This is like a whole new United States.
After the November election, we have been seeing a sharp increase in right wing hate crimes. The country is more divided than ever before, with most of the big media outlets having chosen one side or the other. The government seems as gridlocked as ever, with Democrats and Republicans equally determined to stop each other cold.
But that’s not the new America; that’s the old America. The one we’ve been seeing for the past 20 years or more. The one where the two major parties cling to power and money and where the day after every election, the next fund raising cycle begins.
What’s new is the rise of a new progressive movement, riding on the energy created by the shocking election of Donald Trump.
The Democratic Socialists of America are one of the left leaning groups that has gained traction after the election. They have joined protests in support of A Day Without Women and against the Trump travel ban.
Their numbers are also growing rapidly. The grassroots group has seen membership triple since November. There are currently more than 19,000 dues paying members, which is the largest number since its start in 1982.
David Duhalde, a spokesperson for the DSA, explained the sudden increase in membership this way:
People really felt that they had to do something to combat the incoming Trump administration. We’re not only somebody you can resist Trump with, we’re somebody you can build a better world with.”
The progressive, social activist group is not a political party at the moment, but its members hope to have a strong influence on the Democrats in the next election cycle.
It’s been decades since socialists have had any voice in this country. You have to go back to the 1930’s to see a real socialist movement. The new swing toward socialism can be linked in part, experts say, to the increase in young voters.
It’s also no doubt the result of Bernie Sanders’ surprisingly successful presidential campaign, which drew millions of progressives as well as millions of dollars. A lot of people were inspired by the Senator and his unashamed embrace of socialist positions.
It will be interesting to see how far the group can go before the mid-term elections.