Jul 6, 2019 - Politics & Policy

For Dems, a pre- and post-Reagan divide

This illustration shows a donkey, symbolizing the Democratic party, split in half and shown in different colors.

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Young Democrats and their older, battle-weary counterparts are at odds over hot-button progressive issues because they come from two political eras: before and after Ronald Reagan's election, WashPost's Ryan Grim writes.

The big picture: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden are two old-world Democrats "shaped by their traumatic political coming-of-age during the breakup of the New Deal coalition," while Obama-era politicians like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez believe "Democratic attempts to moderate and compromise [with Republicans] have led to nothing but ruin."

Driving the news: Impeaching President Trump, addressing climate change with a Green New Deal, creating Medicare-for-All, and building a $15 minimum wage and free public college are issues that Pelosi has kept a firm moderate line on — often saying "the country isn’t ready," per the Post.

The bottom line: Grim argues that only two major presidential candidates — Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders — are "immune to the pox that fell upon the party in the ’80s," due to their then-separation from the Democratic establishment as it crumbled after Reagan's election.

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