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Joe Manchin: a Senate Republicrat to Dispute and Challenge

In 2016, it was made crystal clear that the modern American left is sick and tired of the continued corporatization of the Democratic party; this has been displayed by their support of progressive legislators such as Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

The Trump presidency spells a rough and bumpy few years for United States liberals. We can’t afford to let our side be controlled by doltish, semi-liberal pushovers. Part of this progressive effort means keeping an eye on certain Democratic policy-makers. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is definitely one of them.

Manchin has recently been under fire for voting to confirm controversial Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a known bigot and ultra-conservative; this, however, is just the tip of the iceberg that is Manchin’s voting record.

He identifies as “pro-life”, and in August 2015, voted in favor of the GOP-sponsored bill to discontinue Federal funding of Planned Parenthood.

Manchin was also the only senate Democrat absent from the vote on the DREAM Act as well as the vote to repeal “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”. Apparently, voting on major pieces of his party’s legislation was less important to him than attending some Christmas gathering.

Protecting the environment may be an emphatically significant issue for the modern left, but it’s clear that Joe Manchin doesn’t care about our planet. Not only did he support the “Energy Tax Prevention Act”, a proposal to prohibit the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, but he also supports construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada, stating that it “makes so much common sense that you want to buy [oil] off your friends and not your enemies.”

Manchin’s vote to confirm climate change denier Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the EPA also displays his total lack of care in regards to the environment.

I am frankly appalled that this man was elected. Is this really what you want, Democrats?

If we are going to combat the Trump administration, we can’t have anti-choice, anti-environment NRA members running things. For that will just further the current disenfranchisement of millennial voters with the Democratic party.

We need fierce progressives willing to take on the establishment and kick ass. What we don’t need is Senator Joe Manchin.

Ezra Kronfeld is an American writer and poet.