John Judis and Ruy Teixeira authored a seminal political book twenty-one years ago.
According to Judis and Teixeira’s “The Emerging Democratic Majority,” the Democrats are the party of America’s demographic future.
The early 2000s saw a political deadlock that the Democrats hoped to break through with the help of a left-of-center coalition of minorities, young people, women, and professionals in the knowledge sector.
Barack Obama’s election to the U.S. Senate in 2004 from Illinois, two years after the book was published, made him the apparent embodiment of this new Democratic majority.
Obama won the presidency in 2008 with the help of the alliance Judis and Teixeira portrayed in their book. The Judis-Teixeira argument was cited by Democratic strategists who declared victory in the Electoral College was a foregone conclusion.
Doanld Trump then came along and jimmied the door open.
Judis and Teixeira have returned with their account of what took place.
However, the party they claim to support will not likely welcome their new book, “Where Have All the Democrats Gone?” with open arms.
That “Democrats need to look in the mirror and examine the extent to which their own failures contributed to the rise of the most toxic tendencies on the right,” they argue, is an understatement.
Many of the left’s most prestigious organisations, like The New Republic, the Centre for American Progress, and the Brookings Institution, have included John Judis and Ruy Teixeira among its most prominent intellectuals.
Despite the electoral accomplishments of the Biden era, Judis and Teixeira argue in their new book that the party’s long-term potential is being hampered by two factors.
One is the decades-long support for pro-Wall Street and pro-Silicon Valley economic policies by Presidents Clinton, Obama, and other party leaders.
And second, they point to the “shadow party,” the current progressive movement’s cultural radicalism, which they say is turning off working-class voters on four major issues: race, immigration, transgender rights, and climate change.
In what are likely the most divisive parts of the book, they say that shadow party members have driven Democrats to the extremes on those four issues when they should be in the centre, between Trump and the far left.
This is a book that reads like good but benign political history in its early chapters but by the conclusion is pouring petrol on the ideological fires that have been blazing among progressives and moderates ever since the 2016 Democratic primaries.
As a result, it has sparked heated debate and condemnation among liberal politicians, pundits, strategists, and philosophers.
Deep Dive presenter and co-author of The Playbook, Ryan Lizza, recently met up with Judis and Teixeira to discuss the disappearance of Democrats. And in terms of 2024, what does this mean?