The following excerpts have been edited for length and clarity:
There are a lot of nuances that get lost in translation, but the narrative that a lot of people took from your book was that the Democratic Party would benefit from the inevitable growth of people of color, of young people, of this new cadre of voters who at the time seemed ready to join the party and put the Republican Party in the rearview mirror. And the story has gotten more complicated since then, hasn’t it?
Well, it was even complicated back then. You pretty much summed up what is a watered down version of what we said. It was only part what we were saying. Changing demographics inevitably change the political terrain. That didn’t make it inevitable that the Democrats would take advantage.
And even on that raw demographic base, it’s not crazy that there’s a natural, popular-vote Democratic majority in the country. However, this does not translate into political power. We have said very specifically – and this is largely ignored – that for this majority to achieve and exercise political power, you must retain a significant portion of the white working class. The country was changing, but it was not changing this quick.
The second thing we hadn’t anticipated was the eventual effect of professional class hegemony within the Democratic Party – that it would skew the Democrats so far to the left on socio-cultural issues that it would actually make the Party Democrat clearly unattractive to the working class. voters.
It’s a huge responsibility for Democrats, because people who work for the party, people who are on think tanks, advocacy groups, foundations, staff members, they all sing to some degree the same hymn. They live in this liberal cultural bubble, especially the younger ones.
Can you give an example?
Sure. Back to the 2020 Democratic primaries. It was remarkable how things that alienated the average voter, especially your average working-class voter, were cheerfully enacted, with no apparent ulterior motive as to how it might appear. to people outside the bubble. Things like open borders; basically, let’s decriminalize the border. Anyone who knows anything about immigration and public opinion in the United States realizes that it won’t work out well.
Arguably, the Democrats would have been better off saying right from the start, “Yes, we believe in being humane to immigrants. We also believe in border security and we will enforce it. You know, take a page from Obama’s old playbook. Obama got a lot right on some of these issues, which the party now insists on forgetting.