Democrats are rejecting the idea that the party must disproportionately yield to the whims of the white working class.
In what was largely considered a referendum on the Trump presidency, Tuesday's election swept a robust cohort of liberal and diverse elect officials into office. In Topeka, Kansas, Michelle De La Isla, a Hispanic woman, won the mayor’s race. In Charlotte, North Carolina, Vi Lyles became the city’s first Black mayor. In Minneapolis, Andrea Jenkins, a Black transgender activist, was elected to City Council. Ravi Bhalla, a Sikh man, was elected mayor in Hoboken, New Jersey. And from coast to coast, Latina, Vietnamese, and female candidates won elections.This week's victories energized progressives and members of the Resistance, the burgeoning liberal coalition that emerged in the wake of Trump's election. “I think those of us who care about the rights of human beings needed this victory,” said Lizz Winstead, cofounder of the reproductive rights organization Lady Parts Justice. “The gravy was so many women, women of color, and trans women won that it gives us hope that we are laying the foundation for the America that we all want to see.” Beyond electrifying the Democratic party's base, Tuesday's victories shown, senior party leaders that diverse coalitions can win campaigns — an idea thought to be precarious following Hillary Clinton's loss.After the 2016 presidential election with Trump taking the White House, many Democratic strategists thought the Democratic party needed to move further right to accommodate white working-class voters. In an August 2017 Atlantic article titled “What’s Wrong With the Democrats?”, political journalist Franklin Foer argued, “if the party cares about winning, it needs to learn how to appeal to the white working class.” Many liberal advocates were concerned that, these calls to return to the white working-class would mean sacrificing the civil protections of minority groups to win elections. However, after Tuesday's electoral success, many Democrats are rejecting the idea that the party must disproportionately yield to the whims of the white working class.