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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Is the Democratic Party Too Far Left? Hughes and Teixeira Debate Rep. Bowman and Garza

The following article by Ruy Teixeira, author of The Optimistic Leftist and other works of political analysis, is cross-posted from Intelligence2 Debates:

Is the Democratic Party Too Far Left?

I participated in an Intelligence Squared debate on this question. On the affirmative: me and Coleman Hughes. On the negative: Congressman Jamaal Bowman and Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter. See who you think won!

“Defund the police. Abolish ICE. Redistribute the wealth. These are but a few of the one-liners that have emanated from the liberal wing of the Democratic party in recent years. With the emergence of “The Squad” in 2018 – or what began as four Democratic congresswomen who sought to push their party further left – liberal lawmakers have grown more prevalent in recent election cycles. And with just a slim 51-49 Democrat majority in the Senate, progressives are now eyeing 2024 as a way to strengthen their broader influence. By doing so, some say, the party risks aligning itself with ever more extreme politics, alienating moderate voices, and straying from what made it successful in the past. When President Bill Clinton was in office, they note, only 25 percent of Democrats described themselves as liberal; another 25 percent called themselves conservative, while an overwhelming 48 percent were self-described moderates. The equating of liberalism with Democratic policies, they argue, is a recent and dangerous trend, which makes governing more difficult.

Others argue that the party is finally poised to make good what constitutes the reemergence of the political left, long stymied by the compromising influence of Washington and beltway politics. What’s more, they argue, this renewed focus on issues such as race, climate, income inequality has not only begun to address in earnest issues once paid only superficial notice, but is also electrifying the nation’s progressive base in ways that can win elections.

It is in this context that we debate the following question: Is The Democratic Party Too Far Left?
Arguing Yes: Coleman Hughes (Conversations with Coleman), Ruy Teixeira (American Enterprise Institute)
Arguing No: Congressman Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Alicia Garza (Co-founder of Black Lives Matter)
Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates.”

Click on the Intelligence2 Debates link to hear the podcast.

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