A Demographer's Lament: Democrats are Losing the Working Class
Ruy Teixeira is jilted. But is he also right?
Ruy Teixeira on the Democrats’ Long Goodbye
Legacy Democrat Ruy Teixeira is an interesting foil. I don’t agree with all of these frames or conclusions, but this is an important piece. Whatever you think of his overall narrative, the data tells a story Republicans seem to intuit. Yes, it’s easy to run on vague (and contradictory) economic messages against an incumbent party, especially with prices climbing out of control and most Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck (63%). But Democrats will ignore the shift among non-white working class voters to their own peril. They’ve also never adequately explained why many, many white working class Obama voters broke for Trump in 2016, but we’re not supposed to talk about that.
Speaking of: Teixeira wrote famously about demography being destiny in American politics. He’s had to walk that back for reasons the link above make clear. He’s convinced that marquee Democrats are abandoning working class voters (across racial lines), and he seems dismissive (or at last suspicious) of other frames. He uses terms like peak wokeness. Anyone who remembers the 2020 primaries will recall that many of the left's loudest voices now roundly condemn class-based political theory as racist and misogynistic, believing it undermines the systemic and structural inequalities and aggressions experienced by people of color and women.
That it’s never class and always race and gender has become something of a progressive orthodoxy. I’ve always found it interesting that when a group of Black Lives Matter activists (all women) interrupted Bernie Sanders in 2015, he got off the stage and let them speak, while the following year, Hillary Clinton, given a similar opportunity, chose to whitesplain her husband’s crime bill.
But we digress.
Tonight will be interesting.
Both parties are famous for misinterpreting their wins and their losses. Democrats seem better at dropping the ball, Republicans at overstating their mandates. Win or lose, the trick for Democrats now will be learning the right lessons and governing (and campaigning) accordingly.
A Pop Culture Epiphany
Ok, so I knew Rick Derringer did “Real American” (Hulk Hogan's theme). But I did not know he was in the McCoys (“Hang on Sloopy''), OR that he played on "Making Love Out of Nothing at All" AND "Total Eclipse of the Heart.” What a life! He’s like a musical Sean Astin.
If You’re Leaving
I’m staying on Twitter for the simple fact that life is already too fractured. That said, if you’re leaving, I’ll be here on Substack with all kinds of bad but well-meaning takes.
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