Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Your analysis seems to draw on the idea that in the future, there will be more potential progressive voters, mainly in minority groups.

Now, it is dangerous to judge these things from across the ocean, but I always understood the US already has a large reservoir of mainly poor people who do not vote. but that has not lead to a (strong) political group more progressive than the current Democratic party.

I suppose that poor people of any ethnic descent would be at least as reliable as progressive voters as minorities, given that they stand to benefit from progressive politics, while this is much less given for minorities in general. Besides, your statistic showing young people to be more progressive can be misleading: it is widely assumed that people get more conservative as they get older and calmer ( and richer and more settled with more to lose). So your potential electorate might not be that progressive anymore in 20 years time.

So, if there are currently forces in politics that prevent your desired progressive party even though the electorate for it might be there, why do you suppose this will be different in the future?    

by GreatZamfir on Mon Dec 3rd, 2007 at 03:48:05 AM EST
but rarely borne out in polling. reagan won the young voters in the 80s, and that cohort of late boomers-early x'ers is still voting for him today. while political realignments do happen, people's political beliefs are surprisingly durable.

voters under 35 are the most democratic generation in modern history, and liberal on a broad range of issues. as the bulk of gen y moves into the voting pool, that effect will be hard to miss.

now whether that leads to a stronger democratic party, or a growing split b/w them and a left minor party depends on what democrats do with this crisis.

by wu ming on Mon Dec 3rd, 2007 at 04:20:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are some unstated assumptions at work:

-That as the middle class is destroyed, they'll have to choose between nativist libertarianism and pluralist progressivism, and that many will and already are choosing the latter, perhaps enough to make its politics viable.

-The sheer numerical growth in the nonwhite population is unlike anything seen in the US since it became independent. I don't believe it will alone guarantee political mobilization. But it provides opportunities that progressive activists can use, and gives reason to believe that white libertarian nativism can be beaten. "Can," not "will."

Maybe I spoke too inevitably here, but my goal was to suggest that to people dissatisfied with the direction of the nation, they really only have two options in organizing for something different. Centrist liberalism isn't viable, it's either something deeply regressive or something hopefully more inclusive.

Nothing is guaranteed or inevitable, but doors are opening.

And the world will live as one

by Montereyan (robert at calitics dot com) on Mon Dec 3rd, 2007 at 10:41:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I do not really understand why you expect the middle classes, and the 'middle way' in politics to be destroyed for sure. Since elcetions in the US seem to get pretty much perfect 50-50 outcomes, that suggest that politicians are very accurately aware of the median of (at least the voting part of) the public. I would suggest this gives the opinions of this middle class a very strong 'leverage': no matter what the more extreme wings think, if the middle groups shift their opinion slightly, this is immediately reflected in election outcomes, or changed party lines.

I can't help thinking that the median American voter is in fact not too unhappy with the current political situation, and that mild Republican ppolicies are exactly what they want. Even with the current Iraq backlash, political victory for the Democrats still seems far from certain, and the previous 'big shift' in Congress and Senate was, compared to the shifts in ordinary European elections, not that extreme at all.

by GreatZamfir on Tue Dec 4th, 2007 at 04:45:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the middle class as a big group spanning the median (of the voting public) is destroyed or diminished so that it no longer spans the median, the median will still matter but would move down in income and presumably be more radical.

Example: a society with three classe, 4% rich, 16% middle and 80% poor needs to keep the poor from voting or making sure their votes don't count as much. 19th century Prussia solved this by formalising the groups and giving them 1/3 of the seats each.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Dec 4th, 2007 at 09:52:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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