This morning, Matt Taibbi asked a question that we’ve long been struggling with ourselves here at Public: Where have all the liberals gone?
The old-school leftists who protested Tipper Gore’s parental advisory warnings on records and CDs in the 1980s, the ones that were outraged by the efforts of the late Senator Jesse Helms and then-Congressman Al D’Amato in 1989 to pull funding for the artist who created “Piss Christ,” those that stood with the Dixie Chicks when they became the prototypical victims of cancel culture for their opposition to the Iraq War: Where are all these people now as the government forms an unholy cabal with the social media platforms to censor regular Americans’ views on everything from public health to the war in Ukraine?
Ruy Teixeira, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a contributor at The Liberal Patriot, has an answer to this question. The Democratic Party, he argues, has abandoned its traditional working-class base and become a party of college-educated elites. For decades, the party has been hemorrhaging white working-class voters. But in recent election cycles, it has suffered big losses among Latinos without a college education, and has started to slide with non-college-educated Asian and even black Americans as well. The Republicans have capitalized on that loss by embracing these exiled voters, creating an inverted political dynamic that has left those of us old enough to remember the traditional pro-worker, anti-war left with our heads spinning.