To the left of Biden, a marketing effort begins to make socialism look mainstream

Higher minimum wage, universal health care and free tuition "are commonsense ideas that the majority of the American people support," Bernie Sanders declared Sunday.

Updated: November 15, 2020 - 11:10pm

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In his final debate with President Trump, Joe Biden insisted the Democratic Party was not in the grip of leftists like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren or Tom Steyer. "I beat all of those other people because I disagreed with them," he said.

But since Election Day, the left wing of the party has spent much time reminding Biden he agreed to implement many of its ideas if he makes it the White House on Jan. 20.

The latest salvo came on Sunday when Sanders, the Democratic Socialist, declared he is confident Biden will uphold the party's most progressive ideas because "the majority of American people support" them.

"I sometimes find it amusing when our opponents talk about the far left agenda," Sanders said on CNN's "State of the Union." "The truth is that when you talk about raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour, when you're talking about expanding health care to all people as a human right, when you talk about effectively taking on climate change, when you talk about making public colleges and universities tuition-free, these are not far-left ideas. These are commonsense ideas that the majority of the American people support. And we're going to fight to make sure that they are implemented."

And if Biden has any intention of drifting to the center, Sanders promised he'll have a fight on his hands.

"I fully expect that the Biden administration will be advocating those proposals that they agreed to … We're going to fight to make sure that they're implemented," he said.

You can watch it here.

Sanders' latest TV salvo is part of a larger effort by the Democratic Party's left wing to dress up its ideas as mainstream after voters rejected several liberal ballot initiatives on Nov. 3, shrunk the Democrats' House majority and gave Republicans at least 50 seats in the Senate.

The rebranding of ideas like Medicare for all, free tuition, packing the Supreme Court and even universal income — all ideas not that long ago regarded as extreme or socialist — has begun in earnest.

On Sunday, Sen. Warren (D-Mass.) offered a line similar to Sanders', suggesting moderate Americans will warm up to the liberal wing's platform.

"Bold policies to improve opportunity for all are broadly popular," she tweeted. "Now, Democrats need to deliver on those policies for the American people—for those who voted for us, those who did not, and those who were too disenchanted or disenfranchised to vote."

And Andrew Yang, who built his campaign around the idea of the government providing every American a basic income payment, suggested the more Middle America thinks about, the more they will like it after going theough the COVID crisis.

"After you think about it for a little while you wind up at Universal Basic Income," he tweeted last week.