Progressives Aren’t the Future of the Democratic Party

They’re the reason it has a present.

Taru Anniina Liikanen


Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: the reason the Democratic Party is in any way competitive these days is not thanks to establishment Democrats.

I’m guessing last Tuesday’s election and the narrowly averted disaster is showing the Nancy Pelosis and Sean Patrick Maloneys of the world that young Democratic voters are different from their parents and the previous generation, millennials.

Sure, a big part of the Dems’ unexpectedly good results in the midterms has to do with fascism-inspired turnout.

Getting people to the polls, especially when the presidency isn’t at stake, is rough. If the 2024 election and the future of democracy in the US weren’t at stake — as well as bodily autonomy, in many states — the Democrats probably would have gotten an absolute beating for inflation alone.

But it’s also the young people inspired by progressive candidates who took the win. The younger generations don’t show up as much as old people do, but when they do, they skew Democratic.

That’s not because of the Dem establishment. It’s because of those who have broken from it, to build a more progressive path.

Without the likes of AOC, Elizabeth Warren and Katie Porter, the Democratic Party would have an increasingly rough time building a winning coalition.

Why Are Young People Progressive?

It’s not just Gen Z. Young people are always more idealistic than old people. They still haven’t had the world beat their belief in a better future out of them.

They also haven’t had the chance to build wealth, so they don’t have a need to protect it. The richer you get, the more you hate sharing. And young people have less money they want to protect by lowering taxes, a GOP favorite.

That said, we’re also living in a different time right now than when I was a new voter, right around the millennium. Quite simply, the world has gone to sh*t, and Gen Z knows they’ll have to deal with it.

Young people care about climate change. They want to have a chance of having a future in the world their parents…



Taru Anniina Liikanen

Stand-up comedian and recovering political ghostwriter. Finnish by birth, porteña at heart. Bad jokes frequent.