Changing America

The Mandate to go Big, Bold, & Bring People Along

Sam Chavez
Sam Chavez

Table of Contents

We have been talking about the multiracial coalition tipping point in America for decades. I still remember the dire warnings during my youth in Texas that the state would become majority Hispanic before too long.

Well, that moment has finally come much to the fanfare of those that believe in a multiracial democracy and to the chagrin of those that donโ€™t.

Polling shows there are 2 dramatic shifts happening in America right now:

  1. Republican party identification is declining
  2. The country is poised to become a 50%+ multiracial society in the next 20 years

These shifts are happening at a time of dramatic transformation for our country. Our economy is shifting, our priorities are moving, heck, even our weather is changing. At this time, half of the country thinks that we are changing too fast, while the other half believes weโ€™re not changing fast enough.

This opens up an opportunity for Democrats to make big, bold changes and bring everyone along the way.

Whoโ€™s Up & Whoโ€™s Down?

A recent Gallup study reported that party affiliation is the widest its ever been. While itโ€™s notable that Democrat affiliation is growing, the most notable piece is that Republican affiliation is down. Only 25% of Americans identify as Republican (plus 15% Republican-leaning independents), which is down from its 31% peak during the Trump years in 2019.

Where are all the Republicans going? To Independence! 44% of U.S. adults identify as independents which is the highest it's been since 2017.

Now, I will caveat that this is not surprising during off-year cycles. However, the fact that Independents are growing only because of the decline in Republican affiliation is notable. The country is no longer aligned with the Republican platform, whether it's suppressing the vote or adding untold harm on children simply because they do not fit into traditional gender norms.

Diversity

While this trend is happening in politics, the country is also rapidly becoming more diverse. Each generation has grown increasingly diverse and nearly half of Gen Z is non-white.

Democrats Have a Mandate; They Must Take It or Lose It

These two factors again point to the once-in-a-lifetime chance that the current Democratic Administration and Congress have. If they donโ€™t deliver, they will surely be swept in 2022 and 2024. (especially with the newly drawn gerrymandered congressional maps that will make it easier for Republicans to pick up seats)

The biggest hurdle for Democrats is the need to build back their brand and tie popular policy to the party. As Iโ€™ve written, Democratic affiliation can grow with a little boost in the Democratic Party brand.

They can do this through their actions. Biden has shown a surprising willingness to go big and bold and the whole party needs to jump on if it wants to maintain the momentum and continue to lead the country into the 21st century.

Note: this mandate also overwhelmingly shows why we must pass the For the People Act to strengthen our democracy. We cannot wait even if Kyrstanchima (thanks for the name, Crooked Media!) doesnโ€™t want to admit it.

The End of Small Government

Since Reagan, the country has been all about small government, the idea that the government should stay out of people and companyโ€™s lives. But that has led to the largest income inequality since the Gilded Age, ranking dead last in healthcare from industrialized nations, and 20,000 dead Americans from gun violence in 2020 alone.

The small-government approach has left so many issues unaddressed that we are now at a point where we must act rapidly to fix what has been left sitting and address the future issues that will emerge.

During the pandemic, Americans saw exactly what the government can do for them, what happens when the government doesnโ€™t act, and they donโ€™t want to go back. I mean, the vaccine rollout itself is an example of universal healthcare. It is free and accessible, what a concept!

Luckily, Biden sees this and is ready to act boldly. ย Biden has quietly met with historians to study how LBJ and FDR succeeded in passing massive government programs. Ironically, Biden, the 78-year-old white man, could be a transformative President not seen since LBJ.

But the rest of the Democratic Party needs to be pressured to convince them that the appeasement politics of yesteryear can no longer be tolerated. Iโ€™m all for bipartisanship if both parties act in good faith, but the GOP is currently actively trying to restrict black and brown people from voting. There is no bipartisanship that can overcome racism, the only solution is to overcome racism through easier access to voting.

Bring Along Those Left Behind

The most crucial piece of messaging that Democrats need to convey to continue this momentum is that they are here to fight for ALL Americans. As Biden has stated over and over, he is a President for America, not for one particular party.

That includes the predominantly rural, white, and lower-income Americans that Trump overwhelmingly won. There is a fear amongst this group that they have been left behind during the dramatic shift in the US economy to digital and the greater diversity in the country.

Hereโ€™s the thing, I completely understand why they voted for Trump.

If you live in a rural county that hasnโ€™t seen the economic boom that urban areas see, then why are you going to trust that the government is there to help you?

"During this period of transition, half of the country thinks that we are changing too fast while the other half believing that we are not changing fast enough."

Thatโ€™s why Democrats need to show the receipts. Bidenโ€™s American Jobs Plan calls for universal broadband for rural counties, job retraining programs towards the green economy, and targeted job growth in rural areas.

As always, Pete Buttigieg sums it up perfectly:

Republicans make this a zero-sum game when it doesnโ€™t have to be. All Americans can see success in the predicted โ€œbiggest economic boom since World War II.โ€ It will be difficult to break through the GOP (& Fox News) noise, but Democrats must speak to their values & accomplishments through:

  • Geo-targeted ads to rural communities
  • Leveraging trusted local influencers to amplify the conversation
  • Community engagement
  • & more

When you have half the country ready for change and the other half afraid of change, education and messaging will be crucial to bringing the country together to recognize the opportunity we have to strengthen our country.

Now itโ€™s your turn, What are your thoughts? Are we changing too quickly? Are you ready for transformative politics?

๐Ÿ—ผ๐Ÿ—ž: Newsletter

Sam Chavez

Sam is a writer, strategist, and curious human. She founded the roots of change agency in 2020. Sam is a queer, white, LatinX activist whoโ€™s passionate about a livable planet & equitable societies.

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