Has the 2006 election ushered in a new era of Democratic dominance? According to Mark Stricherz, the party’s own history should give us pause. The Democratic Party has lost seven of the last ten presidential elections. In the last thirty years, no Democratic presidential nominee has received even half of the popular vote. And the party’s base of support is limited to the “blue states” on the coasts and in the Great Lakes region.
In this exceptional book, Stricherz shows why “even today” the Democrats are blue. He reveals how a group of secular professionals seized control of the Democratic Party, driving away Catholics and blue-collar workers. He exposes the tactics these elites used as they hijacked a commission formed at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, toppled the party bosses, created a nomination system geared toward activists, and built an affluent, secular base of support.
How did the party of the people lose the allegiance of the working-class and Catholic voters it once championed? Stricherz tells the stories of the postwar Catholic leaders who helped the party win presidential elections regularly and delivered for their cross-racial, blue-collar constituencies. He then details how New Politics activists hijacked the McGovern Commission, changed the party platform to reflect their secular and elite values, and systematically excluded socially conservative Democratic leaders.
Through the voices of working-class, religious people, Stricherz explains how the Democratic Party has alienated its most reliable voters, reducing the base of a once-great national party to the coastal enclaves that support its secular values.
Filled with new revelations and fresh insight, Why the Democrats Are Blue is likely to become a classic of contemporary political history.