Eric Swalwell Showed Everyone How Not to Run for PresidentPhoto by Joe Raedle/Getty Politics Features Eric Swalwell
Make America Great Again is not solely a conservative notion. Liberals are infected by this brain disease too, it just manifests itself in a different manner: “bipartisanship.” Given that he couldn’t surpass the immortal Bill Richardson in the polls and dropped out after the first primary in 2008, this is clearly the essence of Joe Biden’s popularity—the idea that all we need to do to fix our problems is vote Trump out and go back to some idyllic period that didn’t really ever exist. The fact of the matter is that Trump is a symptom of our uniquely American structural issues (namely the fact that we were built on the dual foundations of genocide and slavery, and literally wrote those into the constitution in Article 1 Section 2 Clause 3), and a Republican Party that is by far the most extreme mainstream political party in the Western world. We are in the middle of a war for the soul of America, and the slow, “bipartisan” supposed march of progress is a fiction invented in the late 20th century as both parties completely aligned with the interests of major capital. Look at the dystopia around you, this is what “bipartisanship” hath wrought.
Which brings me to Representative Eric Swalwell. He is running for president, and yesterday he gave a speech that was like a parody of The West Wing.
Rep. Eric Swalwell: “I pledge to lead our country with a team of rivals, a blended cabinet of Republicans and Democrats, not because it will be easy — and we may have to send out a search party to find more Republicans who can put country over party.” https://t.co/PFoTN6OcbTpic.twitter.com/Qz6Or8920U
— The Hill (@thehill) April 15, 2019
If you are a liberal who believes that the Republican Party is uniquely dangerous, but also that we need to come together to form bipartisan solutions, you are a walking contradiction. You want to compromise with a party where 89% of its members support Donald freaking Trump? How is that even possible? There is only one way around this mess, and it is by driving a stake through the heart of the GOP and electorally humiliating them into national irrelevance, and hoping that the next iteration of American conservatism gets away from the blood and soil white nationalism that has animated the GOP since Barry Goldwater’s Trumpian run in 1964.
The Democratic Party of the last 40 years simply cannot exist on its own. Its mindset is that in order to justify its existence, it must work with Republicans. It cannot exercise power alone. This means that without Republicans, there basically is no Democratic policy. This is the short story of how the party lurched to the right, aligned themselves with an establishment despised by damn near everyone, and helped create the hellscape that is President Donald J. Trump.
On the whole, the early returns in the Democratic primary have been positive, as supposed “centrist” candidates like Kamala Harris and Beto O’Rourke have spoken with clarity about looking at the GOP as the adversary they are—not the allies that unserious candidates like Swalwell wish they were. Eric Swalwell will not win in 2020 because even though he has a young face, he is a relic of a bygone era wholly repudiated by both reality and the new progressive uprising in the Democratic Party.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.