The Democratic Party: Is Civil War Brewing?

Maybe there's not enough room for both elites and blue collars
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2008 5:05 PM CDT
In this Feb. 24, 2008 file photo, actor Samuel L. Jackson speaks on behalf of Democratic Presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama.   (AP Photo/Dr. Scott M. Lieberman, File)
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(Newser) – Democrats are undoubtedly ascendant in the US, Joel Kotkin writes in the American, but the demographic shift that made it so may undermine the party in the near future. That’s because the working-class party of FDR is now chock-full of elites—two constituencies with different values. The richer Dems don’t care deeply about economic justice, and those with less money don’t see eye-to-eye with the party’s well-educated professionals.

One potential wedge is climate change: By and large, the new Democrats work in the "information economy—software firms, entertainment, Wall Street"—and are "not unduly harmed by attempts to regulate reduction of carbon emissions," writes Kotkin. The same can't be said of blue-collar Americans, who could be hurt badly by limits on transportation and manufacturing. The new Democrats risk a "new version of cultural warfare."