It has been evident for quite a while now that extreme right-wingers (i.e., teabaggers) think they are the voice of America. They are convinced that most Americans agree with their point of view -- and the only reason they have lost recent elections is because their candidates weren't extreme enough. And in their effort to see this come to pass, that are denigrating their own candidates that are not far enough to the right to please them.
There is emerging a similar view among progressives (i.e., extreme liberals). They are also convinced that they are now the voice of America -- and the ticket to winning the next election is to choose the candidate that is farthest to the left (the most progressive). And they are also denigrating candidates that are not far enough to the left to please them.
The teabaggers are strong in the Republican Party, and they will have a strong voice in choosing the Republican presidential candidate. And the progressives are a growing force in the Democratic Party, and they will have a strong voice in choosing the Democratic president. But the fact of American politics is that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have enough party members to swing an election -- and teabaggers and progressives make up smaller groups than Republicans and Democrats do.
I am a progressive, and have been for many years now. I would love to think that a majority of Americans are progressives -- but that is simply not true, just as it is not true of teabaggers. There is a large group of voters that occupy the middle of the political spectrum, and are not members of either party. They are the Independents, and most of them are moderates.
Those moderates are the people who will decide who is our next president. That is the way it has always been in this country. America is a country that doesn't like extremes -- not extremes of the right nor extremes of the left.
Those on both the right and left will tell you that Americans want change -- and I believe they are right. American voters are unhappy with the federal government right now, and they do want to see some change. But they don't want radical change in either direction. They want well-thought-out and incremental change to make this a better country -- they want moderate change. They like things as they are generally, but just want a better and moderate change to make things better.
Those moderates who will decide the next election (who dwell in the political center) will be looking at the candidates of both parties. And they will be asking themselves -- do the Democrats (Clinton or Sanders) or the Republicans (Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Bush) offer the moderate and reasonable change they want, or do they offer radical change? You can bet they'll reject the candidate they perceive as wanting radical change, and vote for the candidate offering moderate and reasonable change.
Extremists in both parties are "true believers", and they would have you believe this is the last chance to save this country. That's not true, and the moderates who will decide this election certainly don't believe it. As Democrats, we need to make sure those moderates understand that our candidate is the moderate voice of reason -- the candidate that can bring change without hurting the country. That's the only ticket to victory in the 2016 election.