Chris Zuver, A&E Editor
Earlier this month, Virginia saw the victory of Danica Roem, who ran under the Democratic party and defeated Republican incumbent Bob Marshall for the seat in the state’s House of Delegates under the 13th district.
Roem is transgender, but that had nothing to do with the policies she expressed during her campaign. This is a crucial difference between her and many contemporary left-wing politicians. Her agenda had nothing to do with gender or racial identity. It had everything to do with her concerns about the community and its policies. She focused on infrastructure and paying teachers. A former political journalist of her community, Roem knew where the problems lay.
Marshall, her competition, was a social conservative who was openly anti-LGBT and declared himself Virginia’s “chief homophobe.” Roem beat him by 9 percent of the vote.
She is not alone. Roem is part of a larger movement of progressives entering the political ring through the left. Some are independent, while many are running under the Democratic banner. They represent a new American wave of voices, funded by everyday people, as opposed to a majority of mainstream politicians today, tied down by career interests over ethics.
Roem’s brand of Democrat reflects on a new wave of those who favor themselves in the style of politicians such as Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI). They want a single-payer healthcare system, social justice, and oppose corporate career politicians like Hillary Clinton and her ilk.
We saw another new face in Virginia earlier this month with Lee Carter, who won the Virginia House of Delegates in the 50th district. He is an IT specialist and veteran who defeated incumbent Republican delegate and House Majority Whip Jackson Miller by 10 percent. Carter’s a member of the Democratic Socialists of America movement, which saw tremendous growth ever since the 2016 presidential election.
Another amongst the new wave is St. Louis’ own Cori Bush. A member of the movement Justice Democrats, she was their first candidate. She is also a member of Brand New Congress, and will be running in 2018 in Missouri’s 1st district against incumbent Lacy Clay.
Bush is a single parent, pastor, registered nurse, and former teacher. She seeks to reinvigorate schools in the area, provide Medicare for all, and support workers’ rights, among other serious issues in greater St. Louis.
While President Donald Trump and his divided party debate over taxes and healthcare, it seems that some on the left are beginning to reform with a solid and reasonable goal in mind. They have decided that if the corporate-funded Democrats are not going to work for their interests and the interests of others, then they themselves will have to become the change that they want to happen.
This new insurgency into the party is not a moment too early. Just like the GOP, the Democratic party is currently filled to the brim with career politicians who sway with whichever trend is currently popular.
As I have stated before, the division of the two political wings once came down to a few simple disagreements about the economy and social issues. Hopefully, this new wave from the left will have the strength to bring back some kick to the Democratic party as a contender in that debate.