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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Teixeira: Can Joe Biden Hold the Democrats Together?

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

I have heard from a number of folks who can’t get through the WSJ paywall to read my pearls of wisdom. A tragedy! As a humanitarian gesture, I reproduce below the full text of the article–minus the snazzy graphics alas.

Since the New Deal, Democrats have struggled to hold together the eclectic elements of their coalition. Under President Franklin Roosevelt, who forged the party as we know it, the bedrock of Democratic support was the white working class, the “solid South” and Black Americans. But that alliance proved unstable. It came apart in the 1960s as the party struggled to incorporate the voters and demands of a range of new social movements—on civil rights, Vietnam, women’s liberation and the environment. Barack Obama’s victory in 2008 gave Democrats hope that they were forming a new coalition, perhaps one even more durable than its New Deal predecessor. President Obama brought together the rising, 21st-century constituencies of nonwhite voters—Black, Hispanic, Asian—as well as younger voters, educated urban whites and even a solid portion of the white working class.


2 comments on “Teixeira: Can Joe Biden Hold the Democrats Together?

  1. Willard cottrell on

    I continue to maintain that democrats must and I believe will coalesce around voting reform 1st. W/o that republicans will continue to destroy our constitution and try to continue their efforts to develop a soviet style government. There are, following this climate change, racial and gender discrimination and, universal health. If the first isn’t accomplished the rest will never happen.

  2. Martin Lawford on

    Thank you, Ruy Teixeira, for your interesting column. As I read it, the main idea is in this sentence:
    “In this hour of crisis, the party should be able to unite around a grand bargain: leftist support for solving immediate problems, and liberal support for a long-term plan to advance other progressive priorities.” This will work as long as each special interest keeps faith that the issue which is their top priority will get attention at all if it does not receive first attention. Or, if each special interest suspects that deferred action on their issue–race, the environment, health care, taxation, immigration–means no action on it, the coalition will collapse.


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