Scrolling Headlines:

Trio of second period goals leads Maine to 3-1 win over UMass hockey -

January 16, 2018

Small-ball lineup sparks UMass men’s basketball comeback over Saint Joseph’s -

January 14, 2018

UMass men’s basketball tops St. Joe’s in wild comeback -

January 14, 2018

UMass women’s track and field have record day at Beantown Challenge -

January 14, 2018

UMass women’s basketball blows halftime lead to Saint Joseph’s, fall to the Hawks 84-79. -

January 14, 2018

UMass hockey beats Vermont 6-3 in courageous win -

January 13, 2018

Makar, Leonard score but UMass can only muster 2-2 tie with Vermont -

January 13, 2018

Pipkins breaks UMass single game scoring record in comeback win over La Salle -

January 10, 2018

Conservative student activism group sues UMass over free speech policy -

January 10, 2018

Report: Makar declines invite from Team Canada Olympic team -

January 10, 2018

Prince Hall flood over winter break -

January 10, 2018

Minutemen look to avoid three straight losses with pair against Vermont -

January 10, 2018

Men’s and women’s track and field open seasons at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2018

Turnovers and poor shooting hurt UMass women’s basketball in another conference loss at St. Bonaventure -

January 8, 2018

Shorthanded, UMass men’s basketball shocks Dayton with 62-60 win -

January 7, 2018

Northampton City Council elects Ryan O’Donnell as new council president -

January 7, 2018

UMass power play stays hot but Minutemen lose 8-3 to UMass Lowell -

January 7, 2018

UMass hockey falls to UMass Lowell in 8-3 blowout -

January 7, 2018

UMass hockey falls short against Yale in 5-3 loss Friday -

January 5, 2018

Otis Livingston II, George Mason drop UMass men’s basketball 80-72 -

January 3, 2018

The Virginia gubernatorial election is a victory for progressives

(Brian Cahn/ZUMA Wire/TNS)

Last week’s election cycle left liberals, progressives and Democrats with a taste of victory unknown to the left since the election and reelection of Barack Obama. Since dramatic House of Representatives losses in 2010, Democrats lost the senate in 2014 and have seen consistent net losses in gubernatorial races across the country. That’s why the election of Ralph Northam as governor of Virginia, to say nothing of 15 new Democratic seats in the Virginia House of Delegates, is a breath of fresh air for liberals in the age of Trump—a victory that cannot be diminished by the media’s spin.

Emerging from the victory of Governor-elect Ralph Northam was the need for pundits and analysts to explain away the loss of the Republican candidate, Ed Gillespie. Their spin: Northam demonstrated that centrism, not liberalism, was what won the Virginia governorship. Fox News political analyst Douglas E. Schoen (a Democrat) wrote, “Northam campaigned on a moderate platform and offered the type of alternative agenda that the Democratic Party must advance in order to succeed in 2018 and beyond.” This stands in direct opposition to a memo released by “Gillespie for Governor” campaign manager Chris Leavitt, who wrote, “Ralph Northam is far to the left of the incumbent Democratic governor, previous Democratic governors and gubernatorial nominees, and, most importantly, the Virginia electorate.” Clearly, Northam was a liberal until it became inconvenient to the narrative that liberals don’t win the support of the electorate. Don’t be fooled by the spin. The left, not the center, won the governorship for Ralph Northam, and his opposition knew it going into Election Day.

The right has also engaged in introspection after this election, arguing that Gillespie lost because he tried to run as a ‘Trump Republican’ rather than a ‘traditional Republican.’ According to Michael Tackett for the New York Times, “(Northam’s) election showed the limits of Trumpism, and now Republicans will have a choice about how clearly to embrace it.” Again, do not be fooled by the spin. ‘Trumpism’ and ‘Republicanism’ are one and the same; if you doubt that, just look to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. When asked if the GOP had to choose between Bush-style Republican policies and Trump, Ryan said, “We already made that choice. We’re with Trump.” If the Virginia election was a referendum on the Trump presidency, it was also a referendum on the current state of the entire Republican Party. If the president’s abysmally low approval ratings are making Republicans fear their fate in the 2018 midterm elections, then that is just the way the pendulum swings.

I would argue that the Republican Party is a far-right party, whereas the Democratic Party is a center-left party. In that political climate, the moderate center is not a true center of American political ideology, but rather one of center-right conservatism. As a consequence of that political climate, any win for the Democratic Party is a win for American progressivism, as it shifts the moderate center where progressives and conservatives may compromise while governing further toward a fair and centralized position.

As shown by liberal Keith Ellison’s acceptance of the Deputy Chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee after his defeat by moderate Tom Perez to head the Committee, there is room for moderate Democrats and leftist Democrats to come together and plan a platform that may convince the American electorate to vote blue next year. Ralph Northam defeated Tom Perriello, who had the endorsements of both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, in the primary for the governorship earlier this year. So, while Northam’s ascendance may fairly be viewed as a victory for establishment Democrats, it should remain a beacon of hope for all progressives moving forward, regardless of whatever spin those who wish to divide the left employ in order to distort the narrative and soften the blow of conservative defeat.

Daniel Riley is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at dpriley@umass.edu.

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