Eric Levitz has a hilarious new article up.
In our response to George Packer, I noted that a huge swath of the Democratic base was just omitted from his narrative like an afterthought. Packer divided Blue America into “Smart America” and “Just America,” but this division only captures the divide between White Boomer PMCs and their frustrated, downwardly mobile, urbanite Millennial children who have gone woke and have become radicalized and have rejected liberalism. No one outside of the professional bourgeoisie has a “national narrative.”
“But an even bigger problem with Packer’s schema is this: It completely ignores the majority of Democratic voters who are neither professional-class meritocrats nor millennial anti-racists. Packer hasn’t described the central division within Blue America but the generational cleavage within his own professional circle.
As noted above, the median Biden voter was not college educated or, one must presume, familiar with the works of Ibram X. Kendi. A majority of the president’s coalition would not even faintly recognize itself in any of the Americas Packer describes. They don’t work in the knowledge economy or attend anti-racist protests; they have no reverence for globalization or antipathy for patriotism.
And they have no place in George Packer’s America(s).
One may defend Packer’s elision of this constituency by claiming it has no narrative. Sure, in numerical terms, non-college-educated non-activists may dominate the Democratic coalition, but their limited participation in politics renders them voiceless. They aren’t setting the terms of Blue America’s story, one may argue. Yet this is also patently false. The forgotten Biden voters not only have a narrative but their story is more or less the one Packer suggests that our nation is missing. …”
In fairness to George Packer, he is onto something important here. The views of the vast majority of Democratic voters don’t really matter these days. These are the people who follow Secular Talk and Jimmy Dore who mostly get lip service from the Democrats during election season.
The Democratic Party is utterly dominated by White upper middle class, college-educated professionals who have cosmopolitan, modernist and antiracist values and who live in the big metropolitan areas and their wealthy suburbs. It is dominated by progressive activists and wealthy donors who come up with stupid slogans which become policy like “Abolish ICE” and “Defund the Police.” The Democrat Independent Liberal Elites (DILEs) or the PMCs are the governing wing of the party and their monolithic viewpoint and obsessions dominate the media. The party revolves around the toxic relationship between these people and blacks and has become obsessed with racial, cultural and gender issues.
It isn’t really fair to these people to say that they don’t have a vision or “national narrative.” They are very different from the shitlibs. They are left populists or social democrats.
The Democratic Party is an upstairs-downstairs coalition. The upstairs wing is growing as the Right PMCs or Republican establishment voters migrate into the Democratic Party. This is why the media is so obsessed with Liz Cheney who CNN and MSNBC would have us believe is one of the greatest people on earth alongside George W. Bush. It is the downstairs wing or the Democratic Leaning Working Class (DLWCs) which is shrinking. White working class voters who were DLWC voters and who were part of the Obama coalition have bolted to the Republicans since 2008. Hispanics who identify as White and who are socially conservative are now following behind them as shitlibs have become more dominant.
DILEs and DLWCs have very different issue preferences.
Working class Democrats are far more motivated by social democracy. Their top issues are health care, the economy, Social Security, Medicare and jobs. They are basically people who can’t afford to be traditional Republicans. They are voting on the basis of economic interest. In contrast, professional class Democrats care far more about self-actualization, status and esteem issues like climate change, the environment, “racial justice” and far less about the economy and jobs. They care significantly less about crime and terrorism than working class voters who are more focused to security and economic opportunity. White professionals with post-graduate degrees are more animated by “white supremacy” and Russia.
As Eric Levitz correctly points out, Joe Biden won 47% of the non-college educated vote. A tipping point has been reached inside the Democratic Party which is trending away from its working class roots. It is steadily getting more metropolitan, more upscale, more middle class, etc. There is an overwhelming obsession with controlling thought and scolding people for using the wrong words.
Interestingly enough, Joe Biden won more White working class voters than White college graduates, especially non-college educated White women, but you would never know this from watching the media. He won nearly three times as many White working class voters as black voters. The White college educated voters and black voters combined – the people who are most obsessed with systematic racism conspiracy theory and who respond to “white supremacy” messaging – were only 41% of Joe Biden voters.
If your idea of the Democratic Party was based only what you saw by reading the New York Times and The Atlantic or watching CNN or MSNBC (the whole shitlib universe), you would never know this. You will never see people like Jimmy Dore or Secular Talk or Aaron Maté on CNN and MSNBC who have huge followings on YouTube and who we feature all the time here because we largely agree on economics and foreign policy. Those people are trying to push the Democratic Party toward social democracy, but are blocked and shut out of power like us. And yet, the average Democrat has more in common with Jimmy Dore than a Brian Stelter or Rachel Maddow in terms of what they really care about.