EP 579 Is the Democratic Party Built to Win in This Moment?

There have been two periods in American history when the Democratic Party was dominant for an extended time frame. One was the Age of Andrew Jackson, which began in 1828 and ended on the eve of the Civil War, and the other the Age of Roosevelt which began in 1932 and ended in the early 1970’s. Even the successes Democrats have had since the Age of Roosevelt, including the presidencies of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and now Joe Biden, has found the party in a stalemate with the Republican Party as the country turns to one or the other in rapid succession. According to our guest, Michael Kazin, of Georgetown University and author of ‘What It Took To Win: A History of the Democratic Party’, Democrats only win, with effect, when they embrace a form of moral capitalism which includes an economic message that lifts an interracial coalition of working- class people. That coalition has been harder to assemble since the Democratic Party, throwing off its racist past, truly embraced civil rights and lost many working- class whites, particularly in the South. As the oldest party in the history of democracy, the Democrats keep changing and look for new coalitions to embrace their more progressive policies. Will it work going forward? We discuss today on this podcast.