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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Teixeira: The Diverse White Working Class

The following article by Ruy Teixeira, author of The Optimistic Leftist and other works of political analysis, is cross-posted from his Facebook page:

The Diverse White Working Class

By which I mean: this vast demographic contains multitudes. Far from a seething cauldron of nativist sentiment, there is a wide array of political sensibilities among this group and plenty of room for Democrats to make–and keep–gains. Tom Edsall’s recent column lays out some interesting data that makes this point.

How to make these gains? Hint: not by decriminalizing the border, not through Medicare for All that abolishes private health care plans; not by providing health coverage to undocumented immigrants and other similar–and similarly unpopular-ideas. The obvious answer is programs that are popular both with Democrats’ base voters and with significant sectors of the white working class. As Edsall notes, channeling the views of many Democratic leaders, both black and white:

“The concerns of African-Americans, in this view, are substantially the same as the concerns of the millions of white working class voters who remain open to Democratic candidates — or at least they coincide in critically important ways.

The fate of the Democratic Party in 2020 hangs on this premise and on a united resistance to Trump’s malign strategy of divide and conquer.”

This viewpoint may sound old-fashioned. But it also happens to be correct.

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