Nobody seemed to think Gillum had a chance at winning the Democratic gubernatorial primary last night in Florida. After all, his opponent was a dynasty candidate who overwhelmingly outspent him in the lead up to the election. Gillum had also been plagued with hints of scandal when late last year Tallahassee City Hall was the focus of a public corruption investigation. While his victory in the face of such overwhelming odds is impressive, what is most impressive (and telling) is that he won on the platform he ran on.
Gillum ran to the left of his primary challengers. He is an advocate of Medicare for all and increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Gillum was endorsed by, and campaigned with, far-left senator, Bernie Sanders. When asked if he thinks Democrats should try to impeach Trump if they win the House this November, Gillum’s response was, “I absolutely do.”
Gillum is the newest candidate (and primary upset) in a growing progressive political movement that has found purchase within the Democratic party. After the shock conclusion of the 2016 presidential campaign, Democrats were left rudderless. With the removal of Clinton and her more centrist ideals, a power vacuum opened within the party that has been slowly filled with fresh progressive candidates.
While the philosophy is a bit rough right now, these candidates are armed with new solutions about how the economy should work and forward-thinking ideas about social issues. I have often noted how the Democratic party lacked an ideological backbone. Now, to the chagrin of party leaders, it seems like the far-left is eager to give them something to rally behind.
The big question mark in all this is how it plays out comes November. Democrats assume a position of strength due to the unpopularity of President Trump. Perhaps though, this assumption has led to an overreached by pushing this emerging ideology. Either way, the results of these elections are becoming more historic by the day.