This article falsely assumes there is a Progressive majority in the US, just waiting to be tapped by a resolute Democrat. The fact is that Progressives are a minority even within the Democrat party. True, they wield outsize influence, but that should not be mistaken for broad support. Even more salient is that the bases of Leftist sentiment are a distinct Electoral College minority. As the Progressives impose their orthodoxy, attack moderate Democrats, and effectively expel the working class that was once their base in the days of FDR, they become even more non-competitive across broad swathes of the country.
Progressives stand for a raft of measures and attitudes that are simply unpopular with Middle class and industrial workers across the MidWest, Mountain West, and South. Progressives support MFA, which to millions means taking away their employer-based healthcare and imposing new taxes. Progressives favor open borders and sanctuary cities, which to many stands for leaving the floodgates open to criminal gangs, drugs, and sex traffickers. Progressives want to provide free healthcare to illegal aliens, a stance that infuriates many lower middle class people. Progressive ideas on climate change mean banning air travel, raising gas taxes, and taking away hamburgers. From race-based reparations to letting felons in prison vote, Progressives are pushing ideas that are anathema to a large majority. Their overblown charges of racism and sexism, their focus on intersectionalist identity, and their campaigns of political correctness don’t go over so well outside the coasts, liberal college campuses, and a few other Progressive enclaves. The Progressives are deeply out of touch. They see an impoverished nation, awash in prejudice and discrimination, getting worse by the day. The truth is that poverty is declining, income is rising, affirmative action replaced dejure discrimination 50 years ago, and despite some notable exceptions, most people are doing well in the opportunity economy. Except in the Democrat-run cities now beset with homelessness, filth, and lawlessness, most of the country is doing a lot better. With Black unemployment at its lowest ever, don’t be surprised if Trump doubles his share of the Black vote. Even the 22 year old on a liberal campus, decked with the latest diversity buttons and politically correct t-shirt, sporting fancy sneakers, designer pack, pricey laptop, and the latest cell phone might someday realize they are not a member of the lumpen-proletariat. The logic of Leftist politics keeps narrowing its program to more refined levels of purity, to the point where its message cannot resonate with but a few of the diverse strands of the American electorate.