Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Not The Party of Jackson

Jon Chait hits upon something important.  The Democratic party is not the party of Jackson anymore.

It is the party of Franklin Roosevelt.  Jackson was a small "d" democrat, but mostly he was a populist.  And populism is a fascinating hybrid of liberalism and conservatism.  The Populists were broadly liberal in their goals, but conservative in their motivations.  Jackson himself represented a naive, backwards looking vision on economic matters, and his followers represented the provincial prejudices of their day.  So, too, did the Populists.

Jackson is represented by the likes of Jefferson Davis, Strom Thurmond and the other bulwarks of the Solid South.  But he isn't really the forerunner of Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson or certainly Obama.

After Gore's "defeat" in 2000, some Democratic strategists harkened back to the Southern Democrats of Jackson's lineage, groups that Clinton has somewhat captured in his presidential runs.

But Obama has finally managed to leave the Deep South and white Southerners behind.  He has assembled a coalition of college educated whites (from Jackson's Era: Whigs), African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and single women.

I suppose there is a question as to whether HRC can recapture some white Southern votes.  I'm guessing not many.  That ship has sailed and the realignment is complete.

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