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Democrats’ opportunity with the working class [Stanley Greenberg / American Prospect]

June 6, 2017


[via NC]

I can’t help but notice some ways how the D party manages to consistently put itself at a disadvantage. This is even aside from the hypocrisy that comes with the corporate wing of the D party. A big part of it is the common “moral framing” of the D party vs R party, which this article lays out in the usual way.

Take the most basic motivator, economic well being. The dreaded “distributional issues”.

Filtered through the lens of D party moral framing, to those who believe they lack upward mobility, what comes out is a thinly veiled classist system. Depending on how a disaffected voter defines the outclass he or she belongs to, this may work for the D party. If so, it would create traction for the positive things the D party has to offer, namely progress on social issues. But more often, especially where the votes really count, the outclass is defined in a way that goes against the D party, and any such traction is negated.

The two problematic dimensions are geography (urban vs rural voters), and education (voters without a college degree). The dynamic here has some pieces that were on full display this election cycle, I think.

(1) the US political system deliberately gives a significantly higher weighting to the “interior”

(2) self selection by education – if educated you are likely to move into a location where your vote makes less difference in national politics

(3) self-perpetuating wealth and income inequality, which acts in parallel to the self selection by education and reinforces it.

(4) the 2-party system in the US and its sponsors actively exploit this to lock in the status quo

(5) In the absence of third parties to stimulate a genuinely dynamic political system capable of change (positive or otherwise), the system is further discredited, which ironically helps lock it in place to the benefit of its sponsors.

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