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How Democrats Save Theirself

Usually, the losing party goes through a period of soul-seeking and lively internal debate, but the winning party accepts a self-righteous belief about its own inevitable multi-generational domination. However, in 2021, the roles will be reversed.

The broad belief that Donald Trump is, in a sense, the true winner of the election he lost, succeeded in anticipating the Republican debate as to why the Democrats occupied the White House last year. Meanwhile, Democrats are increasingly claiming to be in the wilderness, despite parliamentary and presidential rule.

Democratic anxiety struck me as a healthy development of liberalism. One of the problems of urgent thinking that Trump inspires his enemies, and one of the reasons for resisting it, is that it interferes with the true understanding of the political situation in which Trump is in power, and that is the case again. There is a possibility. This is what happened to Democrats since 2016. The feeling of being struck by lightning wandered in the center left into a maze of conspiracies, a haunted forest where villains like Vladimirputin and Mark Zuckerberg were closer than they had swing voters. Lost savior figures like Robert Mueller were supposed to take Trump’s power for them.

Only the party’s left wing, Bernie Sanders, fully developed the more normal theory of 2016 defeat, Obama Trump in the context of globalization and hollowing out of industry, racism, fascism, and filthy tricks of petitists. Attempted to understand the voters of. However, this created a fundamental imbalance in the party’s conversation. Few people pointed out how to do it, as the Sanders sought to draw the party to social democracy, behaving as if its main challenge was a Russian bot and a malicious Facebook meme. That Democrats may be in danger of moving too far to the left – and those writers were generally fired as dinosaurs.

Therefore, it was up to Democratic voters to pull the party to the right. The first was to save the party from the possible disaster of nominating an intellectual candidate, Elizabeth Warren, and finally to establish a candidate, Joe Biden. Moderates have given him some distance from the “Great Awakening” that swept liberal institutions in 2020.

But now that there is growing awareness that bidenism is probably not a long-term strategy, there is a more complete debate about what Democrats can do and whether they can do anything that would have broke out after 2016. It is finally obtained. Overcome the working class and local voters alienated by the party’s increasingly stringent progressive Lithomas exams.

The main player in this discussion is pollster and analyst David Shore. He was interviewed by my colleague Ezra Klein in a long essay last week and emerged as a leading spokesman for practical liberal criticism of progressive enthusiasm after a temporary cancellation in 2020. ..

This criticism begins with a diagnosis. Democrats misunderstood the meaning of Barack Obama’s 2012 victory, and despite Obama’s relatively elastic support for Mitt Romney, he actually defeated Mitt Romney, but is multi-ethnic. I imagined that the coalition proved to be able to win downscale without white local voters. These demographics, especially the entire Midwestern industry. And this misreading was especially disastrous. Because these voters have so much influence on the Senate elections and the electoral college, they have lost them, and the culturally conservative minority voters have begun to lose, putting the Democrats at a structural disadvantage. For the next decade, there was no clear strategic adjustment of any sort.

From this diagnosis comes a so-called populist prescription that Klein glosses as follows: Shut up about unpopular things. “

You will find that this mediocre-looking wisdom is not an idealistic Lithomas test. Where left-wing ideas are popular, Short Thought will ask Democrats to talk more about them. But if they’re unpopular, especially voters who hold the key to Senate elections, Democrats need a way to dissolve or keep them away.

Therefore, “popular” candidates, which may be exhaustive centrists, perform as Bernie Sanders did in 2016, and are the most popular in the social democracy toolkit. It can also be a candidate to emphasize an idea. But in both cases, such candidates do everything on their own so that they are not associated with ideas such as the abolition of police or the suspension of immigration. Instead, they imitate how Obama himself tried to solve problems like immigration and same-sex marriage in his first semester, sometimes using objectively conservative rhetoric and staying ahead of public opinion. Was never.

It’s easy to say. For one thing, Democratic activists have a different scale of power in the 2021 world than in the 2011 world, and fictitious “popular” politicians can lose their influence and expectations. can not. Second, as my colleague Nate Con pointed out, Obama in 2011 was trying to keep white working-class voters in the Democratic Party, but it was popular in 2022 or 2024. Politicians tried to get them back from the GOP. What can be achieved by soft pedaling a difficult problem.

At the very least, a democratic strategy in line with these policies will probably need to go further along two sides. First, it will need to openly attack new progressiveism – not in every aspect, but at certain points where progressive words and ideas are particularly alienated from everyday life.

For example, popular Democrats are ubiquitous in official progressive discourse and do more than simply avoid terms like “Latin Americans” that are alien to most American Hispanics. They even need to attack and mock their use. (Obviously, this is a bit easier for the ideal popular candidate, a minority politician who doesn’t wake up in the style of Eric Adams.)

Similarly, a popular candidate on a Swing State stump, ideally a female candidate, might say:

Instead of reducing the prominence of progressive jargon, the goal is to increase its prominence so that it appears to reject it. Just as Donald Trump bravely rejected the unpopular GOP’s position on the qualifications that other Republican rivals were simply trying to soft pedal in 2016. ..

But then, in addition to this rhetorical fire pointing to the left, popular people need to further address the actual policy concerns surrounding the problem they are trying to solve. Immigration is currently a major political issue for the Democratic Party. For example, not only are their activists taking an extreme position on this issue, but borders are a major policy issue. Sudden immigration overwhelming the system, a shift from the harsh enforcement of liberalism, or at least the professed desire to make that shift, is an additional incentive for these surges to occur under the Democratic president. Produce.

Therefore, in the long run, especially given the potential impact of climate change on mass immigrants, the Democratic Party is under the law without first having a strategy to make the US border much safer than before. There is no way to have a stable policy to promote immigration in the United States. Under the Biden administration so far. How to do it humanely is a policy issue, but if the issue really wants to open a courtroom to important voters, the issue itself becomes prominent and never disappears, so you need to take it seriously. there is.

It’s worth noting that even this combination, which attacks progressive excess and shows Obama Trump voters to take their problem seriously, is still somewhat defensive. As Korn points out, when Trump turns the Republican and wins a working class vote, he is radically and dramatically better than Hillary Clinton in their interests and values. Well, and certainly made a hoax-like claim. Democrats have a particular idea of ​​voting well for these voters, but it’s not clear whether even a radical “Resurrection of Heartland” message can actually reverse the post-Trump shift.

But even a rigorously defensive strategy would prevent more Hispanic voters from shifting to Republicans, and even retaining some of Biden’s modest Rust Belt interests would be decisive for Democrats. Will buy time-still time and time for generational change in favor of them To seize the opportunity always offered by unexpected events in an unpredictable way by data scientists.

[This article originally appeared in The New York Times.]

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