In contrast, voters think they know what the party believes about illegal immigration, defunding the police, transgender participation in girls sports and Zoom-biased teachers’ unions. Most do not like these stances. This applies as much to non-white as to white voters.
As Ruy Teixeira, a veteran political scientist, says: the Democratic brand is “somewhere between uncompelling and toxic to wide swaths of American voters, who might potentially be their allies”. The fact that Teixeira is saying this ought to make Democrats take notice. He was co-author of the seminal book, The Emerging Democratic Majority, which argued that racial trends would make Democratic rule inevitable. This remains an article of faith among election consultants. Yet Texieira has changed his mind.
Alison Collins, the head of San Francisco’s education board who was ejected earlier this year, said that “‘merit’ is an inherently racist construct designed and centred on white supremacist framing”. Such thinking drove Collins to switch San Francisco’s biggest selective school from merit-based application to a lottery system. Liberals nationwide are pushing to end standardised tests altogether. Yet most voters, including African Americans, reject this as the soft bigotry of low expectations.
But its upper echelons are dominated by a white college-educated activist class that is used to talking with itself.