America, the Democratic Party Are Entering A New Age - New Thinking, New Approaches Required Now

A New Era of American Politics, A New One for Democrats Too – In my Atlantic magazine interview with Ron Brownstein I began to articulate in new ways what it was that was driving my decision to step down from NDN – the sense that we were entering a new era for American politics, and that new approaches and new thinking were going to be required now.  NDN was built to operate in a previous age – different challenges for the country, very different media environment, a far more benign domestic political landscape.  NDN has served its purpose, and contributed on many fronts over a long period.  But something new was needed now.

As I work through all this, and listen to all the interesting feedback I’ve gotten from the interview, I offer up this sketch of a framework for where the American center-left needs to head now:

  • Build our politics around two potentially existential challenges, preserving democracy here and abroad, and ensuring the planet doesn’t warm.  The age of globalization, the post Cold War era, has come to an end, a new perhaps more challenging age has begun.  In the short term we will also need to protect the Biden economic agenda from sabotage, and strive to win the big economic argument with the right this year. 
  • Recognize that the Democratic Party is strong, it’s had 3 straight good elections, our emerging leaders can carry us forward, our grassroots is stronger than its ever been.  The American Democratic Party has been the most successful center-left party in the developed world since the Cold War ended.  We have won more votes in 7 of 8 Presidential elections, the best run in US history.  We are strong, not weak; we need to be on offense, not defense.
  • But we have some very important work to do now to ensure we win the battle against MAGA here at home.  We need to get louder, become more effective at challenging the right’s noise machine and information superiority; and we need to expand our coalition, get to 55 percent nationally, and deny MAGA the political oxygen it needs to keep spreading, growing more dangerous. 

NDN was the right vehicle for a different era, a different time.  Now those of us New Dems, liberals, patriots, pragmatists, pro-democracy warriors – whatever it is we are, and will be called – we have a different and perhaps more difficult set of challenges we have to tackle, together.  That’s why NDN is shuttering, and why I am beginning a new stage in my own journey. 

To do a deeper dive on this thinking, check out: