The Democratic Party of 2020 Is Broken

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Sanders’s early success, like the unstoppable train of Trump’s candidacy four years ago, suggests that the United States has entered a new era of party politics that benefits rebels and ideological radicals. In this era, the most important race is not for the broadest coalition of voters, but for the largest and most passionate base of people who will support the candidate no matter what happens. Instead of encouraging the nominee to compete for the approval of party elites, the primary process rewards whoever arrives at the ballot box with the biggest, loudest base.

The parties once knew how to stop a rebel. In fact, they did it all the time. For most of the past 50 years, Democratic and Republican elites—their party organizations, politicians, cable-news regulars, and various aligned interest groups—successfully used their money and media…

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