A Lesson for the Democratic Party

After reflecting on the shocking outcome of the elections this past week, I was curious as to what the Democratic Party will do to make itself grow and perhaps retake control in the 2018 congressional elections and beyond. One opinion article, from The New York Times, explained the Democratic Party’s surprising loss in this election, and I wanted to bring it to this blog’s attention.

Frank Bruni, the author, first mentions how the Democratic Party had “adopted a strategy of inclusiveness that excluded a hefty share of Americans and consigned many to a ‘basket of deplorables’ who aren’t all deplorable.” The author recognizes that there are many Trump supporters who fit this description, but he states that “some [of these individuals] are hurt. Some are confused.” The idea of the decline of the white working class has been a relatively common theme in this election, but it seems as though the Democratic Party failed to cater to these voters. This group has been ignored in the past, and it seems the media has a constant fixation with a candidate’s need to win the minority vote rather than the working class white American vote.

The Democratic Party now has the opportunity to grow and embrace this ignored section of the electorate. Yes, there are racists, homophobes, and xenophobes among this group. However, reaching out to non-racist white working class Americans, those who are, as Frank Bruni says, “hurt” and “confused,” will help strengthen the party and perhaps make way for a takeover of Congress in the 2018 midterm elections and beyond as Bruni highlights in this article.

 

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7 thoughts on “A Lesson for the Democratic Party”

  1. This is an interesting perspective! I think this problem of having to appeal to such a wide segment of the electorate is one of the downsides to the two-party system.

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    1. I agree with your perspective about how the two-party system forces one of the parties to appeal to individual parts of the electorate. I wonder though if having a multi-party system would create divisions among certain demographics as certain parties would appeal to only specific groups (Party A attracts white women, Party B attracts minority men, Party C…) rather than two parties trying to appeal to an entire electorate.

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  2. I think this article is true for both parties in the sense that both parties will have to re-define themselves. I bet that it is hard for some members of the Republican party to come to terms with the fact that a candidate like Donald Trump took over the party with a limited amount of support. Great post.

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  3. Nathan, I agree with your assessment of multiparty system, but I think you’re overestimating how much demographic groups vote as a block. Division certainly occur, but they are generally based on industry, education level, region, and socio-economic status rather than gender and ethnicity. That is at least my experience from Denmark.

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  4. Interesting point article Nathan, how comparable do you think the present situation of American politics is with the recent infamous Brexit vote in Great Britain recently? Is the American electorate adopting the some polarizing effect between populist and egalitarian politics that caused the United Kingdom to leave the EU?

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