It is public knowledge that President Joe Biden is a Democrat. However, the question “Is POTUS Joe Biden a conservative?” has come up several times over the years. This question has also caused a significant divide within the Democratic Party. A Democratic firm, Blueprint, ran a recent poll to determine what most Americans think.
The poll revealed that only 5% of Americans consider the President “far more conservative” than them. As for the democratic activists, liberal figures, White House staff, and others, they mostly think he’s a conservative. What’s more, Blueprint believes the percentage of these people is about 90%.
This means that the elite who believe in the Democratic Party think he is a “fairly conservative, old-school centrist Democrat.” However, going by just one poll might not do this justice. Liberal intellectuals Ruy Teixeira and John Judis argue in their new book that the president may actually be a conservative.
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Their book “Where Have All the Democrats Gone?” shows a point of view many have not considered. According to them, the Democratic Party has been led astray by a “shadow party” of very progressive activists who can’t see through the bubble they live in.
However, this narrative is the exact opposite of their 2002 book “The Emerging Democratic Majority.” In this book, they argued that demographic changes would give the Democrats the proper foundation to replace the old FDR coalition. Thanks to the massive success of the Democrats in 2006 and 2008, the book seemed to predict the future at that time.
Sadly, this prediction did not age well. In 2010, former President Obama’s coalition hit a wall when the Democrats lost 63 seats. He won his re-election in 2012, but many of his party members were gone. The Republican Party held most of the seats in the White House, making it harder to build back his coalition.
In 2014, the Democrats lost another nine Senate seats, 13 in the House, and more in 2016. According to Teixeira and Judis, this was an inevitable outcome. They claimed that the “shadow party” felt liberated from conventional politics and chose to prioritize issues mainstream voters hate or do not care about.
They also noted that the Democrats got comfortable thinking they would win no matter what. However, this mindset cost them a lot in the long run. The authors also mentioned four issues that tend to push voters away during the election period. They include race, immigration, the LGBTQ+ community, and climate change.
To clarify, the authors do not identify as conservatives on these issues. Instead, they are saying that the Democrats are seen in this manner thanks to the active framing by millions of white working-class voters. The image these voters put in people’s heads about Democrats makes it seem like they no longer care about them.
The authors also showed some evidence to buttress their points. For example, the “defund the police” movement by the Shadow party had no real effect on voters of races that are not tolerated properly by the police.
However, some people have differing views on this take. They believe both the Republicans and the Democrats are somewhat guilty of this. Both have Shadow parties that easily manipulate their leaders. Therefore, the best way to ensure good governance is to put the voters’ interests above all things.
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