The Fundamental Divide in the Democratic Party in One Figure

A while ago, I noted that the Republican Party isn’t the only divided U.S. political party:

…as Michael Lind notes, there is a fundamental, unresolved divide in the Democratic Party (boldface mine):

Unlike the Roosevelt Democrats of the New Deal/Great Society era, who were a coalition of the middle and the bottom against the top, the post-McGovern Democrats are an “hourglass” coalition, uniting white Americans with graduate and professional degrees and a minority of the white rich with the white poor and the majority of blacks and Latinos. Elite white Democrats can be further divided into two categories: the rich and the highly-educated professionals whom Joel Kotkin among others call “the gentry.” Let’s call the rich the One Percent Democrats and the highly-educated the Ten Percent Democrats (because in 2012 only 11 percent of the U.S. population has a graduate or professional degree and subtracting the highly-educated among the One Percent leaves Ten Percent). Almost all of the campaign funding comes from the One Percent Democrats, while many Democratic politicians, staffers, pollsters, activists, and intellectuals belong to the Eleven Percent—the rich and/or highly-educated.

Take, for instance, the leadership of the ‘centrist’ Third Way–who continually condemn Democrats over things like refusing to cut Social Security (because there is no crisis):

(from here)

Any doubts that they want to get their hands on Social Security revenues and invest those in markets? With lots of hefty fees for themselves, of course. For the good of the country.


Populist= things that are popular with voters.

Popular= things that are popular with billionaires and in DC.

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3 Responses to The Fundamental Divide in the Democratic Party in One Figure

  1. Jason F. says:

    That’s great and all, and many others have reported on this, but IMO none of it would matter if the typical Democrat base (minorities, young people) would just vote. If those constituencies merely showed up at the polls in any significant numbers, the “third way” Democrats would be marginalized and the GOP would either have to change or become totally irrelevant (as they have in California).

    Before the populists can truly make headway, they need to figure out how to get those who would support them the most to show up on election day.

  2. Horace Boothroyd III says:

    In what way, exactly, is this any different from any party that has actually existed? Outside the feverish imaginings of the sparkle pony magic unicorn fairy dust party beloved of the Greens and Naderites?

    In other words, I don’t see how you have any call to denounce anyone as a “Fucking Moron.” Look in the mirror, pal.

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