How Democratic Socialists Are Gaining Control of the Democratic Party

By Joshua Philipp, The Epoch Times
July 16, 2019 Updated: August 6, 2019

News Analysis

The Democratic Party is fracturing, with some trying to retain the more centrist platform of liberalism, and with others pushing the party toward the hard left of socialism.

A major piece of this is the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), which has gained heavy influence within the Democratic National Committee (DNC), according to author, filmmaker, and Epoch Times columnist Trevor Loudon.

“The DSA has basically made a major effort, working in conjunction with the Communist Party USA and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization—which are both pro-Chinese by the way. They are taking over the Democratic Party from the grassroots up,” Loudon said.

He noted that the DSA control comes in addition to other factions that have gained influence over the DNC.

In “The Shadow Party,” authors David Horowitz and Richard Poe explain how billionaire Democrat financier George Soros similarly gained influence over the party. And in “Hacks,” Donna Brazile, former interim chair of the DNC, explains how the Clinton family bought control of the DNC by bailing it out financially.

“There are various factions competing for control of the Democratic Party. They often overlap,” Loudon said, noting that the Clinton control gave them the ability to make Hillary Clinton the chosen candidate in 2016; and the Soros influence used cash to put people into various positions.

With the DSA, he said, its takeover bypassed the major seats of power and, instead, focused on a bottom-up approach.

“All over the United States and in all 50 states, Democratic Socialists of America has around 60,000 members and they are putting their people into the Democratic Party at the lower levels,” Loudon said.

He added that from its controlled positions at the lower levels, the DSA is “using those people to then elect county commissioners, state representatives, Congress members, and also to influence senators and presidential candidates.”

As an example, he pointed to Tiffany Cabán, who won a seat as district attorney in Queens, New York, and who platformed to decriminalize prostitution, end prosecution for drug crimes, and end cash bail, even for violent crimes.

“She beat an established Democrat candidate quite handily,” Loudon said. “And that’s just the latest example of what’s happening around the country.”

A Changed Party

The Democratic Party has transformed radically from its former positions in liberalism, and among the key traits of this shift are its policies to embrace socialism.

Yet, even with these shifts, there are DNC establishment holdovers who see that the socialist platform is too radical to win major elections.

A new internal poll on swing voters being circulated among top Democrats was recently revealed by Axios, and allegedly has DNC leaders worried. It found that swing voters dislike socialism—with 69 percent viewing socialism unfavorably, and just 18 percent viewing socialism favorably.

The poll also found that swing voters are now identifying the DNC with Democratic House freshmen known as “The Squad,” which includes Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who are pushing heavily for the socialist policies that swing voters oppose.

Loudon noted that the DSA has been around for a long time. DSA members were close to Bill Clinton during his presidency, and DSA members had a hand in Hillary Clinton’s health care task force when she was secretary of state under Barack Obama.

The big shift in the Democratic Party, however, took place around 1994 to 1995. Loudon said that until that time, U.S. labor unions were mainly run by moderates such as the late Lane Kirkland. Yet, he said, “a group of DSA members, leading union members, and union leaders staged a coup, and they put their men in.”

Among the major shifts was when John Sweeney, former president of the AFL-CIO, removed the organization’s anti-communist clause, and “the Marxists came flooding back into the unions,” Loudon said.

Now, he said, socialists have broad control of the unions in the United States. “The key point here is this: If you control the unions, you control the Democratic Party.”

“Because they took hold of the AFL-CIO, they were able to take hold of the direction of the Democratic Party and often determine who gets elected and what policies are adopted,” Loudon said.

This has been visible in the policy shifts of both unions and the DNC. Loudon noted that “before 1994, the American unions and the Democratic Party were militantly opposed to illegal immigration. You can look it up. Actually, the Clintons were very anti-illegal immigration. Even up to Obama, some of his early speeches were very anti-illegal immigration.”

“I don’t know if people just forget this history or what,” he said, and added “If you watched C-Span in the ’90s, Bill Clinton and Harry Reid used to sound like Tea Party guys. They would constantly talk about how bad illegal immigration was—it was taking jobs from American workers, it was a national security risk, a disaster.”

After the DSA took hold of the AFL-CIO around 1994 to 1995, however, talking points and policies changed. “The AFL-CIO flipped their policy 100 percent from opposing illegal immigration to supporting illegal immigration,” Loudon said.

Among the driving points behind this shift in policy, Loudon said, was that the Democrats were seen as going too hard left, which was causing them to lose longtime Democrat voters in the Midwest, and they needed illegal immigration to find new voters.

He noted that in 2009, this policy was made clear by Mexican-American labor union activist Eliseo Medina, who called for amnesty for illegal immigrants as a top priority for the progressive movement. This was based on an observation that Obama won two-thirds of the Latino vote in 2008, and that granting amnesty to the at least 11 million undocumented workers in the United States could add 8 million voters for the Democratic Party.

“Eliseo Medina was Barack Obama’s immigration adviser,” Loudon said. He noted that this demonstrated the influence the DSA was able to have at the top levels of politics through its control of the unions. “DSA has reversed the Democrat policy on illegal immigration, just as they gave us Obamacare and a whole raft of other things.”

As things currently stand, the DSA has “huge influence at every single level of the Democratic Party Congress, through the Congressional Progressive Caucus, right up to several of the Democratic presidential hopefuls at this time. And the grassroots belongs to them. That’s why Democratic Party policy today is identical in virtually every aspect to DSA policy,” Loudon said.

Follow Joshua on Twitter: @JoshJPhilipp
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