The Republican Party, according to Democrats, has given rein to some of the darker impulses in the national psyche, has shown flagrant disregard for democratic norms and offers little to the American people in terms of effective policy. There is considerable truth to this indictment and Democrats have not been shy about making their case in uninhibited language (“semi-fascist”, “ultra-MAGA”, etc.)
Yet Democrats cannot decisively beat their opponents as this election seems likely to show once again. The party is uncompetitive among white working class voters and among voters in exurban, small town and rural America. This puts them at a massive structural disadvantage given an American electoral system that gives disproportionate weight to these voters, especially in Senate and Presidential elections. To add to the problem, Democrats are now hemorrhaging nonwhite working class voters in many areas of country.
The facts must be faced. The Democratic coalition today is not fit for purpose. It cannot beat Republicans consistently in enough areas of the country to achieve dominance and implement its agenda at scale. The Democratic Party may be the party of blue America, especially deep blue metro America, but its bid to be the party of the ordinary American, the common man and woman, is falling short.
There is a simple—and painful—reason for this. The Democrats really are no longer the party of the common man and woman. The priorities and values that dominate the party today are instead those of educated, liberal America which only partially overlap—and sometimes not at all—with those of ordinary Americans.
This has to change. I offer here a three point plan to put the Democrats on a different path where they might reasonably hope to be once again the party of the common man and woman. I won’t pretend that will be easy but I think given political will it can be done. Perhaps the results of the 2022 election will help concentrate the mind as the prospect of the 2024 election looms (President Trump anyone?)
Here are the three parts of the plan, explicated in several of my recent posts and collected here in one convenient package.
1. Democrats Must Move to the Center on Cultural Issues
2. Democrats Must Promote an Abundance Agenda
3. Democrats Must Embrace Patriotism and Liberal Nationalism
Let’s take them each in turn.