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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Teixeira: Umm…About That Supposed Left Wing Great Replacement Theory

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

Predictably, some on the right have sought to characterize the left as having their own equally noxious Great Replacement Theory and, as evidence, many have cited, well, me and my esteemed co-author John Judis.

This is baloney of course and both Judis and I were pleased to see Joan Walsh defend our honor in The Nation:

“There is, in fact, a great replacement theory, they now argue—and it’s been peddled by Democrats. They’re claiming it emerged largely from a book by two friends of mine: The Emerging Democratic Majority, written by Ruy Teixeira and John B. Judis roughly 20 years ago.

“As Republicans flip from “We don’t believe in a great replacement theory” to “Hey, it’s real, but Democrats invented it!”—they routinely cite Judis and Teixeira….

Teixeira and Judis never promoted the notion that immigration, legal or illegal, was going to transform the Democratic Party. The growth of “ideopolises” was a bigger deal. If you can’t grab the book off one of your bookshelves, try this excerpt from The New York Times. And see if you recognize the book Ann Coulter and others are slurring.

The other reason I knew these lying liars are lying is that Judis and Teixeira aren’t ideologues. Their book didn’t advocate policy; it described trends.”

In addition, Ryan Mills at National Review had a good article about the controversy where he allowed me to defend our honor directly:

“In 2002, Ruy Teixeira co-authored the book, The Emerging Democratic Majority, which posited that the changing electoral landscape — the changing voting behavior of women, professionals, and younger people, along with racial and ethnic demographic patterns — was poised to benefit Democrats. Teixeira told National Review that he and his co-author, John Judis, were merely pointing out clear demographic trends “That’s different from arguing that Democrats should consciously engineer and accelerate this shift,” he said. “We said not one word about that.”…

Teixeira said he doesn’t believe it’s fair to say that Democrats are intentionally engineering demographic changes to their political benefit. He called the great replacement theory “a pretty far right-wing constellation of ideas coming out of Europe.” But he said left-wing cheerleading of white decline has “certainly gone too far.”

Teixeira said that in their book, he and Judis were always talking about the “potential” for a Democratic majority. “I emphasize potential,” he said, “because we talked in the book about how it was necessary for these opportunities to be handled intelligently, for the Democrats to adopt a variety of what we called progressive centrism. And above all else, and we talked about this and everyone immediately forgot it, that you need to have a certain share of more conservative, white working-class voters still on board with your party, or the political arithmetic just doesn’t work.”

Teixeira has said a “dangerous misinterpretation” of his book helped elect Donald Trump.

Some conservatives have argued that Democratic crowing about declining white power and the weaponization of demographic change have alienated working-class whites. Teixeira said it also encouraged Democrats to act like they don’t need those voters.

“It encourages the lazy, counterproductive, and basically mathematically illiterate approach to the electorate where these idiots think that they can get by without paying attention to what more conservative or non-college white voters think,” Teixeira said.”

Both articles are worth a read and provide a solid rebuttal to attempts to recruit our book as a sort of lefty Great Replacement handbook.

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