Colorado’s Progressive-Establishment Divide Is Alive and Well

Friday, May 18th, 2018

An excerpt from the original Westword article is provided below. To see the full article click here.

Two years after it began, the internal divide among Democrats may be wider than ever, particularly here in Colorado.

As evidenced by Donald Trump’s election and Bernie Sanders’s rapid rise two-plus years ago, there is a strong national appetite for outsiders to enter politics, and Colorado, home to a plurality of independent voters, is the beating heart of that sentiment. In a state where Sanders won Colorado’s 2016 Democratic primaries by nearly twenty points, progressive energy is still visible across the Centennial State.

Several Colorado Democratic primaries are pitting establishment candidates — often deemed to be longtime party insiders, big-money recipients or both — against progressives, who are often former Bernie supporters with varying degrees of progressive ideals and relatively new to politics.

[Some content from the original article removed for brevity. To see the full article click here.]

“If the Democratic Party doesn’t right itself, it’s going to suffer the same fate as the Republican Party, and it barely has any moral high ground to stand on now,” says Mark Williams, a progressive Democratic candidate vying for the 2nd Congressional District, which covers Boulder“I hear that if you’re worried about the well-being of your party that Levi’s gone a step too far by releasing [the tapes], but if you’re a patriot and you’re concerned about the well-being of our country, then that dialogue within parties [should be released]. I want this conversation to matter to people so that they feel that the parties represent them. Those are the stakes that are much more important than saying, ‘Oh, I’ve hurt the party.'”

Many progressive candidates, like Williams, argue that an internal Democratic debate is required and that more than anti-Trump rhetoric will be needed to win general elections this fall.

“Yes, we hate Trump, but like other folks say, if all we say is we hate Trump, Trump likely gets re-elected in 2020, in my mind,” he explains. “That’s not enough. My question is: What, as a party, are the ideas that we’re bringing forward? For me, the energizing ideas behind that are the ideas of a healthy democracy, medicare for all, of just very progressive positions.”

To see the full article click here.