The following excerpts have been edited for length and clarity:
There is a lot of nuance that is lost in the translation, but the story that many people took from your book was that the Democratic Party would benefit from the inevitable growth of people of color, young people, this new cadre of voters that seemed ready at the time to to join the party and put the Republican party in the rearview mirror. And the story has been complicated ever since, hasn’t it?
Well, even then it was complicated. You pretty much summed up what a bombed-out version of what we were saying is. That was only part from what we said. Demographic changes inevitably changed the political terrain. It didn’t make it inevitable that the Democrats would take advantage of this.
And even on this crude demographic basis, it’s not surprising that there is a natural democratic majority in the country. However, that does not translate into political power. We have said very specifically – and this is widely ignored – that in order to gain and exercise this majority political power, you must retain a significant portion of the white working class. The country changed, but it didn’t change That fast.
The second thing we didn’t expect was the ultimate effect of professional class hegemony in the Democratic Party — that it would tilt Democrats so far left on socio-cultural issues that it would actually make the Democratic Party significantly unappealing. make for the working class voters.
It’s a huge responsibility for the Democrats because the people who man the party, the people who man the think tanks, the interest groups, the foundations, the staffers, to some extent, are all singing from the same hymnal. They live in this liberal cultural bubble, especially the younger members.
Can you give an example of that?
Certainly. Go back to the 2020 Democratic primary. It was remarkable how much things that alienated the average voter, especially the average working-class voter, were gleefully proclaimed, with no apparent reservations about what it might look like to people outside the mainstream. bubble. Things like open borders; let’s basically decriminalize the border. Anyone who knows anything about immigration and public opinion in the United States realizes that’s not going to play out well.
No doubt Democrats would have been better off from the start saying, “Yes, we believe in being humane to immigrants. We also believe in border security and we are going to enforce that.” You know, take a page out of the old Obama playbook, Obama has done a lot of things right on some of these issues that the party is now eager to forget.