Sen. Bernie Sanders may have lost the 2016 Democrat primary, but his followers are not standing down. In unprecedented numbers, many of the agitated activists who’ve been protesting ad nauseum since President Trump’s election have officially become full-fledged members of the Democratic Socialist Party (DSA).
The organization, founded during the Reagan years, now has 19,000 members. Their goal: to pull the Democrat Party even further leftward.
According to the LA Times:
The Democratic Socialists of America’s membership spike seems driven by three factors: younger Americans, who polls say are more open to socialism than previous generations; the 2016 Democratic primary campaign of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a self-described democratic socialist whose race ignited a grassroots following but also left bitter feelings about the Democratic Party; and the galvanizing effect that Trump’s election has had on left-leaning Americans, who have increasingly turned to grassroots activism.
Most of the members are anti-capitalist and believe that corporations succeed at the expense of individuals. They support single-payer healthcare and are true social justice warriors. One member tweeted that “income inequality and systemic racism/misogyny work really really well to keep the poor poor and make the rich richer.”
While the group is reportedly excellent at organizing – as seen by the flurry of snowflake protests across the country – it remains to be seen if they will have any impact in future elections, especially at the federal level.