washington, dc

The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Teixeira: Republicans Won’t, But Democrats Should, Try to Defuse the Culture Wars

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

My latest at The Liberal Patriot!

“It’s not exactly a secret the Republicans are running hard against the Democrats on sociocultural issues like crime, immigration, ideology in the schools and cancel culture. Their strategy is to combine attacks on these perceived vulnerabilities with an indictment of Democrats’ failure to return normalcy to the economy and thoroughly contain the pandemic. The goal is to paint a picture of the Democrats as an incompetent party distracted by secondary issues out of step with normal voters.

The Democrats’ standard response to Republican sociocultural attacks is to insist that the problem areas identified by the GOP aren’t really problems. They are fake issues cynically pumped up by right wing media to scare voters who would otherwise be responding favorably to the Democrats’ superior performance and policy ideas. The apotheosis of this was Terry McAuliffe’s robotic pronouncement of voter concern about schools in the Virginia gubernatorial contest as responding to “racist dog whistles”.

This seems unlikely to work….

Unmuddling the Democratic story starts with defusing the culture war issues that give so much credence to the Republican claim that Democrats are out of touch with the concerns of ordinary voters and prevent Democrats themselves from focusing attention where it is most needed. This may strike many Democrats as terribly unfair; why should Democrats try to do this when GOP attacks are so cynically motivated and so many in their own ranks are guilty of holding truly reactionary and extreme cultural views?

This may not be “fair” in some sense. But it is necessary because it is Republicans who benefit from the endless battle over these issues, not Democrats. Democrats are not on strong ground when they have to defend views that appear wobbly on rising violent crime, surging immigration at the border and non-meritocratic, race-essentialist approaches to education. They would be on much stronger ground if they became identified with an inclusive nationalism that emphasizes what Americans have in common and their right not just to economic prosperity but to public safety, secure borders and a world-class but non-ideological education for their children.

Republicans would continue their attacks of course but they would land with less force, allowing—and perhaps forcing—Democrats to sharpen their focus on voters’ primary concerns like the economy. That is probably the very last thing Republicans would want Democrats to do—and therefore the very thing that Democrats should be doing.”

Read the whole thing at The Liberal Patriot. And subscribe–it’s free!

2 comments on “Teixeira: Republicans Won’t, But Democrats Should, Try to Defuse the Culture Wars

  1. Candace on

    “This may not be “fair” ..”

    What are democrats teenagers now? You don’t have to be a teenager or even young to find your republican alternate reality pushing here really outrageous.

    “The goal is to paint a picture of the Democrats as an incompetent party distracted by secondary issues out of step with normal voters.”

    you know of course that is what the bulk of your posts say here.

    “The Democrats’ standard response to Republican sociocultural attacks is to insist that the problem areas identified by the GOP aren’t really problems. They are fake issues cynically pumped up by right wing media to scare voters who would otherwise be responding favorably to the Democrats’ superior performance and policy ideas”

    Because republicans are so honest about “problem areas” in the democratic party! You can forget polls now you have republicans as a guiding force to get in touch with “ordinary” Americans.
    Everyone knows republican voters believe some crazy stuff particularly about the intent of democrats, but most importantly about elections and Biden being our President. I remember the advice here was to avoid ‘giving rumors oxygen’ but by doing nothing about it, as is the standard way of D politicians, they were allowed to grow.
    The spread of misinformation is a national emergency. The insurrectionist republican party is a national emergency: What are democrats going to do about it? Agree with everything republicans say about them? Jump into their sadist fantasy land and say yes, the sludge is understandable and quite lovely?
    Is pretending there aren’t any problem areas in the republican party going to make them go away? Where’s the sense of urgency? When is the rescue mission going to happen?
    And when has our striving to be worthless media and the never ending opinion/perception pushers try to stop those alternate universes from gaining ground? Do they care that Americans are being duped into turning against themselves and the country?
    “Looks like republicans are going to take over. Just look at all of those Americans voting for them. Biden and the Democrats sure are in trouble. Isn’t this an exciting story! Lets talk some more about the problem with the left in the democratic party.”
    ~

    “Republicans would continue their attacks of course but they would land with less force, allowing—and perhaps forcing—Democrats to sharpen their focus on voters’ primary concerns like the economy.”

    You mean like the BBB? I recall you writing here that it was too pricey. The price tag needs to come down. Isn’t that all you said about it? Nothing about how for ordinary Americans, living in this country is too pricey.
    I think this talk about the economy is just something to badger democrats with because solutions aren’t ever suggested and when they do arrive, like the BBB, they’re (at best) ignored.

    Reply
  2. Martin Lawford on

    The excerpt is not enough. Fans of The Democratic Strategist should use the link to The Liberal Patriot and read Teixeira’s whole essay. Unfortunately, I despair that Democratic campaign managers in 2022 are going to take his ideas seriously enough to avoid a mid-term electoral debacle.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.