialist drains on society, but are ways to ensure workers are paid what they earn. Environmental regulations have become ways for people to freely bask in their country’s natural beauty, untarnished by large-scale pollution, rather than ways for politicians to restrict economic development.
By focusing rhetorically on freedom, opportunity and fairness, BWDs are hoping to rebuild a national identity that failed under the GOP. They are remaking it to be supported by these policies, and they are successful because BWDs have repurposed the GOP outrage machine to justify this change.
It was extreme to call for Obama’s birth certificate just as it is extreme to call for free tuition, and by demanding the same levels of extremity as their political rivals, BWDs are revealing themselves as republicans rebelling from their own (right-wing) ideology.
GOP rhetoric revolves around protecting a ruined American Dream from people who would ruin it further, and BWD rhetoric is about trying to rebuild it; both are concerned with traditional American fantasies.
Both rhetorical styles are even apocalyptic, claiming that their political rivals would destroy the thing most precious to voters: hope.
Because voters want candidates who can inspire hope, the collapse of national unity has been the greatest boon to BWDs. By claiming their rivals would destroy any hope America has, voters are connecting with BWD rhetoric through a desire for a better country. Rather than protect something that has failed, BWD successes in traditionally red arenas can be attributed to their call to rebuild the American dream coupled with a familiar urgency and outrage.
The GOP abandoned their constituents when they claimed there was nothing wrong with the American dream. Voter’s hardships simply weren’t heard. This allowed BWDs to move in by inspiring hope to those who were without it by reassuring voters they would rebuild the American dream.
This provided them with a solid foundation to grow off of. By uniting their base against a general GOP rival, rather than directing outrage against specific Trump-republicans, they united voters against the same people Trump did to on his rise to power: the establishment.
Republicans held significant influence in Congress during the last six years of Obama’s presidency, demonstrated in their ability to curtail the president’s ability to enact meaningful policies and necessitating the expansion of executive power.
As a result, the GOP was also cemented as the political establishment. So as political tides turn against the establishment once more, the GOP is suffering more than any other party. In an ironic twist of fate, the most lasting aspect of the Obama administration is the collapse of traditional GOP power.
This collapse has given BWDs much needed support; the more they rail against the GOP, the more popular they get in a country where standing against the establishment is fundamental to its existence. The BWD outlook that traditional politics has led to a harmful political environment lends the party popular appeal.
Their presence can also grow since BWD rhetoric is built around the same logic Trump voters used to justify their decision, only now repurposed against him, and that inherent familiarity can be reflected at red-district polls.
A circumstance of adopting Trump-logic is the legitimizing of extreme policies at no cost to political capital. BWD apocalyptic rhetoric justifies advocating once-taboo policies; extreme times call for extreme measures. So BWDs are justified to voters in their calls to abolish ICE or enact universal healthcare.
Mainstream media have mistaken this embrace of extreme policies as a democratic rebellion, while in truth it is a rational reaction to political absurdity. Politics is the art of the possible, and when the impossibility of having a sex-offender, racist, bigoted, childish, depraved millionaire in the highest office in the land is made real, so too does enacting seemingly extremely-far-left policies seem possible.
The legitimization of BWD policies is more than a circumstance of the collapse of the GOP’s national vision, but the party as a whole is buoyed by international extremist tides. A seemingly ultimate taboo was committed in the 2016 election when Donald Trump technically won the election, if not popularly; in the aftermath, anything seems possible.
Fewer social and political taboos exist — Turkey’s and China’s leaders were made free to seize lifetime power and consolidate their governments around themselves, fascist parties in India and beyond now have the opportunity to thrive, and a fake-news fueled wave of terror can take place in Myanmar.
Domestically, since the taboos of marching through the streets chanting Nazi slogans and running people over with cars have been broken, so to have the taboos of endorsing universal-single-payer healthcare or free tuition.
The election of Donald Trump tore open a worldwide power vacuum through the destruction of normalcy in only two years, and BWDs are one of many groups rushing to fill it.
What distinguishes the BWDs from other, usually right-wing, factions in this new political dystopia is their unique position among voters. Since they are now armed with powerful rhetoric, and are themselves republicans rebelling from their party which gives them sway among republican voters, BWDs need only convince voters of their own suffering to win in the midterms and beyond.
BWDs already ‘own’ extremely-left policy initiatives and do not need to compete with other factions for them, while right-wing groups deal with infighting over initiatives like gun rights or social policies. Since the party is unified, they do not need to compete with other leftist parties. And since there is no longer any taboo keeping voters from advocating for free healthcare or similar policies, there is a real potential for BWDs to build a huge voter-base.
In essence, BWDs do not need to advertise themselves as a solution. Instead, all they need to do is connect voters with the problems they endure on a daily basis. For most of the public, the reality that bankruptcy is a hospital visit away or that they may be shot randomly on the street is normalized after years of enduring it.
All the BWDs need to do is combat this normalization — and nothing is normal in the contemporary extremist-laden political environment. As an extreme party themselves, BWDs have the ability to capitalize on this instability in ways moderate groups cannot.
BWDs have the solutions to problems people do not realize they have, and as these problems become increasingly manifest as extremism rises, the party may be naturally lifted beyond legitimacy and into office.
Surfing the Blue Wave
However, this requires BWDs to continue resisting appeals to capitulate to mainstream democrats. Compromising with political rivals would undermine their platform: that they are against the political establishment since it has caused the problems the country is faced with today.
Trump did not compromise, and neither should the Blue Wave Democrats.
Just as Trump railed against mainstream media as failing to ‘understand’ him and his constituents, so should BWDs. The articles flooding news media (with the same title over and over again) about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her political comrades across the country reflect a fundamental, familiar disconnect between the mainstream media and the people it serves.
BWDs are described in news media as upsetting the democratic party, and not as the rebel republicans they truly are. Media professionals fail to ‘see themselves’ in Blue Wave Democrats in the way they typically can with democrats and put the blame on candidates instead of themselves.
Blue Wave candidates which rail against news media not only rally a misunderstood base, but also give media a second chance at redeeming itself. By enduring the same challenges as during the 2016 election, but now with a real chance to connect with voters since it is possible for traditionally left-wing media to ‘find themselves’ in candidates, media can accomplish what it failed to do two years ago: accurately and completely describe the world around it. BWDs are giving media a second chance to do its job.
Failing at this second chance is risking an already fragile connect news media has with the rest of society.
Traditional democrats must do the same if they wish to survive in the contemporary political age. Calls for bipartisanship are calls to maintain a dangerous and harmful status quo that is increasingly beneficial to a small and exclusive few.
It is extreme to challenge the large-scale institutions, but it must be done all the same as these institutions continue to separate people from their country. Moderate democrats are at a crossroads — they must choose between Blue Wave Democrats, who are a new kind of party more closely aligned with constituents, or the idea of a country that benefits a small few.
Either way, Blue Wave Democrats will continue to rise in power as long as nothing in the political arena changes. They are taking advantage of a hypocritical and toxic political environment and have managed to turn that toxicity on itself by repurposing the mechanisms that sustained an outrage culture.
And while for many throughout the U.S., Blue Wave Democrats are a sign of hope that democracy may survive the Trump age, it is also crucial to recognize that Trump was a similar glimmer of hope for many.
Blue Wave Democrats are poised for massive power in the coming years, but the nation must remember to be wary of power, or else history may repeat itself again and the fear of a failing democracy may find new justification.