One of the most common criticisms of Donald Trump following the election has been that he has been a “divisive” force; one that has done more to drive Americans apart and cause fighting than he has to help people find common ground. Until now, this has stood to benefit Trump, who relies on the political divide in this country to keep his supporters in the dark, and often intentionally stokes the flames of political debate to make sure they stay this way.
This divisive nature, however, is finally beginning to cause major problems for Trump. Despite the fact that it’s allowed him to completely pool the wool over the eyes of his political support base, it’s also begun to empower one of the groups that oppose him most intensely: Democratic Socialists.
Democratic Socialism has seen a resurgence in popularity due to the fact that Bernie Sanders championed it as his political ideology of choice during the 2016 election. Universal healthcare and education are two socialist ideals that have found a tremendous amount of support among younger voters recently, and as a result, socialist groups in the United States are growing at incredibly fast rates.
One such group, the Democratic Socialists of America, or DSA, held a rally in Chicago this weekend, and over 1,000 American socialists showed up. Maria Svart, Director of the DSA, pointed out their recent gains in membership, stating that ““tens of thousands of democratic socialists have come together to build a future for this country in which everyone has the right to a decent job, a good home, a free college education for their children, and health care for their family. For years, we’ve been sold hope and promised change by Wall Street politicians—now we’re taking matters into our own hands.”
The frustration expressed by Svart here has been incredibly well received by younger voters, who also feel as though their economic freedom and political agency have been stolen from them. After all, it’s understandable why they might feel this way: the richest Americans control more wealth than ever before, and the country’s most recent election was hijacked by a foreign nation.
As a result, the DSA has been growing, and its membership has tripled to 25,000 in recent months while the organization has established national reach, operating 177 local chapters in 49 states.
This sort of growth this early into Trump’s Presidency can only mean one thing: he has almost no chance of victory in 2020. His policies have empowered the opposition, and will likely have the effect of putting a Sanders-esque candidate in the White House sooner rather than later.