White progressives on course to dominate the Democratic Party
A new 'diploma divide' has given this group an outsize influence
As President Biden announced his reelection campaign, no fact — not his on-stage energy, his age, his potential challengers, nor his policy priorities — merits as much attention as his audience of choice. Mostly comprised of trade union members and overwhelmingly white and male, the crowd represents not the campaign’s base, but rather its disappearing faithful.
It indicates that the Biden camp is keenly aware of its principal challenge heading into 2024: the growing “diploma divide” in the political landscape, particularly among white Americans. In a historic reversal, college-educated white Americans are increasingly aligning with the Democratic Party while less educated white Americans identify with the Republican Party. This slowly brewing trend accelerated after Donald Trump’s election, with 2020 marking the first year in which college-educated white Democrats outnumbered their less educated counterparts.
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Democrats have reason to celebrate, as the educated are more likely to donate to campaigns and are more politically active in general. But an overlooked consequence of this is the sharpening of racial inequities within the Democratic coalition. Insofar as such trends persist, the future promises a majority-minority Democratic Party nonetheless steered by a highly educated, more socially progressive, white minority.
While declining numerically, white Democrats are becoming more educated, wealthier, and politically engaged than their non-white counterparts (except for Asians) than ever before. Educational attainment rates have long been greater — roughly double — among white people than other ethnic groups, but in the last decade they’ve accelerated among white Democrats while flatlining or declining among white Republicans.
This growing attainment gap has accelerated cultural polarisation, most clearly among white people. Those with college degrees have long been more socially and culturally liberal than those without, and so long as the Republican Party passed as socially moderate its low-tax agenda appealed to college-educated white people. But as the GOP became more outwardly socially conservative and the Democrats more outwardly socially liberal, this positive relationship started to reverse. Working-class social conservatives and college-educated social liberals gradually started changing places and sorting themselves into the parties accordingly.
By 2016, a college degree predicted an unprecedented 9.5-point decrease in the odds of a white person identifying as Republican (vs. Democrat). By 2020, the margin nearly doubled (18.1 points). Gaps in personal income and occupational prestige, which had long favoured white Republicans, now favoured white Democrats. For the first time on record, white Democrats were more likely than Republicans to describe themselves as “upper-middle” or “upper class”. Similarly, as of 2018 the median white Democrat was earning a record-high $15,773 more than the median non-white (non-Asian) Democrat, more than doubling the $7,390 gap from 2014.
As socioeconomic status predicts political engagement, these trends threaten to further boost the political influence of white Democrats over their party’s agenda and direction. Indeed, as disparities in socioeconomic status have risen, so too have those in political engagement and participation, including in attention to political information, levels of political knowledge, rates of contacting elected officials and donating to election campaigns, and even in rates of voting for Democratic candidates. Remarkably, despite the white share of Democrats falling more than 24 points between 1980-2020, white people are now more overrepresented among large ($200+) donors to Democratic congressional candidates than ever before. And even their representation among small donors has held steady.
These sets of data suggest that growing educational polarisation is allowing white Democrats to increasingly punch above their shrinking share of the party. They have, so to speak, traded quantity for quality (i.e., wealthier, more educated, and politically sophisticated voters), disconnecting their numbers from their political clout. Meanwhile, groups thought to be the party’s future — namely, black Americans and Hispanics — continue struggling to achieve political sway commensurate to their numbers.
The rub for Democrats is that the less their leaders speak to kitchen-table issues, and the more they adopt the language and policy priorities of college-educated white progressives, the harder it becomes to maintain the “party of the working class” brand; and thus the easier it becomes for small but electorally meaningful subsets of socially conservative working-class non-whites to reconsider their political allegiances. In fact, signs of such movement were apparent in the last election. Democrats have a lot of work to do if they wish to reverse these trends.
Zach Goldberg is a Paulson Policy Analyst at the Manhattan Institute.
Dems’ obsession with identity politics, especially the dismal trans-miasma, is destroying Dems’ viability among straight, working, family-oriented families who have historically provided healthy political participation and vote-gathering clout among comfortable suburbanites.
The term “progressive” I find particularly at odds with reality. As a liberal. This is the gang, or mob if you prefer who is most motivated by killing children, theirs and ours, in the womb. They’ll even coat the 63 million corpses green for added solemnity and gravitas.
Next comes sodomy of course, repainted dishonestly as an “identity”; that perverse usage of de Beauvoir and John Money as postmodernism among the “educated” steals meaning from reality.
Finally, at the end of the day, mind altering drugs and just ignore the 8 point IQ drop in young people who use it regularly.
If you don’t believe in abortion then don’t have one, but why should you get to deprive young women of that option just because it doesn’t suit you personally? Why should you get to force them to put untold stress on their body and put themselves in severe financial peril because of your beliefs? Same with the sodomy, if it’s not for you then don’t partake, although they do say don’t knock it til you’ve tried it.
Likewise with cannabis (which I assume is what you’re referring to), if you don’t like the stuff don’t smoke it. I’d say a bigger issue for you Americans is the amount of kids being force fed ADHD drugs or the amount of women on anti depressants thanks to the profit incentives in your healthcare system (not to mention the opioids) rather than a few stoners buying their weed from a shop rather than a dealer.
So.. I should not dare to have an opinion on when its OK to kill innocent human beings? Just don’t murder myself?
And never mind the sodomy ideology of “born that way” – refuted by all the large cohort identical twin studies – and let young, mostly sexually abused (average age eleven like a friend of mine) kids be locked into sexual practices that have killed over a million in the west?
And of course, let the kids get stoned at the end of the day. Narcissistic hedonism. I oppose your cult of death. There is of course no other moral option than to oppose.
You’re free to have your opinion and to act accordingly, what I object to is you forcing your beliefs on others. It’s what numerous tyrannical regimes have done, from the Bolsheviks to the Taliban, all believing that should be able to dictate what others believe.
As for your gay bashing, you do realise that AIDS kills thousands of women in Africa in each year, it isn’t solely a gay disease? I don’t know if it’s nature or nurture that causes homosexuality, but I’m fairly certain people aren’t gay through choice and you can’t pray it away.
I also don’t think kids should be allowed to buy cannabis, for the same reason they can’t drink, smoke, have sex or vote their brains aren’t developed yet and we decide they don’t know what’s best for themselves. Adults however are a different story, if they want to get stoned let them get on with it
Which is precisely what you are doing. No?
To paint sodomy as ‘normal’ is disingenuous.
What generally happens between two consulting adults in privacy is none of my business. However, I certainly can have my say when it pushed down my throat at every opportunity and if i should have the temerity to question the whole saga – then i am homophobic or racist or whatever, comes to these peoples minds.
Ex doper, and now understand what the repercussions are of have used it for so long. The healing powers of the herb are fantastic, but we, by making it totally legal, have crated a problem that will make what is happening today look like a picnic.
I always hoped that Marijuana would be decriminalised as giving someone a criminal record for smoking it is criminal. Let it be grown for ones own consumption (don’t use tobacco as a mix) and profiteers must be punished.
I met too many truly dodgy people over the years I had to purchase it. It’s a weed and grows anywhere. Drop a seed in a pot and you have plenty of pot.
Most kids are introduced and smoke zol by their mates and many are peer pressured into being ‘cool’.
Just my opinion.
Skunk of today is far stronger than the weed of the 1960s. Do you want an airline pilot or say a captain of a submarine carrying nuclear ICBMs to smoke skunk ?
As Aquinas observed , a just law is a “dictate” of reason, for the good of all, and promulgated by legitimate authority. In short , and I know your views are simply showing the distortions necessary for your recommendations,
Reasoning creatures are the product of communities of love that enact laws according to the dictates of reason. We even make laws about how and where one should walk. Which side of the road a car must travel, and laws against rape and any other violation of the free willed rational nature of human beings.
Your deception fails. And it is deception. Not killing a tiny boy or girl in the womb is the very minimum for anyone who would have others believe they were human.
Sodomy is what drives AIDS in the west and even in Uganda today and yes the sexual excesses of heterosexuals of course drove AIDS in the developing world.
But this only affirms our obvious human natures and “identities”. Early age sexual abuse is a main driver of sodomizing others. As is early divorce and alienation from a same sex parent.
70% of AIDS in the west is homosexual in origin. And Identical twin studies prove it is not a matter of being born that way though some biological traits will make homosexual behavior more of an issue for some than for others.
Laws against sodomy are necessary because they are sane first of all, but mostly to protect our children from being falsely raised to question their relationship with their own bodies. Their actual “identity”.
I would encourage you to start actually caring for people and the human community.
What an absolute load of tripe. There is no scientific study that shows sexual abuse leads to homosexuality, or indeed it being much more prevalent in people whose parents separated, although if you have evidence that this is the case then I’m happy to be proved wrong.
The bulk of AIDS in the developing world isn’t linked to homosexuality at all, although I’ll agree it is much more common amongst that cohort in western nations.
Why would you ban homosexuals, when nobody is forcing you to be one and AIDS poses almost no danger to yourself? Is it simply because you believe you know what’s best for others and should be able to force them to live the life you deem fit? To me that’s an incredibly slippery slope towards authoritarianism
Billy – I think the problem with “what I object to is you forcing your beliefs on others” is that that is what the progressive movement is now doing across the board. You don’t really have a choice – you either get on board with the entire ideological package or you get cancelled. People routinely lose their jobs for expressing what are in fact mainstreams views – for example that men cannot actually become women. So for example – you can’t simply tolerate gay marriage – you are required to celebrate it.
But you’re not tolerating it though as you’re asking for it to be banned. I’m certainly not part of the progressive movement and all the nonsense around Pride movements does my head in (although that’s largely due to companies using it as a screen to disguise their appalling pay rates. Much cheaper to stick a couple of rainbow flags up than pay your staff what they’re worth) I think the treatment dished out to many of those who question the trend movement is disgusting. I don’t want anybody cancelled, I’m of the belief that as long as what you do doesn’t negatively affect others then do as you please.
You bemoan cancel culture then want to ban two consenting adults going at each other while listening to Frankie Goes to Hollywood, do you not see the hypocrisy in that?
I no longer refer to myself as a liberal. Lost all meaning these days.
Of course Bernie Sanders has endorsed Joe Biden. Sanders had an aberration about one war, 20 years ago. That’s it. It is startling that Marianne Williamson and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. are already on nine per cent and 19 per cent, statistically one tenth and one fifth. But neither of them is enough of a threat to warrant the cancellation of debates. There is something else here.
It is not as if Kennedy is going to be nominated, and I am far too young to “get” the Kennedy thing, anyway. But while I appreciate that he is anti-war, that he is economically egalitarian by American standards, and that he is accordingly averse to erosions of civil liberties, he is also an anti-industrial Malthusian, an anti-vaxxer, and, well, yes, a very liberal Catholic indeed, who therefore lacks the philosophical foundation of a truly radical alternative.
There has never been the class consciousness in the United States that there has been in Europe and the Old Commonwealth, and it has declined in those places under American influence. But when the tide turns there, then it will turn everywhere. The failure of the woke movement to take economic inequality seriously, and therefore to include vast numbers of its victims, may well be the turning point. This, though, does not look like that point just yet.
Excellent post. I don’t get the affection for Kennedy either. He has always been stark, raving mad. He got the Covid stuff right because he’s a life-long anti-vaxxer, even the ones that truly save lives. His support for free speech ends when it comes to a topic he supports, like his climate change nonsense.
Thank you. I do not agree with you on the Covid-19 vaccines, but you are broadly right. Ted Kennedy could not win the nomination against Jimmy Carter as long as 1980. This family name business is overstated to the point of outright falsehood. What do the Kennedys mean to anyone under 70?
Yes, Kennedy is the stopped clock of American politics – he got it right exactly twice: the first time on Covid and now on Biden’s decrepitude.
Read about the vaccines in general! Not all appears to be in vaccines favour. I am personally having a heated discussion with an old mate who is pretty much on the road to become fully fledged “anti-vaxxer”.
Normally a conservative fellow, with a degree and not obtuse in my opinion, so I have been listening to the people (he listens too) advocating the scrapping of all vaccines.
While I am still not convinced (far from that point as yet), what they say and how they back up their study, is quite convincing. They challenge one to look at the data that is supplied by governments and show that there is a discrepancy of what the vaccines were supposed to do and “did”.
Most of their argument is based on our advancement as a society. We eat better (or can, but don’t necessary do so), and our general living conditions in the suburbs are streets ahead of what they used to be – so much is an environmental improvement and the data backs that assertion.
Interesting development but completely moot to me as I have had all the recognised vaccines (sans the fake covid shot), as a child.
As for Kennedy, that seems to be scrapping the barrel, but a vast improvement on the past 4 Democrat presidents.
America is, as are all western countries, in deep trouble with a drought of true leaders – it would seem.
Here down on the southern tip of Africa, it is also looking pretty dark and dismal.
Use of the generic term ‘vaccine’ obscures the fact that the new drugs developed by Pfizer, Moderna et al are not vaccines in the established sense at all, but untested agents of genetic engineering whose medium and long term effects we do not understand.
What is Kennedy’s stance on climate change?
“We’re doomed, DOOMED, I tell ya.”
I live in an affluent part of London. Without exception my neighbours are graduates. Without exception they vote, or claim to vote, for the Labour Party and espouse, or claim to espouse, progressive ideology. Most are also employed, directly or indirectly, by the government.
The workers in the parts warehouse where I occasionally provide IT training are uniformly either ambivalent or downright hostile to the Labour Party.
I think what Marx failed to realise was that a massively expanded state would create an entirely new dominant class whose distant relationship to the means of production will lead to the collapse of the West as it did to that of the Soviet Union.
It is deeply ironic that the Democrats, who has long accused the GOP of being a white-nationalist cabal, now face a crisis of legitimacy as their increasingly white power brokers fail to match their put-POC-first messaging.
“Insofar as such trends persist, the future promises a majority-minority Democratic Party”
This assumes that lesser educated and lower income black and brown people will continue to identify with a party that clearly puts the interests of uber-educated white people first. Why would they? What is completely logical from a gated suburb — “Defund the police”, “ACAB!” — is hell on Earth if you live in a S. Chicago housing project. Eventually people do realize: “Sure, it’s nice that you mouth these platitudes about empowering black people, but 2 kids on my block got shot last year because there were no cops.” LGBT inclusiveness plays well in Manhattan private schools, but urban single mothers aren’t so down on little Tanisha coming home convinced she’s a boy. This stuff adds up.
I am a conservative. I welcome the Democratic Party’s lurch Left-ward, college-ward, and white-ward. All 3 of those are sub 50% groups, and combined, they can’t represent more than 30% of the electorate.
We saw the rise in BLM at precisely the moment it appeared the Old Dem Machine would have to share power with newcomers. Where they will go in fighting out who gets what fiefdom (and possibly forced to resign when pointing out it is weird the LA Dem Machine is so Black in a city that isn’t anymore) will have a huge effect on this country.
I am not so optimistic. I think the ethnic aggrievement coupled with the progressive, godless capitalism of the boring and whiny college alumni crowd will be hard to remove.
Yes I fear you are right. They have been at this successfully for many, many decades. The communist infiltration was a huge success. Targeting the white elite and having them in the right places was quite a feat.
“it is weird the LA Dem Machine is so Black in a city that isn’t anymore”
*it is weird the LA Dem Machine is so black in a city that isn’t anymore
It would be nice to know how the author concluded this – “Meanwhile, groups thought to be the party’s future — namely, black Americans and Hispanics — continue struggling to achieve political sway commensurate to their numbers.”
28 percent of black Americans were democratic party nominees in 2022 elections. Black Americans are less than 13 percent of population. In my view the party agenda is full of points that cater to black Americans. Affirmative action, equity, criminal justice reform, etc.
He who pays the piper calls the tune
Its not white progs who donate the big money to the Dems, I’m sure Mr Goldberg knows this
Do the white progressives believe in service, duty and self- sacrifice? Without these qualities the ruling class lead the cvilisation to collapse. Glubb Pasha writes eloquently on this subject.
The Fate of Empires (by Sir John Glubb).pdf | DocDroid
None of this would be an issue if it wasn’t for Americas rigid 2 party system. I’ve no problem with political parties catering to uni educated woke policies. Whilst I don’t agree with them in a democracy their opinion is as valid as my own, as are the gun toting evangelicals.
However the problem for most Americans is that these are their only options, whereas in most other countries you have a number of smaller parties to spread the vote around if you don’t agree with either of these blocs.
And achieve precisely what? Very few countries in the western block are a modicum of perfection. All are clutching at straws!
Hence the WEF and the rest, as the final solution.
Splitting the vote can have big repercussions of its own.
The worst leadership class America has ever had
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