I grew up in Western Pennsylvania in a high school with a graduating class of 53.
The marching band would take a trip to Kennywood Amusement Park in Pittsburgh for a parade each year. For six years my favorite ride was The Pirate, a boat swinging 60 feet in the air on a pendulum, exaggerating the effects of the rough Atlantic seas.
Now, what does this story of my favorite Kennywood ride have to do with the Democratic Party in 2020? The answer, of course, is the pendulum.
Swinging back and forth, this ride is simply a metaphor for the last few decades of American politics regarding the presidency.
Each time a president leaves office, the new party leader is farther out on the political spectrum than before. George H.W Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barrack Obama — these office holders reflect the ever-increasing polarization of the society we live in, as each pursued more polarizing policy choices than their predecessors.
Now, after having an energetically-progressive Democrat, the pendulum has swung farther out to the right than before with President Donald Trump.
If the pattern is true, as I think it is, we are expected to see an even more liberal Democrat clinch the party’s nomination — which is exactly why we are going to lose.
Now, make no mistake, I wear my “bleeding-heart liberal” badge with honor. But in the time of Trump, being too far left will only confirm four more years of President No. 45.
Take Sens. Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren for example. Both Booker and Harris are equally progressive and have made it expressly known by staring down Sen. Chuck Grassley during the Judiciary Committee vote on then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh — rather than voting “no,” they remained silent to stare down those who voted “yes” in defiance.
While this plays well for registered Democrats, an open resistance to the Trump presidency and his choices makes these candidates enemies of anyone who supports the president.
Should any of these candidates receive the Democratic Party’s nomination, I can say confidently that Trump’s base will rush to the polls to make sure they do not lose.
As for Elizabeth Warren, who many hold as the candidate furthest left, her Native American controversy does not energize the moderate base and prevent it from turning out on Nov. 6.
As for Kristen Gillibrand of New York? The Al Franken fiasco still follows her in the Rust Belt to this day, which holds states desperately needed to win in the electoral college.
The Democratic Party believes it will win 2020 with ease, which is why so many Trump challengers have announced.
But their past congressional action of the last two years will come back to haunt them, and I fear will secure the Trump administration another four years.
They need a moderate Democrat — one who is not as controversial — who can energize the moderate body in our country.
The Democrats need a candidate who can win in the red states, while appeasingstill the blue states.
They need someone who has conservative roots, yet won their election three times in a row, making them the first Democrat in Pennsylvania to win more than twice in a U.S senator seat.
We need Bob Casey.