The MSM labeled Democrats like Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of (D-NY) as liberals when they are really radicals a Rutgers University history professor argued Thursday, saying that such “sloppy labeling” is confusing Democratic politics on many levels.
“For several years now, reporters and pundits have been incorrectly applying the word ‘liberal’ when they mean leftist,” David Greenberg said in an op-ed in The Washington Post. “Journalists continue to unwittingly carry on their work by blurring the distinction in ways that matter for Democratic politics.”
Historically, “liberalism has been the governing philosophy of the Democratic Party since Franklin D. Roosevelt, if not Woodrow Wilson,” Prof. Greenberg said, “a doctrine of liberty, equality, justice and individual rights that relies, in the modern age, on a strong federal government for enforcement.”
“The party has remained ideologically diverse,” he added, “ranging from moderates or conservatives like Senator Joe Manchin (D-WVA), and Pennsylvania Representatives Conor Lamb to leftists or radicals,” he said, including Mr. Sanders and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez.
Many “established” Democrats are liberals, he said.
They include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) former Vice President Joe Biden (D) former President Barack Obama (D), and his Y 2008 primary challenger, Hillary Clinton (D).
But in recent years, “what was once a left-wing fringe of the Democratic Party has grown significantly,” he argued.
And, “instead of describing these newcomers and insurgents as ‘further to the left’ than mainstream liberals, reporters succumb to a convenient shorthand, under which those politicians are deemed ‘more liberal’ than the liberals,” Prof. Greenberg said.
“To clear up the muddle, true liberals like Obama, Biden and Pelosi are recast as ‘moderates,‘” he concluded.
Liberals like Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), “reject the vision of leftists like Sanders by seeing a vital role for private business in generating wealth, economic opportunity and innovation,” he said.
But Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s “left-wing” views scuttled last year’s Amazon deal in New York City.
Therefore, denying the “liberal” label to true liberals, “and reserving it for Warren and Sanders skews voters’ understanding of their politics,” he said.