Some notions of the political center or moderates, which, if taken too seriously by too many, can have very negative consequences:

1. It’s reducible to political moderates in the Democratic Party as well as higher ups in the DNC. Not the case. It’s a mass trend with considerable resonance across the country.

2. Its politics are frozen. No, they change under the impact of economic, political, and cultural shifts. The center today isn’t a carbon copy of the center of yesterday; too much has happened, not least the crash of 2008 and the discrediting of a mode of accumulation and the associated politics that engineered it. No Democrat in the current presidential primary is saying that we should stand still or pin our hopes on unfettered markets. Each of them advocates reforms, including the expansion of the public sector and public goods. Some obviously more than others.

3. It can’t defeat Trump and the authoritarian right on its own. Actually, that is true. But neither can the left. If we could, we would have done it long ago. For now and the foreseeable future, we’re codependent, even if the relationship is at times fraught and quarrelsome.