How the Insufferably Woke Help Trump

Democrats are insulting and condescending to the swing-state voters they need the most.

Comments: 217

  1. I am seriously concerned about the damage that the progressive extreme of the party can do should a moderate be nominated. Failing to unify around the candidate and constantly criticizing will precipitate that tragedy as surely as nominating an extreme progressive will. They don't know how to do that.

  2. @Cathy I agree. This is what happened in 2016. Let's hope folks have learned from this mistake.

  3. Look around. They haven’t. If anything, I’d say it’s worse now,

  4. @Cathy My worry is that moderates will not unify around a progressive candidate. You note that tragedy will result if an extreme progressive is nominated. Are you conceding that moderates will either sit out the election or vote for Trump? I will vote for a cat on a Roomba rather than Trump. I will not vote for a third party candidate. I will vote for the Democrat nominated by the party whether he or she is progressive or moderate. I trust the democratic legislative process to temper any extremes after election.

  5. The problem with saying "kitchen table issues" is that for a lot of Democratic voters, race and gender and sexual orientation, not to mention paying for college, ARE kitchen table issues. Sure, everyone worries about jobs. But some people don't just worry about the general availability of jobs. They also worry about whether they will be discriminated against when they apply. Whether the job will pay enough to cover student loans. Whether they will be fired if they bring their partner to the company picnic. And so on. The way "kitchen table issues" gets used these days, it ends up sounding like "issues that are important to white Baby Boomers." I'm not suggesting Democrats should write off white Baby Boomers. But there has to be some acknowledgement that the Democratic Party has a lot of other constituencies too, and that those constituencies expect to see their policy preferences in the party platform.

  6. @Maria The way "kitchen table issues" gets used these days, it ends up sounding like "issues that are important to white Baby Boomers." Because minorities and the less well off, don't need to think about how much milk or gas costs or making the rent or how to pay for grandma's dialysis? The virtue of kitchen table issues is that they speak to everyone and have the ability to unify. One of Obama's insights was to promote programs like affordable care because they would help people, not because they would help this race or that gender. Not saying Dems should never address issues of concern to minorities, of course they should, but it's a question of where the candidates are centered. Are they speaking to everyone or just a segment of society. Think about Romney's 47% comment and Obama's comeback that you need to be President of all Americans.

  7. @Maria agree. It's so complicated. I feel a need to fight for people who have been discriminated against all their lives, yet feel handcuffed by the few who get to decide our elections. If only we had popular vote!

  8. @David Health care is a crossover issue, of course. Everyone thinks about that. But to argue for an exclusive focus on issues like that is to ignore the passion some Democratic constituencies feel for other issues. Women and black people and gay people are really, really tired of waiting on issues that have been festering for generations, and "cultural change takes time" is no longer an argument people are prepared to tolerate. And young voters care about climate change A LOT. Making that out to be a fringe concern is a grave mistake, even if it seems a bit beside the point to people who won't be around to see it.

  9. If Warren or Sanders are the nominee I will vote for trump. Any other democratic candidate would get my vote.

  10. @Mike Trump and any of the moderate/centrist democrats are still miles apart not only on the ideological spectrum, but also in terms of moral integrity and intellect. What are the common denominators between moderate/centrist democrats and trump that would incline you to vote for any one of them instead if Sanders or Warren? I’m genuinely curious.

  11. @Mike i just don't get that position but i totally 'get' the reality that it makes sense to very many people. i hope you might consider supporting/campaigning for pete b. although my ideas align with sanders and warren, i want a more moderate - more balanced between being realistic and aspirational - candidate. and pete fits the bill for me.

  12. @Mike Please realize that neither Sanders' nor Warren's wild-eyed plans would ever get through Congress. They would be frustrated Presidents, but they would not be milking the office for their private gain, betraying our allies, using foreign military aid to extort personal political favors and thereby selling out national security. They would not be handing our influence in the world to the Russians and the Chinese. If you love your country, don't vote for Trump.

  13. You are right, I'm afraid. I love Liz Warren and what she wants for the country. However, her nomination could easily backfire. My adult son first alerted me to this, he being more attuned to younger generation. On the other hand, in 2016, the Dems eschewed Bernie for the seemingly more moderate Hillary. She may have been uniquely unpopular in some conservative circles, but maybe she wasn't or isn't unique. Not sure any Dem will persuade the writer's sister.

  14. OK Tim, I hear you saying talk to folks like your sister, and be nice. No problem. But I doubt if that will make a difference. If someone is willing to vote for Trump based on resentment and spite, I don't think a few conversations will make a bit of difference. Those feelings must be very deep and and dark. Sad.

  15. @Eric -- I'm sorry, but I think your comment sounds just a little--not terribly so--like the problem, particularly at the end.

  16. @Eric How about someone who is willing to vote against him based on contempt? It's a feeling that has grown so intense I can't stand listening to him.

  17. @Eric You are right: Talking to them will make little to no difference. The main reason is Fox and Facebook produce a steady stream of misinformation telling them the “democratic socialist agenda” is out to take everything from them. They push blatant lies and our family members believe it, partly because they think it’s true and partly because they want it to be true. Prior to trump the right considered themselves the party of religious morality, fiscal responsibility, and hawkish intervention. In less than 5 years they’ve abandoned all of it to worship a walking version of the 7 deadly sins who has exploded our deficit and abandoned our allies. The right’s goals are a moving target with one clear overarching theme: oppose Democrats no matter the cost. Can some Obama trump voters be flipped back? Sure. Can people like Egan’s sister or my brother be convinced? No. They have tied their very identity to the Republican Party. They aren’t listening to policy or ideas or facts. They turn on Fox and hear country music in the background and watch people use coarse language and see Duck Dynasty is doing a cameo in camo and think “these guys are just like me.”

  18. Excellent piece. Having lived in a small town in western MA for a number of years which considered itself politically enlightened, it was finally insufferable to have to deal day after day with folks who assumed the arguments under that enlightenment were all self evident and shame on you if you couldn’t see them. Certain factions in the Democratic Party (and I’m a certified left-winger) remind me of that town.

  19. @WCB Amherst, haha. I'm very liberal too, but the pious Hampshirization of that town can indeed insufferable.

  20. @Weasel @WCB could just as well have been referring to Northampton, or Williamstown, or any of a number of MA liberal-arts college towns. (The point holds regardless, though.)

  21. Thomas Frank's book "Listen Liberal" gave a lecture to liberal Democrats many years ago raising the same talking points. But the liberal media is complicit in pushing the most ultra left candidates all the time. For instance read the Huffington Post. AOC and the Squad are given a prominent space in their columns all the time and moderate Presidential primary candidates are mocked as just not being progressive enough. Yes, I am sure what rest rooms transgenders use is foremost in the minds of blue collar working people.

  22. @Babel I think it is the mainstream media that does the pushing. I don't think many Trump voters read the Huffington Post. I also don't think there is a hidden agenda there, other than the journalists' and editors' own judgement of what is interesting and relevant. But this cannot be stressed enough. Part of the reason all realistically electable moderate candidates (other than Biden) are out at this point is that the others were mocked and ignored out of the race. Mr.Egan, you should start talking to your own colleagues. Maybe pay them to take trip to Cleveland. In my neck of the Pennsylvania woods there is this representative called Conor Lamb, who beat out a Republican in a gerrymandered district in a special election, and then held on to the seat in 2018. That is a feat comparable to AOC beating a business as usual machine Democrat in New York. There were a handful of such centrist Democrats elected in 2018. I dare say it was their performance in the national elections that made the difference. Yet nobody made movies about them. AOC and the Squad just made some boring, safe Democratic seats more interesting -- and yes, riskier next time around. But of course, almost nobody heard of Conor Lamb because he doesn't make for a compelling enough story. Losing Pennsylvania again because of the California donors' obsession with putting tampon dispensers into the boys' bathrooms (it is a thing) will be compelling enough.

  23. What restrooms transgender people use? Interesting to bring that into the discussion. Huge swaths of people would prefer transgender people not exist, along with Blacks, Arabs, Mexicans, and people with limited intellectual capacity. Thank goodness there are leaders willing to stand up for all human beings, animals, and our planet. I for one know our world is better because of them. I’ve spoken to three middle age white working class men who all voted for trump and say they will vote for him again. I ask why, and it has nothing to do with them thinking he's doing anything good, or that benefits them. It’s because they think they whole system of government needs to be blown up - it’s all corrupt and self serving. They think trump will blow it up. Of course, they are right. Trump is blowing up all government institutions. He’s defying every norm there ever was. And what's weird, is none of these three men like trump. They don’t like his tweets, name calling, immaturity. But, they will take him and his behavior over government as is. And yes, these men are afraid of transgender people. I’ve discussed it with them. So, is it cultural changes they are afraid of and “blow up government” is the publicly acceptable way to express fear of the world changing? Two of the three gentlemen are contract labor, the other an employee. They are all hard workers very knowledgeable about current politics. I’m not sure issues are as important to them as blowing up government.

  24. There was a good piece in Vox in 2016 called "The smugness problem in American liberalism" that touched on this. The thing about wokeness is that liberals tend to be involved in the culture, where conservatism is seen as stubbornly unaware, and so this seems like a bigger problem than it is. Most liberals aren't that focused on wokeness. It's an epiphenomenon like "OK boomer" stories. However, it is probably good for cultural liberals to at least acknowledge that cultural changes often take time. Patience is not something I'm very good at, and neither are cultural leaders.

  25. In the long gone days of a belief in a flat earth, those that insisted on a round earth were jeered and even jailed. But to believe Trump republicans is mostly like believing in a flat earth. Maybe we can come to terms and believe in an earth shaped like a platter with a curve in it. Would that help?

  26. @joyce Sorry to intrude reality: there are still far too many people who believe the earth is flat. I would wager that most (all) of them are Trump voters. (Oops, I am being condescending.)

  27. @joyce I’ve got some bad news for you. You should probably google ‘flat earthers’

  28. My plan all along has been to vote for Sen. Warren in the MA primary because I wanted to show my support and I believe that she has alot of good ideas but I never thought she would be in danger of winning the nomination. Now I'm getting worried. I'm not woke. I don't even know what that means.

  29. "The insufferably woke" tend, I believe, to foster an external, criticism-avoidant motivation vis-a-vis prejudice and other social issues, which has been found to increase biases. It would also seem to me that they encourage folks to think of racism, sexism, and the like as aspects of their being their being that they are capable of neither changing nor controlling. These beliefs regarding the fixed nature of prejudice attitudes have also been found to increase negative intergroup behaviors. So, Egan is probably correct. In the end, they may indeed help Trump. Good luck getting these woke folks to dial it down, though. Their puritanical, sanctimonious stance seems to be way too self-rewarding to be relinquished.

  30. @ToddTsch amen..."puritanical, sanctimonious stance" is more of the same hypocritical Yankee piety which tolerated cruel child labor and the murder of strikers by Pinkerton detectives

  31. @ToddTsch That belief is based on what?

  32. The problem in recent history has been the way the Democrats have allowed Republicans to frame every issue. From “Big Government” to the word “Liberal,” Democrats have stood by while Republicans demonize them. The policies Warren promotes are not radical or even really very progressive. She is simply suggesting that workers be paid a fair wage and that they have benefits which allow them to live a life free from exploitation by the wealthy and powerful (insurance companies, corporations, tech companies, etc.). This is what she says over and over again but Republicans and many Democrats twist it in order to create fear of change. Their agenda is to keep the status quo so that the wealthy can continue to rule over everyone else, much like the kings and landowners many of us thought our ancestors had escaped by coming to America. Please, Elizabeth, find a way to simplify the message, and other Democrats get behind her and fight for what is right and fair. Warren for Workers!

  33. @TJ I saw that in her rhetoric in 2012 which is how she was able to beat a proto-Trump like Scott Brown. I know hard hats from Dorchester and Southie who voted for her because she 'spoke union'. Now she is promising to take these same workers hard won health care away and replace it with a government run plan unlikely to pass and unlikely in the end to save them much money. Why is it so hard for Democrats to run on fair wages for hard work? Workers want to be treated with dignity and respect. They don't want handouts like UBI or single payer. They want more rights, more wages, and more jobs. Build infrastructure and green tech in America and you can solve the climate crisis and employ hard hats at the same time. Focusing on that is the way to go.

  34. @James This good union health insurance is a myth. My husband works in a union shop that other workers envy. We have the worst health insurance of any of the companies he's worked for over the last 40 plus years. A 7000K deductible, a 20% co-insurance deductible and weekly payments of over $100 to cover just the two of us. The Boston employees for National Grid were on strike for over nine months. Not because of money but because of rising health insurance costs that paid for less and less. Another friend, a former teacher, paid $1000 a month for health insurance. My mother, on Medicare, pays next to nothing and isn't left with outrageous deductibles due to her free or of little costs supplemental health insurance while the rest of us face complete and utter financial ruin if faced with a catastrophic illness or injury that leaves us incapable of working. My husband can buy into his health insurance if unable to work but he also has to pay for it. Without enough income we would go without. And that includes those great mythical union workers plans as well. If they are no longer able to work due to injury they get to buy into the insurance, but only if they can afford it.

  35. Yes talk to those voters who are disenfranchised and don’t talk down to them. Don’t criticize the president but construct your discussions on the basis of trying to work together, to help one another. I know this approach probably won’t work well but even if one voter rejects our current plight you will have succeeded.

  36. @Jordan Davies it will work can take the edge off help one another means to listen...and to reinvent the idea that "I may not agree with your beliefs but I will defend to my death your right to express them"

  37. @Jordan Davies exactly. Focus on what little he has done for them. The wall hasn't been built. China still makes our products, but now they cost more. Mexico still exists, but is now poorer and less safe and even more immigrants will come from there to seek opportunity here. The infrastructure never came. Opioids still ravage our communities. Prescription drugs still cost too much. Guns still threaten our kids. Not to mention our enemies control our national security. These are much more salient arguments with white working class voters than 'Trump is racist/you are racist for voting for him'. he former is undoubtedly true, the latter is not and failing to recognize that will continue to kill the Democrats in the Electoral College.

  38. As a preliminary matter, I wonder if there are lots of "woke" folk who haven't woken to the fact that the national vote does not determine the presidency. There are two possible winning strategies. One is to turn out progressives in the swing states in numbers sufficient to overwhelm traditional swing voters who will not vote for Warren or Sanders type ticket. The second is to persuade sufficient traditional swing state voters that they and their nation will have better lives with a more moderate D president than with Trump (or whoever the Rs regurgitate if Jabba doesn't make it to next November.) As Obama, Pelosi, and many historical and current facts illustrate, the first strategy is very risky, the second far more probable, even relatively easy. What's more important is how our country will go forward after the election. I like Warren and Sanders and think their ideas have much to offer. But if those ideas come from the top down instead of from a broad-based bottom up consensus, the fires of division and the forces of darkness (ala Jabba) will keep tearing the republic apart. In the next several years, we need healers at the top, not literal and/or figurative firebrands.

  39. @RBW Sanders is breaking records with the number of small donors he has as well as the numbers that show up to his rallies. It doesn't get much more bottom-up than that. It's the opposition that's coming from the top. Please don't lend any credibility to their false narratives.

  40. @DataCrusader I appreciate your reply and that you care about our country and its future. I hope you'll think more about the "broad-based" part of that "bottom-up consensus." Also, consider getting out of town and taking a nice trip through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

  41. @RBW There is no such thing as a broad-based, bottom-up consensus. There is a bottom-up consensus though, and you're inexplicably describing it as the opposite. I felt like I pretty clearly pointed that out, so I'm not sure why the response is to point out that it's not broad-based (which suggests no argument against my realignment of the picture you painted of where support is coming from where it pertains to progressive candidates) and assume that I'm out of touch with most of the country.

  42. Tim, it is your right to be “agnostic on the Democratic field” and be ready to “vote for a tree stump if it could beat Trump”. But know this: most of the Democrats running won’t fix the climate crisis. Going back to “normal” won’t fix it either. We’re headed for the cliff and we need a dramatic course correction. If you don’t care about going over the edge, then what does it matter if Trump or the tree stump are behind the wheel? A few of the candidates have outlined coherent policies to start course-correcting within the timeframe that we have left. The first step to avoiding the cliff is acknowledging that we have a problem—a problem that the centrism is just as guilty of ignoring as Trump.

  43. So let me get this straight: you want four more years of Trump rather than a Democrat? Because that is what you will get going for someone promising a “radical shift”.

  44. yes!! the left is its own worst enemy. my own ideology aligns with sanders and warren. bernie for all his many merits is not a great candidate and should have taken the mantle of handing the torch to a next generation but at least he is honest about the realities of government. warren is a great danger with her refusal to face the political realities - not of campaigning but of governing. she was a great regulator and important voice in the senate. and yes her ideas about reforming the entire 'system' are spot on but there is no way she will achieve that whole cloth as president - not even with a democratic congress and certainly not with the current supreme court. and she refuses to accept/acknowledge the complications of getting things done to the degree that she veers into really off putting avoidance and even dishonesty. and yes as a sanders supporter who campaigned relentlessly for clinton, the self indulgent purists who support third party candidates or refuse to vote at all because they mostly care about their own visions helped elect trump just as though they had voted for him.

  45. @pi we are almost in 100% agreement. I voted for Sanders in the last primary, donated to and campaigned for Clinton (and lost some Bernie or Bust friends who went third party or even voted for Trump!), and donated to Warren the last five months. Her plan while great in theory, is dead on arrival in Congress AND gives Trump ammunition to turn the very suburban moderates who made VA a blue state and kicked out the incumbent Republican Governor in KY on Tuesday into Republicans again. Andy Beshear even made inroads into the old school coal miner FDR Democrat counties by actually campaigning there and listening to voter concerns instead of condescendingly writing them off as deplorable or irredeemably bigoted. I'm taking a second look at the Mayors-Bloomberg, Buttigieg, and Booker. Mayors bring people together and get things done.

  46. @James I'd suggest you look at Amy Klobuchar also - she's not a mayor, but knows how to listen to voters in the Midwestern states -

  47. @pi I’m kinda the opposite. Even though I disagree with pretty much all of Bernie’s solutions—at least the big ones—I love his no-nonsense way of talking and obvious distaste for identity politics. That’s why Trump won and continues to be popular with 35–40% of Americans. It has nothing to do with his policies (no wall, no healthcare, a trade war hitting rural people hardest); it’s all about tone. I’m seriously considering voting for Sanders should he still be around for my state’s primary. I mean, it’s not like he’ll be able to execute his agenda.

  48. This is very true. I happily voted for Bernie in the 2016 primary and happily voted for Hillary in the general election. I had friends who were fervent supporters of Bernie tell me I had sold out and should have protest voted or sat out the election. I live in NYC so it didn’t matter in this state but every vote counted in the swing state. I’m still confused about what they were protesting.

  49. @Mal Stone They were protesting not getting their way. I knew a woman who was a strong Hillary supporter in the 2008 primaries, who refused to vote in the election because she couldn’t vote for *her* candidate, and then went on to be negative and suspicious about anything Obama did. Such voters were far outnumbered in the ‘08 turnout, but in the close election of 2016 their inaction made a difference.

  50. Pitch perfect. Now, let's get the media focused on people who know how to reach people where they are, not where the know it all crowd wants them to be. How many of the "woke" have contributed money to the campaign of Amy McGrath in her 2020 race to unseat McConnell. Do you even know who she is? Over 50 years of experience ( adult) I have had to deal with people from very walk of life and every domicile. I have seen the best and the brightest with varied socioeconomic backgrounds see things very differently. When you want to make change, you need a seat at the table and the willingness to play the hand you are dealt. Ask anyone who actually gets things done.

  51. @USNA73 As someone who is decrying the supposed condensation of the left, you are doing a good job of iy yourself. Why do you assume that you’re the only one who knows that Amy McGarth is running against Mitch McConnell in Kentucky? I not only knew who she was before you mentioned her, but also contributed a bit to her campaign. Many on the left know about many issues. Many also, like you, deal with people from all walks of life. Stereotyping those are the left are no more usual than stereotyping the people the author of this piece is trying to defend. Candidates who do either are dooming us to four more years of Trump.

  52. We should all stop thinking that we know better and vote “strategically “ and instead just vote for the candidate that we like. When the primaries are over we should rally around the candidate that wins and help him/her get elected in the general. It’s not that difficult. Nobody. NOBODY, knows how things will turn out; not the pundits, not the politicos, not the man on the street. Therefore it’s time to stop acting disingenuously and simply, vote for whom we like and agree with. Also, I don’t get the panic around Warren. We are electing a president, not an absolute monarch.

  53. @Jacques Good advice. I am taking it!

  54. @Jacques, the rich (which include conservative pundits like Egan) are the ones freaking about Warren. She's proposing changes that will prevent their currently-unchecked ability to hoover up most of the profits.

  55. @Jacques " Also, I don't get the panic about Warren. We are electing a president, not an absolute monarch." I too am mystified by the hysteria over Warren, particularly her health care proposals. Obama barely got Obamacare through a majority Democratic House, and it was based on Mitt Romney's plan for Massachusetts. I think Warren is a pragmatist. Her goal is to improve accessibility and affordability of health care, period. She needs to tailor her message to match this goal, and if she gets the nomination, I expect she will.

  56. Mr. Egan's fine words evoke the critical needs of our age: patience, tolerance and mindfulness. Positive change is not going to be achieved by recrimination, by calling people "deplorables". Positive change can be achieved by reaching out and asking about the concerns of others, and tolerating their belief systems. Too many people, want to live out a binary dialectic...right or wrong, left or right, liberal or conservative. There are many currents in the stream, learn to flow with them. And learn as well that liberal piety about the beliefs of others does not signal enlightenment...

  57. @Estill Thank you. So wise.

  58. Agnostically voting for tree stumps is how we got Trump in the first place. Let’s keep democracy smart - vote on issues not party affiliation.

  59. @Christina Steiner Normally, I would agree with you, but there is nothing normal with the current administration. The house is on fire - the ship is sinking. The only way to end this is to change out the President. The word we hear the most lately is "unprecedented". We need to act in a way that will end this, even if voting for a tree stump is also unprecedented.

  60. Please name one Democratic Party candidate who denounces people for being religious; calling to end the tax subsidies for religious institutions, opposing prayer in school and federal funding for religious schools, opposing the so-called religious conscious clauses is not denigrating people's religious faith. It is supporting the US Constitution. Name one Democratic Party candidate who demands the they them pronoun. Seriously, that young people (and some of us old codgers) want candidates to actively campaign for a more equal distribution of wealth, gender and racial justice, climate justice and peace, does not mean that they are elitist. How is health care, equal access to education, job training elitist? Who more than the current occupier of the White House is a "my way or the highway" guy. That your friend experiences Democrats as elitist, doesn't make it true. That she refuses to listen to or consider your points, says more about her very closed mind as opposed to Elizabeth Warren's alleged elitism. Yes, she is a former Harvard Professor. But where did she begin. She is part of the US myth of hard work and determination helps upward mobility. Why put her down for her achievements. And please tell me how the Consumer ProtectionBureau was elitist.

  61. @Barbara winslow name one that does not support unfettered access to abortion and a full spectrum of sexuality/identity.

  62. @Barbara winslow I will name one candidate who consistently speaks of fighting and never of empathic outreach. Whose outreach is limited to describing doing what she has decided is best for Them, without listening to them. Elizabeth Warren.

  63. @Daphne - if a stance on abortion rights and LGBTQ rights are your litmus test for executive leadership, we know without a doubt that you will never vote for a Democrat. What the commenter here is talking about are issues of economic security and fair distribution of wealth; bread-and-butter issues that resonate with working people across a wide socio-economic spectrum. If you don’t have enough money to put food on the family table or take your child to the doctor when she is sick, protesting gay rights or abortion rights is way down on your list of priorities.

  64. These aren't facts, convenient or otherwise. Egan is presenting one half of the debate embroiling the politically engaged. Do we try to persuade Trump voters or do we ignore them and focus solely on turn out? We obviously know which camp Egan pitches his tent. I'm far less sure. UC Berkeley points out that campaigning, the most overt means of persuading someone, is only marginally effective. Unless you happen to be related to a Trump voter like Egan, your chances of persuading anyone are dim. Meanwhile, ThinkProgress notes that there simply aren't enough persuadable voters out there. You're going to expend an awful lot of effort trying to reach a few voters who are going to vote Trump anyway or, more likely, not vote at all. Sad truth but only about half of eligible voters vote in any given election. That's a lot of votes left sitting on the table. Hence, the counter argument. Instead of spending time convincing one Walmart employee who already voted for Trump once to change their mind, why don't you spend the same effort getting two of the 50 percent of Ohioans who didn't vote registered and out to the polls? Specifically young, urban, and/or minority voters who skew heavily left. You don't need to convince anyone. You just need to find and enable the people who already agree with you. In my experience, this is always the more effective strategy. Ideally, we'd like both voters but if we're choosing one over the other, I'll take turnout over persuasion.

  65. @Andy It's not so much a question of reaching out to Trump voters as it is of not driving away swing voters. I am a swing voter, and even as I continue donating money to Democratic candidates (including Warren), I also take note of the condescension from the Democratic left. As someone with an Ivy League graduate degree, I can tell you that I do not respond well to condescension. I, too, would pick the stump over Trump. The stump, being more level headed and with deeper roots, would make a better president. But not every swing voter feels the same way. The path to victory for the Democrats lies through the political center, leaving the sanctimony behind. Egan has it right.

  66. @Andy Great comment, but Trump is pretty good at getting folks out to vote too.

  67. @Andy Life will go on after the 2020 election. In the end, these folks' behavior is destructive to the nation writ large and really should change for the good of all. As it turns out, some of the persuasion folks at Stanford (as long as we're dropping the names of prestigious institutions) have shown that an approach that affirms the identities of those we are trying to convince rather than insults them is a method that reliably works. And we can walk and chew gum at the same time: it is not impossible to both convince like-minded others to act and to convert those with whom we disagree.

  68. So rather than voting in their own best interests, along with the “dismissive and condescending,” those with hurt feelings turn to Republicans, who take more and more away from the working class, yet make them feel “respected” as they do it? We get the leaders we deserve.

  69. @Mikxe6 LBJ was right when he said the poor, uneducated whites will gladly let you take everything from them as long as you make them feel like they are superior to the "others" (immigrants, blacks, LGBT etc.). Fox News tells people like Egan's sister that they are actually the smart ones, and these "elite" liberals just don't get it -- and they eat it up because it makes them feel special in a world that is leaving them behind.

  70. i have tried to talk to the other side. the other side does not listen. My wife is one of four siblings. breakdown politically : 2 liberal, 2 conservative. the facebook debates are epic. the 2 conservatives do not listen to anything the other 2 say. they are all very intelligent, one is a CPA the other two have master degrees.there is no persuading the two trump supporters. you may respect them until the cows come home. but they have made a value judgment and there is no reaching them.

  71. @Russ Wilkey the point is that you should be persuaded by them.

  72. Well, there's your problem. Do not use Facebook to try to convince someone of the justness of your argument, that's worse than using email. The only fair test would be to pick up a phone, or better yet talk to these people in person. Trying to do it a via Facebook is a cheat and certainly doomed to failure.

  73. @Russ Wilkey get off Facebook. Go meet real people face to face. Face book has nothing to do with actual face to face, only virtual. The things you write online you won’t be able to say face to face.

  74. People who struggle need more than a handout, they need a hand, a human connection, Trump provides that, even if it’s illusory.

  75. @Tim, Yet when the Democratic party reaches out to give them a hand, they're "condescendingly telling them what to do" or "lecturing" them. This is what the punditry has taught them for close to 40 years; at first it was just the Right wing punditry, but over the past few decades the centerists have joined in pushing the myth.

  76. @Tim and @ David F So whoever can break the illusion without being condescending has the winning formula. I sure hope that candidate emerges to take on Trump.

  77. @David F and Mark D It appears to me, lots of struggling people vote for the messenger, not the message.

  78. I could never vote for Trump, but in following some of the candidate debates I think the discussion has veered far away from where Democrats need to be. Voting rights for people who are released from prison? Fine. Voting rights for people who are still in prison? Not something to put front and center of a campaign. And can we discuss race with the white janitors without talking about "privilege"?

  79. Thanks Mr. Egan for an important read. I hope all Democrats and liberals read this and take it to heart. Many of us liberals believe that systems of privilege and oppression are real and that they impact Americans in significant ways, but they do not define individuals - and this is where the far left is making its bed. These prejudicial attitudes become associated with efforts to raise wages, improve access to healthcare and level the economic playing field, and soon more than half our citizens view leftist candidates as self righteous anti-America "socialists". Warren and others need to stand up to what Bill Maher calls the "twitter mob". One can validate the perspective of privilege and oppression while demanding every individual be assessed outside any cliche' paradigm associated with their skin color, sexual orientation, religion or political affiliation. That's the message the Reverand King gave us as his most important legacy. The right wing no doubt encourages hostility toward the "other". There's a reason we didn't witness white supremacist marches for many years until the rise of Trump. In so many countries once destroyed by fascism, the grand mistake made by liberals and socialists alike was to participate in a mirror response - or ANTIFA rsponse - which counters hate and violence with hate and violence. The left isn't there yet, but it will be, if Democrats don't unite the center in love and then bring them along toward progressive policies.

  80. Democrats need to heed Timothy Egan's warning. Health Care is the biggest winning issue for Democrats, and they're giving it away to Republicans by being strident about completely dismantling the system we have and replacing it with the Bernie Sanders fantasy, "Medicare for All." Let's make the system we have better and more efficient. We can do that. I, for one don't want a "political revolution." I like Warren, but she's gotta temper her position on Health Care.

  81. @Robert I agree 100% - but I don't know if either will be possible considering the power of corporate healthcare - pharma, provider systems, for profit hospitals and insurers. Obama tried that - "everyone gets a seat at the table" - which is the right approach, but nonetheless resulted in only moderate improvements. I believe capitalism is a superior system to socialism, certainly communism, but not for every single industry. Some industries are too important to a society to be solely managed by those who enrich themselves. It is immoral to ransom death for profit. It is immoral to let the world and its ecosystems be destroyed by private industry who since Citizens United has an even bigger say regarding public policy. Capitalism has given us pretty great lives, but it is already (and historically always has) left huge numbers of people behind. It is slowly eating itself and exhausting irreplaceable resources that future humans will have to do without. Perhaps Marx was right and someday it will collapse. If so, we will regret that we resisted change for so long...

  82. @Robert I think that train has left the station. Medicare for all is not a fantasy...

  83. Robert yet how many seniors want the insurance the rest of us have over Medicare? I don't hear too many saying of Medicare "thanks, but no thanks." We don't hear of any other nations wanting to model their health care systems on ours. Why is that if what we have now is so superb? My husband's company provided health insurance is a joke. It is the most expensive insurance we have ever had and covers the least. $500 initial deductible before our insurance kicks in, 20% co-insurance payment until we reach the $7000K cap, certain procedures and medications not covered as well as "out-of-network" costs not being covered. God help you if you become ill/hurt a hundred miles from home. His platinum health insurance doesn't have to pay the bill. I guess we should either never leave home or make sure we get sick/hurt within driving distance of our doctor. All this great coverage for only $420 a month of his pay!! Yet this criminal absurdity is defended by a large group of people in this country. I agree with Warren and De Blasio. The only people who like their insurance are the ones who haven't used it. Wait until Obamacare is overturned by trump's owned "supreme" court. Co-pay free yearly physicals-gone. Co-pay free mammograms-gone. Co-pay free colonoscopies-gone. Guaranteed pre-existing condition coverage-gone. We'll have far worse insurance that covers next to nothing all for the bargain basement price of $400 or more a month in employee contribution. But trump/GOP are the savior.

  84. The problem as I see it is that the 'liberal consensus' isn't actually a consensus any more. It is a set of values that has evolved over time, mainly for the good, but obviously not to everyone's liking. I'm sure most people want clean air, drinkable water, safe transportation, affordable healthcare and schools where their children can learn without worrying about losing their lives in a mass shooting incident, but I'm not so sure that John and Jane Doe really go along with some of the more recent initiatives which are at best contentious and only serve to protect or benefit tiny minorities. I think Trump knows this and I'm pretty sure most of his supporters do, too.

  85. "You can only win by becoming the thing you are not." But then YOU don't win, because you're not that same thing any more. The democratic party can't be a party for progressives, centrists and moderate republicans. Because then it's a party for none of those people. This is part of why so many Americans are so completely dissatisfied with government. It over-promises to appease more people than it can possibly hope to serve, then leaves many of the people who elected it out in the cold. Probably a good idea to have more than 2 political parties. Bloomberg?

  86. Bottom line, we need to fix this, and there is an element of truth to it - even between various types of woke folks within the Democratic party. But as an outreach to Trump voters, it's not as easy as you prescribe: because - and I am from Arkansas so know whereof you speak -- a lot of this is projection from Trump supporters onto Dems. I think there is an element of guilt there. They know they are outside the pale on every value they've espoused. And I know that the local Dems - everyday folk -- are nothing if not sympathetic.

  87. And, by the way, we prove to them that their strategy of making us feel guilty works by continually REPEATING this "insufferable and condescending line."

  88. Great piece; however, the woke culture you speak of doesn't only alienate the "white working class." Many working class POC are equally offended. Senator Warren will be truly "woke" after the South Carolina primary, when she realizes that her condescending insults don't play well with working class African Americans, church-goers, boomers, etc.

  89. @George Weisgerber III What are her condescending insults?

  90. @Matt H - Her spontaneous (prepared) answer to a random voter (major Warren donor) about same-sex marriage is one example- "I assume it's a guy who said that" "assuming he can find a woman to marry" Ok, so instead of engaging voters with differing views (as Buttigieg does), Warren mocks them as undesirable instead. Senator Warren is perfect fodder for conservatives who label liberals as out-of-touch elitists. If you want four more years of Trump, she's the ideal Democratic nominee!

  91. I'm a late boomer. Time to hand over the reins of power to young voters. When even I understand and agree with the recent shorthand: 'OK, boomer', I realize our time is up. We haven't managed things very well. 'Mayor Pete' has terrific, well thought out, moderate views. He's bright, articulate and never appears to pander to any individual constituency. If Democrats want to broaden their base in a significant measure, they should give Mayor Pete a chance.

  92. @two cents So you're handing the reigns over but have a suggestion of a candidate that is moderate on the way out? I appreciate the effort but you seem not to completely understand what millenials and Gen-x are saying. This endless, thoughtless push from the ostensible left towards centrism is what got us into this neoliberal disaster to begin with, where voters from across the entire spectrum have completely lost faith in politicians - none will fight for them. Because, see, over the past few decades, the only times the left and right of congressional politics found themselves in agreement, it's when it's to hep big business fleece the public. As such, so-called centrists dems have been the perfect pick for donors who want to hedge their bets in the event that a Republican that will run roughshod over Americans doesn't win. Buttigieg is the exact embodiment of that tradition. If you have any interest in handing the reigns over, the spirit in which to do it is one that denounces candidates to talk to us about what health care we can't have one day and meets with health insurance executives the next day. An earnest endeavor would but not you telling which centrists younger people need to give a shot, but deciding which progressive you support most.

  93. @DataCrusader All polls show that the 'progressive agenda' will not win the next election. You don't get a say in government if you lose. So... yes, I'll take half a slice of pie and hope that a smart, articulate young man will have the chance to bring positive change to average citizens, even if it's incremental. The big money horse left the barn a long time ago. It will never return. Pretending that monied interests will not have a dominant place at the table going forward is a pipe dream.

  94. @two cents I'm sorry, what data is that? That of 2/3 of the leading candidates being progressive? Or of progressives having completely defined the agenda on grounds that were unthinkable three years ago? The main problem the agenda has it parties whose financial interests would be effected by them, and who pay to have narratives like the ones you're espousing to be printed ad nauseam in news media. The same people who try to pretend they're for Medicaid for all to get votes, but tell us that we just can't do it, and should instead adopt a plan that will funnel even more money to insurance companies - aka Pete Buttigieg.

  95. Behind the anger and resentment is FEAR. Trump has done what demagogues the world over always do: manipulate that fear, abuse and torment it. But as Mr. Egan very rightly suggests, there is a better response. Simply ask: what are the things working class people are afraid of? The moment you start addressing the real, concrete concerns of living, breathing human beings, you have already won half the battle. The proposals are important; but the living CONNECTION with voters is the key. FDR did it. JFK did it during his tour of the impoverished south. Egan is not talking about the 40 percent who already see Trump in distorted religious terms as God’s Warrior/Savior. They will not be persuaded. But there are plenty of hard working people who may be mainstream Christian, or another religion, or no religion at all; and they are afraid. Fear is not a category of humanity. Fear is universally human. And so is the hope which comes with human connection. It is the only way to be Trump in these battleground states. Egan is right.

  96. @Paul C. McGlasson Sorry, “beat Trump” not be Trump (in itself a disgusting thought)

  97. I agree with the general message, though the article confuses tone with policy at times. Also the majority of the call-out blogs and articles target not conservatives, but privileged fellow liberals, explaining intersectionality to them. However I agree that the Anti-theist movement needs to be respectful of people of faith. Last of all, economic populist policies that lean left work, as long as we don't micromanage and means test everyone. Even the rich deserve lower health care costs, decent schools and a living planet.

  98. While recognizing the difficulty of engineering seismic shifts in the populace, I must say that the Warren/Sanders wing of the party is right about climate policy, and a milquetoast middle-of-the-road approach is equivalent to defeat. The climate crisis demands a radical reboot of our energy system. Yes, it will be disruptive, but let's not deceive ourselves. As Bill McKibben has said, "winning slowly is the same as losing."

  99. I support Elizabeth Warren. Having said that I do appreciate Tim Egan's concern about "promising the world '...yes, there is no 'free lunch'. But when you ask your boss for a raise or you try to sell your car on 'craig's list', you don't low ball it, do you ? You aim high, then hope to get a number that satisfies both interests. Yes 'medicare for all' is a lofty goal and probably unattainable any time soon; but Warren is actually fairly pragmatic and, like someone trying to get a good price for their car, she no doubt knows this.

  100. Trump’s a weak candidate for obvious reasons, but any Democratic candidate is unlikely to beat him without being willing to openly & genuinely recognize the moral decency of Americans who hold conservative social views because of their religious beliefs. Obama did so & achieved majority support. A candidate who refuses to do so, either because of their own intolerance or in fear of the intolerance of the progressive left, will remain a weak, minority candidate, like Trump, and he will retain the advantage, and probably the Presidency.

  101. @Charles Woods: I don’t recognize the moral decency of people who would force women and girls to bear children, including those of their rapists.

  102. Key point: "One reason is what she hears from the other side." That is, from Republicans about Democrats, as opposed to from Democrats about themselves. So, the point is that Democrats and Independents shouldn't get too uppity. We should choose a nice, safe candidate who gets along with Republicans and appeals to our siblings who work at Walmart, lest the Republicans start saying bad things about us to the Walmart siblings. The problem is, the candidate who best fits that description is Joe Biden, and look what Trump and the Republicans have done to him. They will escape impeachment while succeeding in drawing a permanent cloud over Biden with the Walmart siblings. We are already in a civil cold war that the Republicans are winning by shamelessly lying and cheating. They will keep winning as long as Democrats and Independents are afraid of getting too uppity and hitting back hard.

  103. I have empathy and I understand how people in general, including your sibling, want to be respected. However, unless I am missing something, I consider all of the Democratic candidates to be good, law abiding, and caring people (except one, who has no chance). They will work hard to make our country a better place for all. Not everyone will be satisfied. For people like your sibling, who feel like they are being disrespected, some other dynamic is going on in their heads and I do not mean that in a negative way. Life is hard. Trump disrespects your sibling every day he is in office and could not care less. I wish your sibling well.

  104. Egan is correct. What I don’t understand is why liberals cannot see some basic truths: absolutely nothing good will happen if Trump is re-elected; absolutely nothing good will happen if a progressive magically gets elected and the senate majority stays republican; and, the need to pander to swing states voters will continue until there is in fact a dem majority in all 3 branches that will eliminate the electoral college. The best chance for change to occur - eventually - is to oust Trump, and that starts by putting a centrist in the White House - because, in the swing states, there is no way someone like Warren or Sanders can win (and, sadly, Buttigieg will have a tough road too). This needs to be followed by attempts to reclaim the senate - which cannot happen if the stated agenda scares the bejeezus out of swing state voters and many, many other people.

  105. @RS, problem is that _anyone_ the Dems put up, no matter how centrist, will be painted as a leftist socialist by conservatives. Moving the goalposts is what they do, so why play by their rules?

  106. After way too much time with Trump as president, I think we could all use a heavy dose of something called "humility". I'll be looking for that in any candidate, and require it for my vote.

  107. In a polarized society of fearful and isolated individuals, communication breaks down. Perception and reality become confused to dangerous levels. Voters should have already learned their lesson with Trump- an anger vote rooted in fear- only creates more fear and ultimately destitution. Destirution: War, economic decline and a loss of freedom. The first two are on the horizon- the third well on the path- waiting to make the first two inevitable. On the subject of abortion- unfortunately it seems detached on the Religious Right from protections for the mother and unborn child. It seems OK that richer woman can get access and poorer can't. And that these poor woman should be left on their own. And yet they say that an unborn fetus is as valued as a born adult or child. And on the last point- one might agree. But to force poorer woman to give birth- and to then let them and their child fend for themselves- this is pure hypocrisy. It makes one wonder just how much they truly value the life of an unborn. Nor is adoption the panecea- not all children are considered desirable- and the society seems as indifferent to these children as it does to those yet born.

  108. Registered Republican since ‘82 and Obama-Clinton voter here. This piece is spot on. There is a difference between attitudes toward people and policy choices. I have many liberal and conservative friends. The liberals can barely hide their contempt for Trump voters (or conservatives), and unfortunately the same is true on the other side. Change has to start somewhere. Unless people are willing to accept that others’ life experiences may be vastly different than their own, and hence that their outlook may be vastly different, we are doomed. It’s not that complicated. Open your eyes and talk to each other, instead of talking at each other.

  109. @Arthur G. Larkin Spot on and something that I've been saying for a long time now. I also have friends on both sides of the aisle, so much so that I was planning on a little same-day picture taking event involving both political extremes. I was going to see my rural buddies and don one of their MAGA hats for a photo op and then drive 70 minutes to my Austinite friends and wear one of their Chairman Mao red star Communist Party caps for another picture. One of the biggest problems I see today is either a lack of trying to understand both sides or simply dismissing one side altogether in poo-poo fashion. I read news from right-wing sources along with the left and what I often find more telling than the actual articles are the comments. Unfortunately, those comments are increasingly painting a pretty bleak picture as far as communications go. I'm hoping it gets better, but not holding my breath..

  110. This is a good column. It's very tricky to pull off this appeal though. I know a lot of hard-scrabble farmers whose reality is so different from mine that in politics we are aliens to each other. Their attitudes, probably like mine, are not based on facts. But the "facts" they cite stagger me. Honestly, they cannot be budged. I associate but don't discuss politics if I can help it. Is that wrong? I am sure many would say it is wrong of me to not try. I have debated them in the past, and it comes down with them to "whose side are you on"? It's racist at base but doesn't see itself that way. It's simply, "Take up for your own side and let them take up for theirs." If the election really is up to them, it is already lost. They are more convinced than ever they are right.

  111. I believe I have not looked down on Trump supporters. Like so many in the country, they are mostly trapped by hordes of Lilliputians who have successfully tied them down with minimum wage jobs if any and learned helplessness. Few offer them hope. Some in their community will offer them drugs which can ease pain or obliterate memory for a short time but at great risk and with a greased pathway to perdition if not oblivion. We need an updated Valentine Michael Smith for our time who can ignite a belief in an alternative way of living which is possible. Senator Warren for all her strengths spends much of her time decrying the current state of America and elucidating plans for change without fully communicating the end state she seeks. This is more like Joan Collins than Joan of Arc. We need to believe in a future we can grok. Either that or we are all strangers in a strange land.

  112. As a university professor in a deeply red state, I see a good deal of what the writer describes. It absolutely does happen. However, I see a lot more of the same behavior from the Trump group. Deeply dismissive and hostile towards education, science, non-Christian viewpoints, and so on. Somebody has to be the adult in the room, and I'm really hoping the Democrats can find a candidate who will do that. But I can also tell you, it gets very tired constantly being told that you must be the adult in the room as one is constantly being beat upon. Does the writer not realize that by making these sort of arguments, he is implicitly putting his sister, and all like her, in the children group? I guess one must fix one's own house first, but really.

  113. @Bob the impressed But isn't it objectively childish to continue doing something just to make someone else angry? Like making an annoying sound so that the teacher yells? How is that different from disagreeing with Trump, but voting for him anyway because it "owns the libs"?

  114. Years ago I ran for our local school board. I visited neighborhood groups in their living rooms, union workers, a Black citizens group, and wrote letters to people around town introducing myself and what I offered. What I offered was the promise to listen. I had worked as a teacher all my professional life--in a small town junior-senior high school, a junior high in a lower income part of my hometown, a large public university out West, in a pre-school for at risk children, and in community colleges. I did a lot of volunteering in area class rooms and with youth sports. When I won a seat on our Board, a person I had written, a conservative Christian woman whose daughter had taken a writing workshop I taught, immediately approached urging me to "be true to my constituents." I recall asking her if she thought my constituents were all of one mind, which they most definitely were not. I promised to listen as best I could, respect perspectives as best I could, and vote for what my mind and heart told me was the greatest good for our district. And that was all I promised.

  115. Adlai Stevenson, Al Gore, John Kerry, Hillary; when will Democrat’s recognize that the WONK never wins the presidential election. Wonks are meant to be in Cabinet positions doing the wonky heavy lifting. Wonks fill vital positions and deserve to be lauded for service behind the President. They should not however, be president. Presidents are the face of America; All of America. The president is our nation’s Brand. Young or old our President must appear cool and approachable,affable and confident, strong and empathetic, smart, not preachy, of us; not above us. Our president needs to be a fighter but not an over eager one. When we invite our president into our homes we want him to be witty and poised holding us with rapt attention; not shock and awe. We want a President who has all the qualities we want to instill in our kids; empathy, fairness, kindness, thoughtfulness, rigor and resilience. We want a president who can build consensus. We want a president who reads and digests the written word. We want a president who is inquisitive, a person who lives outside their comfort zone. We want a daring leader and not a whiner, we give bonus points to a President who has vigor and stamina. We want a President, who in the presences of other world leaders commands respect and represents our Nation proudly. We need another Obama. Was he a wonk; perhaps but we never really noticed because all we saw was charisma.

  116. Let’s add: understands, respects and upholds the Constitution.

  117. @Leslie yes! That is Andrew Yang! Just watch 1 long form interview on youtube and you will see! His campaign slogan is 'humanity first'. I promise if you watch just 1 video, you will be so relieved that we a great candidate for all of us! Its nit left, not right, but forward! A new path forward!

  118. @Leslie - Totally agree with you. In my opinion, your description of the ideal President is Buttigieg.

  119. There are relatively few households in the USA that are not experiencing some loss of status and freedom in response to the skyrocketing costs of healthcare, education, and housing. That backdrop was not created by Trump or Obama, but it has a major impact on attitudes. Being "woke" is an economically irrelevant response for a high percentage of people. And for many, it is worse than no response at all. For quite a few independents, being "woke" represents an abandonment of many fundamental civil liberties and common sense. Meanwhile, the election campaign seems destined to turn on how well Wall Street is doing, with absolutely no reference to how average people are doing.

  120. From where are the working class Democrats getting the message that the party and mainstream progressives are dismissive of them? That a tiny but loud minority of the "insufferably woke" (great term) represent the thinking of the vast majority? Certainly not from their neighbors, their state and local Democratic candidates and the rest of us who spend our political lives trying to get a better deal for the working class. Well, where do they get most of their information? From Fox "News" which loves to publicize the latest PC/Woke outrage from the heart of a few college campuses. And legitimate media doesn't particularly help. The "woke" canon certainly needs discussion but it's being given an outsized presence in American life that convinces those who truly need progressive policies enacted that they're being discained.

  121. “She’s turned off by the virtue-signaling know it alls.” That equally applies to this progressive who has had it with the rabid religious right that seeks to impose its views on the rest of us through law and regulations. It goes both ways.

  122. I am so sick of articles like this one. Warren is to be dismissed because she was a Harvard professor. This women you talked to says Democrats dismiss her religious beliefs. Which one does that---does she mean any one who is pro-choice? Did she have and concerns about Kavaungh's elitism and education as long as he wants to overturn Roe vs Wade. Finally, Wallmart will drop her health insurance in a minute if we kill the affordable care act as Trump wamts to do. Again if that is all you can come up with are voters like this then just let them vote for Trump. By the way I grew up working class and am anything but elitist but I am not ashamed I was a very succesful college professor.

  123. As an exercise in testing the wokeness theory that all Trump supporters are racist, I left a comment on Brooks’ piece that I figured would raise hackles. Throwing around the racist label has the unintended consequence of driving people to embrace it, evidenced by the current Oval Office resident. In the voting booth, no one can hear you rant. Full disclosure: not a Republican voter, but “racist” curious. Great Recession will do that to an out of work, over the hill, blue collar type.

  124. Stand up for what you believe. But then sit down (maybe shut up for moment) and listen. Ask questions. Find shared values. Don't argue. Or debate. Or dismiss.

  125. Using labels like "elitist" and "woke culture" seems like an effective tool being used by Republican fat cats to engage the sympathies of working class Americans. Does a man like Donald Trump , who can inhabit any one of many of his luxurious homes , really understand what it is like to be homeless? Does he care? Does he know what it's like to lack health care for himself and his family? Democrats, on the other hand , have a history of being more tolerant , more supportive of labor and workers, more aware of the needs of those who need better schools, healthcare, neighborhoods. They are less likely to vote for "trickle down" tax breaks that benefit the poor. Labels can sometime obfuscate the truth.

  126. The free everything for everyone includes the wealthy who don’t need it. Warren’s “I know best” is an insult. Trump is a huckster that people find appealing and Warren will not beat him. Her “Native American” claim and her beer drinking ad are fodder for Trump. Personally I’m pleased about Bloomberg. He’s a businessman not anti- business - and the antidote to Trump. Joe Biden lost two Presidential bids - why would he win a third? The mud from fake Ukraine claims sticks - like the Trump birther claims - crazy but Trump the huckster sold it.

  127. I’m so sick of hearing this. How are WE supposed to feel when 40% of our country tells us enthusiastically that the plan to jump of a bridge (and take the future of our country with them) is finally an idea they can get behind? That rather than being alarmed by the president’s constant rage, respect for no one but autocrat/murderers and open criminal behavior, they smile broadly and publicly proclaim their support with their fists in the air? And that this very same minority has more voting power that the rest of us due to the malipulation of voting laws?? I want the white working class—and everyone else—to be able to live with safety, freedom, health and dignity because they receive a working wage, their water is safe to drink, they live with security and do not go to sleep and wake up in fear about what comes next (like I do, btw). Does it really make me an elitist liberal to conclude that they are contributing to their own problems? Does being rational make me elitist? Am I an elitist because I don’t want Reverend Jim Jones for President?

  128. “Many Democrats, she says, are dismissive of her religious beliefs and condescending of her lot in life.“ As a Christian and a lifelong Democrat, she’s absolutely correct. You read it all the time in the stories and the comments about them in this very paper. Liberals despise people of faith and abhor Christians. It’s just a fact. And they know absolutely everything. Don’t believe me? Just ask them. They know what’s best for you. I will be voting for Biden (or Bloomberg) I’m the NY primary and then leaving the party, of which I’ve been a member my entire life. Insufferable is a great word for the left. I’m tired of them, and I’m not the only one.

  129. @Mike, but it's okay if right-wing Christians dictate how the rest of us should live, right? Liberals hate those folks' vicious intolerance and attempts to force us to live by their rules, not their religion.

  130. This concept of virtue signaling has gone overboard. 1 - Fox has a business model of finding the most ideologically left people & ideas and then using them to make a portion of the country feel disrespect. That “disrespect” has a tribal and political outcome. But it’s bad faith and propaganda; AOC and Warren don’t “hate” your religious Walmart sibling. And DJT doesn’t understand respect her religion either. His gestures toward Christians are calculated to obtain power. 2 - there’s a lot of virtue signaling on Fox that’s just not been labeled as such. I’m referring to wrapping oneself in the flag, talk of being a Christian nation, being part of the “heartland” as though what the “extremities” are not integral?

  131. So many of these comments make the point. “I talk to them and they don’t change their mind to my POV, so they are a waste of time.” Getting self-aware would be a place to start.

  132. This column is so spot on. The only democrats that win are moderates--Carter, Clinton, Obama. The moderates that lose are sabotaged by the wokefolks. The McGoverns of the world, while precious and pure, have no chance. Not in a country that is decidedly center-right. You have to talk to regular people who are concerned with jobs, health, and education for their kids.

  133. The baby boomers ( all of us regardless of race or culture ) are the only normal people left in this slowly sinking country. The "woke" crowd should get over themselves already.

  134. Donald Trump seized the massive political disillusionment left in the wake of two terms of Obama’s regime of compromise. White liberal elites, determined to save face after Trump’s victory, organized a “Resistance” movement which included the neoconservative establishment, the military-industrial complex, and prominent billionaire donors to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. The war crimes committed under George W. Bush and Barack Obama were absolved entirely by the Democratic Party. Russiagate fueled the development of a new ruling class coalition against Donald Trump. Bipartisanship became synonymous with patriotism. Critiques of the establishment, on the other hand, were demonized as conspiracies of the Russian government and subsequently punished by the intelligence apparatus. Russiagate legitimized the absolution of war criminals to render war with Russia and the rest of the world more palatable in the Trump era.

  135. Mr. Egan: If your sister's "religious beliefs" require inflicting those beliefs on ME, thanks. Very simply, there really are those who have walled themselves off so they can listen to Fox "News" in "peace." I just wish they would stay glued to their dial-up modems and TVs every election day.

  136. Interesting that the woke left screams about their compassion and willingness to tolerate and accept different cultures/norms unless it’s those who live in the Deep South or Midwest. They have zero interest in understanding or tolerating these people’s culture/norms. Instead we’re demonized and talked down to. Then expected to vote Democrat...

  137. @Shay, tolerance cuts both ways.

  138. Joseph P Kennedy noted the issue 60+ yrs. ago. Democrats would rather be pure, than win.

  139. Vote Blue does not matter who. Get out the vote. Every street every country every municipality. Democrats need to go grass roots and we are reassured they have. The 2018 elections showed us record number of women (especially in your corner if the north west), winning seats across town councils state and national offices. Bernie’s call for revolution had already hit a nerve even though you guys in the media would not go there or acknowledge it. Same goes for recent elections, Virginia being a case in point. What is happening at the grass roots is remarkable. Obama is out of touch because he thinks formulaic, what worked for him should work this time around. Nope. He ignored millions of voices because he not just assumed hillary would win he put all his energy into hoisting her up when many of his disappointed followers said no please not this time. Although Obama elevated his office and we adored him for that, he became out of touch with the very grass roots communities he organized.

  140. The issue for me is that the 'insufferably woke' are starting to alienate progressives like myself; I feel as though these people are dragging me into a colorless version of 1984 just as much as the religious hypocrites who want their rights at the expense of everyone else. Right thought, right speech....meh.... I love to read, the other day I cringed as a pundit railed against the use of hyperbole and allegory; no one should state that they were 'raped' etc unless they actually were... What a sad literal world we are devolving to; we can only speak literally, we can only create art or music or fiction around that which we have actually experienced (good bye Leonardo or Michelangelo or Picasso...) I do not like this new reality of hurt feelings/cancellation/calling out if I voice another opinion or create something that may lead to accusations of cultural appropriation because someone else feels that they have the sole right to have thoughts about that issue...think I will hibernate for a while until people regain their common sense....

  141. Is it condescending to support actual values of equality and inclusion? Social and equality advocates are asked to compromise or tamp down their views in order to snag the sister who will vote for trump anyways. Perhaps better to counter her vote with 2 formerly marginalized but newly empowered/energized votes. Those willing to compromise basic morals are how we got trump, it is its own form of condescension to say to them, keep your backwards thinking but here is some shiny stuff you might like. The curse of low expectations applies to societal awareness and human deceny too.

  142. I'm so sick to death of these narratives. Everything irresponsible, hateful and incoherent that the right does is somehow the left's fault, it seems. We don't coddle them enough when they try to impose draconian rules based on archaic religious scriptures and their belief in a sky god. It's our fault that we point out social and economic inequities because that annoys the right. We're not united enough with establishment democrats who insult us all day and are more aligned with corporate right wing politicians, so it's our fault that lame centrists candidates can't beat Trump acolytes. What's that? You want health care like every other developed nation in the world? "ThIs Is WhY tRuMp WoN!!!" Oh look, 5% of Trump voters have buyer's remorse and are looking for a candidate, and the left isn't giving them someone to vote for.... this is how Trump gets re-elected!!! I'm sorry but it's Trump voters' faults that we got Trump. It's not our responsibility to nod solemnly as they reveal that they know nothing about politics or history, and to try to find a middle ground between an informed position and one that was cultivated from the sidebar on Facebook, nor should we be the ones who need to sacrifice our goals because the other end of the country treats politics like a sporting event. If the children in cages at the border, aren't a simple enough argument to convince these people, nothing ever will. We'll need to move on without them.

  143. As a centrist voter I indeed find the gibberish espoused by liberal elitists tiresome and obnoxious. I totally agree with you. This is one reason Democrats manage to fail in a clinch. Representing every single liberal cause in order to build a coalition is a losing proposition. Don't treat the victims of capitalism with disdain while you sit in your office at Harvard or Goldman Sachs. Show them how they've been taken and what you intend to do about it.

  144. When I read the hostile reaction to President Obama's lecture, I wondered, "What is up with these people?" I have always been a progressive but never a fire starter. I have a bachelor's and a master's and I never looked down upon those with less. Peoples' life circumstances dictate the road they will take. You don't accomplish anything by smirking instead of smiling. I have, however, wondered why (racists and xenophobes aside) people flock like moths to Donald Trump's flame. I wonder what the see in the con. He can do nothing for them and yet their ardor burns ever brighter. I simply don't get it and I become exasperated with their (seeming) inability to compartmentalize. But maybe my way isn't the right way for others. I also, as a black man, never signed on to "woke." I really don't know what it is, other than another semi-literate expression for something that might be better served by calling a thing for what it is. Slang and slogans aren't going to rid us of Donald Trump. Perhaps what we need to do is connect with those folks who, themselves, feel marginalized and worn out by the battering ram of self-righteousness of which, sadly, there is an abundance in the Democratic Party. And, unfortunately, there will always be a slice of the electorate that doesn't care an owl's hoot for civics and history and decorum and decency. It's called the human condition. Millions of Americans don't want to join hands. We can make it a better place by acknowledging others' anxieties.

  145. I live and work with higher middle class people who are more left of center relative to middle America. They want more unrestricted immigration, free colleges, student loan forgiveness, government managed health care for all. Only problem is they hate to pay for these plans and of course live near the immigrants and definitely don’t want to interact with absolutely someone not in their liberal , bourgeoisie, trust fund driven lifestyle. Hence I pray for left wing president that will increase their tax rates !

  146. No point being nice to people who support family separation. Trying to split the difference with a malignant cult isn't going to win any of them over. Republicans are bad people. They gleefully cause suffering to others, and they deserve to be shamed for their bigotry and ignorance. They won't listen to our ideas. They think in pseudo-religious terms about these elections. They are a lost cause. People are either rotten to the core, and willing to vote Republican, or fundamentally decent, and horrified by what the GOP has become. We need to give those fundamentally decent people something to get excited about. We need to motivate and energize the silent majority of decent Americans. Boosting voter turnout will give the Democratic Party victory in 2020. We'll do that by reminding people what's at stake, and campaigning aggressively for a better America. Compromise our values, and the Republicans will win again.

  147. Mr. Eagan, You're one of my favorite writers at the NYT but this column does not fit my experience and I live in Michigan. I agree that the "extremely woke" "talk down" to working class whites and their constant refrain of "Check your privilege" to someone scrubbing toilets at Walmart does much more harm than good. However, most democrats I know (outside of Unitarian churches and college campuses) don't speak like that because they want to raise ALL boats. Instead, I think the problem is that the majority of the white working class watches FOX "news," which constantly tells them its version of what democrats believe. Maybe you could urge your sister to turn on a different channel. If you can't, nothing will change her mind.

  148. @Adrienne Amen to changing the channel. Watching FOX rots your brain.

  149. Agreed. Excessively woke isn't the Democratic party, it is a vocal fringe. If the excessively woke are the heart if the Democratic party then white nationalist are the heart of the Republican party. Neither is true, though both parties need to check their fringes I'll take woke over racist.

  150. I do find the disdain of some progressives for "unwoke" people obnoxious. I have never seen the slightest sign that Elisabeth Warren shares that disdain -- what I have seen is a relentless tendency in the main stream media to tar her with that brush. I think it's because the very rich are really scared that she might actually start to reverse the rising tide of inequality. BTW -- I believe that the rising tide of inequality is what got us Trump. in the first place. People thought "moderates" of either party were the same -- unwilling to do anything to help them. And you know what? They were right.

  151. First of all Progressives are not extreme. The right wing, and actually even the so called 'centrists' are extreme. Pharma making huge profits from purposely hooking people on their products? extreme. People becoming homeless or at least in huge debt over medical bills? extreme. I could go on.. Your line of argument is a scare tactic coming from people that want business as usual because they bank on it. Your fear should not be from the woke. Your fear should be the electoral college. We can not claim Democracy with a built in institution that negates popular vote. You go find someone that cleans toilets and votes for Trump and that is your indicator that progressives aren't nice?.. what is that? (You could have reminded her that we pay her welfare so she can work for the richest family in the US..BECAUSE THEY DON"T PAY HER ENOUGH...that's kinda nice.) ....And please don't use this argument to pretend you are FOR the poor people. You're not. You are fanning the flames for the big money. It's all you're doing. We should not be afraid, not if our votes count. We ARE the people.

  152. @Risa Swanson Totally agree!!!

  153. Egan is correct. Progressive rhetoric does poorly in eastern Ohio where I live. Beyond the condescension, progressives fail to understand how unpopular some of their language is. The word “free” is absolutely toxic here. People understand that nothing is actually “free,” and such language raises eyebrows. More than that, the term “free” does not play well in a world of poor and working class people are deeply influenced by the idea of “the unworthy poor.” When progressives say “free college” or “free healthcare,” working class eastern Ohioans hear “you are going to tax me to pay for some lazy/unworthy/undeserving person’s health care or college.” Republicans have been highly effective at exploiting the concept of the unworthy poor, and this is something the progressive candidates fail to understand. Working class people in eastern Ohio don’t want “free,” they want fair priced and affordable. If Democratic candidates continue to employ the language of “free,” they will surrender the midwest to the Republicans in 2020. And they can’t win the electoral vote without the midwest.

  154. @William Kerrigan ...agree 100%...Warren needs to eliminate "free" from any campaign speech and any plan she has...plans for making college, health care, child care, student loan debt, and medical debt more affordable, yes please, but not "free"...

  155. The same Bernie Boys who chased Democratic voters out of their own caucuses are at it again. Too vain to learn from their mistake, they now want to jam another horrible candidate, Warren, down our throats.

  156. What a broad brush you’ve got here. I can’t help but feel as though your woke PC police is closer to the bogey man version that the “right” trots out in order to move the dialogue away from the substance of their repugnant politicians and towards a position of victimization. In reality, many people are simply not on board with being told that they have to not just make room for but value the opinions of people who think not everyone deserves equal human dignity (either explicitly in their own views or implicitly by supporting Trump). But wait! That’s hypocritical! Not so. It would be illogical and contradictory to fight for equal rights and dignity for all while also supporting viewpoints that hold those people to be less than. Most people on the “left” see this chasm between their views and others and they see the immense and immediate challenges ahead of us and they want radical change. Could that alienate some people? Sure. But a movement needs to aim for ideals and fight for each and every step along the way. It should not start by giving up that ideal in favor of political expediency. Would it be great if your sister saw herself in that movement? Absolutely. But the hurt feelings of the cultural norm as they lose their default status that is built on the marginalization of others should not dictate the terms of what we can and should aim for.

  157. Do not disagree, but then again if these very same people will vote for Trump in spite of how much it will hurt them, and in some cases, kill them, then they will reap what they sow. Does not excuse arrogance on the part of some Democrats, but for God's sake do they think "they will show us" while they wither away?

  158. In the 2016 election, I had no idea that a smart friend of mine, a Marine Corps veteran without a college degree, had such a seething view of Hillary Clinton until she (my friend) one day muttered angrily, "Basket of deplorables? Are you kidding me?" I didn't ask, but I bet she pulled the lever for the other guy. As it happens, I am a non-veteran with a college degree, but even I have been unable to mitigate my growing feelings of alienation and annoyance with the vocally "woke." I agree with my progressive friends that deficits of decency and fairness continue to plague us, particularly when it comes to the treatment of sexual, gender and racial minorities. But when "wokeness" means I must surrender common sense and blindly accept each new twist in someone else's dictatorial quest for a perfectly "moral" world, I can't stop my brain from rebelling. Treat transgender people with respect and dignity and support the protection of their rights? Absolutely. Concur with shrill dogmatists that men are, or can be, women? No. Treat racial minorities with respect and dignity and support the protection of their rights? Yes, a thousand times yes. Timidly adopt the latest "woke" vocabulary to describe them or blithely accept that, say, white people and "Boomers" should just sit down and shut up? Nope. What I long for is a maximally rational world where people can hold their beliefs and, when it comes to others', simply live and let live.

  159. @CB Evans Exactly how I feel. The "woke" folks have given me cultural whiplash. I feel like every day somebody tells me that I'm biased, wrong, rude when I do or say something that was perfectly fine yesterday (or a mere three years ago). They behave in exactly the manner that I dislike about Trump - when somebody disagrees with you - start calling them names. This behavior is unacceptable from everybody - "woke" & asleep at the wheel.

  160. Amen. I am a Democrat who shoot guns recreationally, primarily shotguns for skeet and sporting clays. Most of the people I shoot with are Trump voters. Like mine, their guns are kept unloaded in gun safes until taken into the field. We have concealed carry licenses ("CHL") that required fingerprinting and a background check for criminal history. A good part of my shooting companions' position in supporting Trump is the continued insult from Democratic candidates who seem unable to distinguish between responsible gun owners who shoot and hunt as a hobby, the candidates' rhetoric puts us in a group with mass killers. I held my nose and voted for Hillary Clinton, even after her disparaging appearance in Texas where she made fun of the fact that a Texas CHL could serve as identification to vote, but a college student ID could not. The fact that the CHL actually established residency and no criminal history disenfranchisement while a student ID could be held by an out-of-state resident with criminal convictions, was of no matter to her. It would go a long way to the Democratic victory I would like to see if the candidates would stop treating people like me as deranged potential mass murderers.

  161. Even a “responsible gun owner” can lose his temper. If becomes angry, and a gun is near, then bad things happen. I know from family experience.

  162. @WesTex Yes bad things can, bu closing one's temper does not automatically equate with shooting someone any more than an angry non-gun owner picking up a knife is a given. Angry people can get behind a car wheel, as can drunks, but we don't stigmatize all car drivers because of those people.

  163. @WesTex You make my point by setting anyone who owns a gun is a potential murderer. In my 40+ years of gun ownership, which coincides with my having a driver's license, I have been more tempted to run into someone than to shoot them. I have not done either.

  164. No such advice for those who have been sleep walking through the last three years? No warning that they are alienating women, minorities and moderates? As a woke voter I will follow your advice and play nice but you are asking us to mimic Trump and patronize these voters with lies, fear and fantasies. I wish we could wake them up without becoming them in the process. I work hard to stay informed, it kills me to have to admit the uninformed need to be coddled at the same time we're fighting on their behalf. I'll do it but, in the same way they feel insulted, this remedy insults my intelligence.

  165. Warren would be a great President. Just what the doctor ordered to combat the regressive maladies imposed by the GOP over the last 40 years, and importantly to face modern challenges without resorting to authoritarianism or ignoring people like your sister. Obvious that regardless of style or personality she is truly committed; every ounce of her a fighter for modernity, ethics, improved capabilities, real equality, and fairness for all. She will work and sacrifice to do the right thing especially for people like your sister. What I am saying is as clumsy as a personality Warren sometimes can be she is committed to the essence of liberal democracy and government by and for the People. Her "plans" can and would be modified to fit implementation reality. With handling her persona bettered too. She does not disdain those like your sister, rather she calculates that almost all who claim they'd pull a D lever but they're still for Trump at this juncture are psychologically lost causes. A few might come around but no candidate can risk concentrating on them and losing enthusiasm of most D voters to go VOTE. OK having said the above I leave with the flip side. I am committed to scientific (evidence based) progressive agenda and true liberal democracy. But I loath and I mean loath stupid and unnecessary illiberal liberalism/condescension. Warren cannot spend a lot trying to win your sister BUT all D candidates better heed President Obama's spot-on words and NOW!

  166. "Moderate democrats belong in the other party", really Warren. I was liking you a lot, but that attitude just lost my support for you. Thanks Mr. Egan for this very timely article that needed to be said. While I am now an Independent, I vote mostly Democratic, that said I'm now hoping Biden can up his low profile somewhat a make a run of it. Bill Maher is making the same pitch that Egan just made and has been making it for some time that the Dems/Progressives need to stop annihilating each other with attitudes that are just as nasty as Trumps. This has to stop or it's over for us and the country.

  167. The extreme groups, characterising themselves as 'woke', are not "progressive". They are whiney, judgemental, filled with self-certainty and arrogant in that certainty. The mirror image of Trump's evangelicals. To effect the changes they want, in a democracy, the 'woke' will have to do some hard work. They will have to register to vote, turn out to vote in the primaries, then turn out to vote in the election and they will have to persuade - not lecture - others to vote with them. Trump will demonstrate humility before the 'woke' accept the need to do that work.

  168. How is Elizabeth Warren "insufferably woke?" Her policies are completely centrist in other normal, rich countries. The issues she talks about endlessly are "kitchen table" issues. Stop asking the left to apologize for promoting humane policies and perhaps ask your sibling why she is willing to commit economic suicide because her feelings seem to be hurt.

  169. @Matt H I think Obama became unwoke while in office. While his gorgeous wife modeled exquisite styles of outfits and they entertained world leaders, their WH became a frequent visiting place for rock stars musicians celebrities Hollywood stars even Silicon Valley stars much so that the Obama’s had very little time to visit folks in PA MI WI OH. Where was the time from all that mind blowing celebrity crush? For Obama to speak about being woke is being hypocritical us he chose to be blind deaf mute when millions became woke. We ought to listen to our children. We cannot simply dismiss them as waste of time. These children are fed up of adults behaving badly, right from the top downstream....

  170. @Matt H Or Mr. Egan might ask himself why he's invested in promulgating culture-war stereotypes and shallow misrepresentations of liberal policies.

  171. The solution is good education from an early age. With our current education, in adulthood some of these uneducated folk, who now vote seemingly out of spite, view anything educational as condescending.

  172. Good analysis, but it misses a big chunk of the issue - an unwillingness of voters, even some female democrats to vote for any woman currently seeking the nomination. I think it was NYT's The Daily that just had a piece on that. So, I see the dems facing an even harder reality - do they nominate Biden because he's a man with blue collar appeal, or do they try to push the nation forward with another female nominee?

  173. We can come back from polarization by having more face to face conversations with people we don’t agree with. Ironically we need politicians who say more often “this is my position but my mind could be changed” We need more empathy. Wokeness is a state of closed-mindedness.

  174. Amen!

  175. Thank you. People have to remember the world is grey. Have principles but remember that not everyone who disagrees with you is evil or stupid.

  176. @Mary Kay Feely Normally I would agree with you that not everyone who disagrees with me is evil or stupid. But that is not the case with trump--he is both evil and stupid, alongside a variety of social pathologies and mental deviances. People who like (make that love) him for his vileness and I will never agree on much of anything. Watching the video of those women in who love trump and his "fans" at rallies, I now know how much they hate America for its hopefulness, its willingness to help the world, its diversity and its strength, one wonders why they all fly flags (granted, some of them are confederate flags) and claim to love America. They clearly hate a county that believes in itself, is the beacon to the world, and engages in cutting edge research in almost every field. I don't feel empathy for them any longer. They had their shot in the freest place they can imagine, and they came up losers. Why? Lack of imagination? Lack of effort? Stupidity? I can't explain it. What the heck are they waiting for? They didn't want Obamacare. They don't want help with college. They don't want to give food help to the hungry. They want guns and low taxes--oh, and NO abortion, ever. Is that a recipe for success? Simply, no. And they can't see that. Okay, so their world is nasty, brutish and short. Not Democrats' fault, and I don't want them wrecking life for the rest of the planet.

  177. It's a matter of perception. Historically, political evergetism was the sphere of the rich and powerful. They may not have liked the poor, but for reasons of their own, usually to keep society from failing altogether, not good for them either, they would support the poor or needy in some manner. They did not like the poor, but they did not preach to the poor. The rich had some responsibility. And then the welfare of society became the "job" of liberals and progressives. They sought to change society, but they preached and they made no attempt to hide their supposed superiority and their disdain was evident through the veneer of professed friendship. The preaching gets a little tedious. But, one might argue, the Republicans are not imbued with the evergetism of the Roman aristocracy. As I wrote it is perception. The liberals preach from their podiums of superiority, feigning, as it were, support. The perception of the other side of the coin is a perceived Republican evergetism, no strings, no preaching. Understanding human nature is just as important as policy.

  178. Excellent column. This is my experience as well.

  179. I think you are correct; if Dems, and particularly the left of the party, cannot stop acting like anyone outside of their constricted little thought bubbles is inconsequential or worse, a mouth-breathing xenophobic knuckle dragger, then we are collectively cooked next year. It is the feeling of being ostracized and of no import that led to the outcome in 2016 and has produced such vehement support for Trump since. They showed ‘us’ that they weren’t impotent, by latching onto the first candidate in years to recognize that they exist, and it will be difficult to persuade them otherwise. Badgering and name calling is unlikely to work, since they are aware, most of them, that Trump has blown up any concept of decency and democratic principle, since that’s what they wanted. No Democrat will win nationally by declaring they are going to once again and to an even greater degree pander to the fantasies of a comfortable and overly-sensitive elite. I like Elizabeth Warren very much, but I cannot for the life of me understand why she has taken to heart a series of proposals that almost no one really wants if they think about it (eliminating private health insurance in favor of universal Medicare), and which she will never get past congress. What most people want is affordable and high quality health care, not only on the coverage side but on the provider side. Most people would like the rich to pay more, but no one wants them pilloried unless they are criminals.

  180. YOU should run for office! Well said.

  181. Thank you. Warren cannot win. Sanders cannot win. Let's get back to basic and stop trying to educate the potential swing votes and talk to them homey, honest, mistake-ridden in the way someone like Biden does best. He is not my first choice, but he can win and that is ALL that matters.

  182. YES, a thousand times over. Woke will never win my neighborhood in rural MN. It's not an issue of policy, it's an issue of attitude.

  183. Yes, some liberals and progressives condescend to working-class and even middle-class voters. Yes, they fail to understand faith, and even seem utterly unaware of what life is like in vast swaths of the United States. On the other hand, Democrats bear considerable responsibility for the economic and political mess in which we find ourselves. They fiddled for 40 years while the U.S. became steadily more unequal, and then belatedly realized the depth of many Americans' anger. So I disagree with Mr. Egan's endorsement of more of the same.

  184. I think everybody needs to stop panicking. We have very good options. We have some very good moderates and some that are more left. We just need to see who gets put up for the vote and vote for them. Our politics are broken because Americans view the parties as sports teams instead of viewing it as a means to promote policies that insure the highest success of our economy. It is really all about economics but people make it emotional. I don't know how you change this but through education which is apparently belittling to some of our people.

  185. Great article until this sentence at the end: "Save the piety, the circular firing squad, the shaming on social media for after the election." Working people are not fools. Those who are older have had lots of experience of politicians who hide their real faces until "after the election." The challenge is not to put "the piety, the circular firing squad, the shaming" on hold for a little while until the "woke" elite can seize power. The challenge is to get rid of that pharisaical drivel altogether. The self-styled "woke" claim to be awake, but they do not even know the difference between the past indicative and a past participial adjective.

  186. I love it. The have nots voting for the haves. How excellent is that. People with little or no education. No jobs. No future. All voting for republicans who could care less about them. I’m still waiting for Main Street to come back.

  187. @Unbelievable, the republicans have outsmarted the democrats on the playing field of politics. Gutter language brings out the laughter and applause at a trump rally. “He’s one of us.” Are you serious? He just playing you. Other than your vote couldn’t care less about you.

  188. If discussing policies and economic needs of the working people is "condescending" at best and a lie at worst and if political correctness is such a transgression that is worth not having healthcare, then what kind of dialog you suggest? My daughters and son are college graduates. They understand there are systemic imperfections that result on lack of opportunities for them. They will vote for candidates with policies that address these issues. Their focus is not whether to tell people how to live, go to church or even fire guns, yet your sister will call them elitists. They have a common interest with the so called "working people" (as if the people with college degree do not work). What kind of dialog you suggest then?

  189. I see Trump supporters in 2020 as the former Obama supporters were in 2016-- many won't bother to vote. As for the author's janitor sibling (and others like that), it would be tough to convince an evangelical to vote for a rationalist; let's just hope they stay home in 2020. Democracy is wasted on those who don't even know (or care) what "freedom" in America means, and that goes for ideologues of the right and left. It's like we're all in a relationship, and those who insist on being "right" all the time are ruining a relationship that depends on finding common ground. It's why Warren needs to drop the term "fighting" and instead speak of making things right again.

  190. The Left might be drowning at the deep end of the pool with never ending "purity tests" and eliminating any politician who doesn't meet their exacting standards of inclusion but the Right seems to have the opposite problem of having no standards at all. Donald Trump comes from wealth. In truth, he built nothing and has a history of many failed business ventures that bring into question the most basic qualities of what makes "business sense". On the other hand, Warren is a self-made woman who excelled more often than not in life. Yet, she fails to reach "the people" because she doesn't highlight being poor enough 60 years ago? She's the definition of the living the American dream and somehow she's an "elite"? If being smart, driven, and successful makes someone "elite", or "out of touch" with poor, under educated working class citizens and Trump makes them feel better because he projects relatability by making fun of said "elites", then that's a jealousy problem. "Coastal elites" are everything the "working class" wish they could be but admitting that would hurt too much. I'll never understand why so many people prefer to be ruled by strength and power vs intellect and wisdom. If the once students who were top of their class want to take the lead on the nation's and world's most challenging problems, then I could care less about their "purity" or "relatability". I just need politicians to do their job, and do it well. And so should everyone else.

  191. @Gilbert Alas, many people are not as reasonable as you, and yet they vote and hence must be appealed to. This is the problem.

  192. This article describes my frustration and exhaustion with the woke people in the far left part of the Democratic Party. Their condescending attitude is not only for the disenchanted Trump voter, but also for their fellow Democrats who can see the danger of nominating too liberal a candidate. They are convinced that a true progressive will excite the voters to come out in droves to elect their ultra-left nominee, while a more moderate candidate can’t do that. Some even threaten to sit out the election, write in their choice if he or she is not on the ballot, or vote for Trump in protest, refusing to see that this would make their predictions more likely to come true. Meanwhile, Moscow Mitch has been stacking the courts with young, conservative judges to nullify any progressive changes their woke new President may enact. Part of me thinks, fine, let them have their way and learn the hard lessons when they are defeated at the ballot box. But then the America I know and love will be over and that is too high a price to pay for the woke to wake up to reality.

  193. @Me I loved Obama as a person and President. He tried to do what you recommend and the rabid right stonewalled him and tore him to pieces every chance they had. If we are to fix this country, it is time to confront the right head on . Don't let your Trump friends get away with shallow generalizations. Politely insist that they state specific policy positions based on fact. Only that way can we have a chance for a real dialog. This tactic may actually work with enough thoughtful former Trump voters. We don't need them all and we will never get the Fox-indoctrinated Duck Dynasty fans and Louie Gohmert clones.

  194. This opinion piece is pretty out of sync with the rest of the NY Times. In its pursuit of a diversity of opinions, we tend to read about transgender rights, how white men are toxic privileged (including those out of work and destitute) and how the rich don't pay enough taxes. Even the Joker movie was criticized because it explored how mental illness, loneliness and abuse shaped a white man. The NY Times writers and editors are cheerleaders for wokeness and helping to elect Trump. It amplifies voices who couldn't care less about anyone who doesn't fall into the elite of oppressed groups. It seems the only news that's fit to print is that which embraces animosity towards many Americans who are effectively powerless, but not deserving of consideration.

  195. Let us put things in context here. We sometimes act like and talk like Trump won in a landslide. He ran an inside straight Ladies and Gentlemen. Let me use a sports analogy. Trump winning in 2016 was Leicester city winning the English football league a few years ago. Lightening barely/hardly/ever strikes the same thing/person back to back. Show up to the polls like you showed up at Popeyes Chicken Democrats. He will lose.

  196. Tim, you are completely wrong here. I always find that insulting people, calling them stupid, racist, bigots, and just generally looking down on them, works wonders in bringing people over to my point of view. After all, I know better than them: why shouldn't I sneer? And in politics it works twice as well!

  197. @Andrew-Yes exactly, tell impoverished whites in Appalachia how they benefit from “white priviledge”, are part of the patriarchy, and are not woke enough to see it. That is always a winning strategy!

  198. @you do wonder though, why people seem to be incapable of acting in their own self interest. Could there be some spite in the mix?

  199. @Alex Except it's a myth created by Republican strategists that "impoverished whites in Appalachia" are the swing voters. Poor people have voted rather consistently for the Democrat going back to FDR. The swing voters are actually middle class whites lacking education. They are actually doing well by most standards. They are plumbers, general contractors, car dealership owners, small businessmen. They're not poor, and they are EXACTLY who benefits from white privilege. They are EXACTLY who the patriarchy serves. And the truth is, on a level playing field they WOULD be doing worse than they are. But the solution to that isn't to continue the patriarchy and white privilege. The solution is to recognize that these members of the white middle class would be doing MUCH BETTER, even WITHOUT white privilege and the patriarchy, if they would just realize their natural allies are other middle class people of all races and genders. Rich people are NOT their friends, despite what they've been told, and they cut off their noses to spite their faces when they vote with Republican elites.

  200. It’s true that the majority of adult Americans need to relearn the kindergarten skills of sharing and being nice to one another. What I find offensive about this Opinion is the sole focus on Democrats as the culprits. I’ve been dismissed, told I am an idiot, and yelled at when I attempted to have a civil, two-way conversation with Trump supporters, who are also family to me. So Mr. Egan, save your scolding for the next Trump rally attendees and family reunion.

  201. The latest NYT polling resembled nothing so much as those CNN "swing voter" panels where they are clearly Trump voters who won't be swayed. Egan now relies on said flawed polling to push a narrative that Elizabeth Warren isn't connecting with voters, despite all evidence to the contrary, and that we need a moderate [white male] candidate. The idea that a woman from a small Oklahoma town who made her entire career on fighting for working families is too elite and condescending to said people is ludicrous. The NYT's own reporting on her visits to coal country disproves this as well. At this point, I'm not entirely convinced that there isn't an AI that swaps faces and names working in Opinion, because Stephens, Bruni, Brooks, Egan, and Edsall all sound the same.

  202. Yeah, it's insulting to point out actual facts to the troglodytes who espouse 'alternate facts' based on bigotry, xenophobia, misogyny, and FAUX "news". I am so sick of being told to be tolerant of those who are intolerant and ignorant to boot. Abolish the Electoral College and give the country 'one person, one vote' in presidential elections instead of giving inordinate power to the thinly populated states - and then pandering to un-American values.

  203. I don’t any longer want progressives to be compared to Obama. He isn’t a progressive and never was and moreover misled the population with his lofty speeches. I certainly don’t need any lessons from him, even though I was incredibly excited about him a long time ago. He was a total dud!

  204. How strange: this regular reader of Timothy Egan considers *him* a "virtue signaling know it all" -- ever ready to dismiss progressive policies in favor of the establishment Democrat politics which he finds personally more congenial, never mind its failures. Perhaps what Mr. Egan's sister needs to hear isn't more of the Clintonism which put her at Walmart in the first place.

  205. A perfect scenario in which DJT gets a second term

  206. Last week the Times ran an article about an organization called Better Angels that tries to get liberals and Trump voters to talk to each other. From the article: ““Liberals want to sit in a circle and share,” (a leader) said. “Conservatives do not want to sit in a circle, and they do not want to share.” So he and his colleagues are careful to hold Better Angel events at rectangular tables. And moderators are instructed to avoid words like share.” IOW, always give in to the snowflakes. And later: “I saw all the red people smiling,” while leaving the event, Ms. Keller said. “They felt validated and accepted. I think that was the object the whole time.“ Spoiler alert: nothing changed. Trump voters trade on their supposed victimhood to the max and liberal voters fall all over themselves trying to understand their bottomless well of grievance. It always fails because it isn’t real. It’s a game they play and they do it well and they play some of us like cheap fiddles, the same thing Trump does to them. So let’s stop buying into it. If and when they ever want to grow up they will. Until then, it’s enough already.

  207. Yeah, well, we are upset too. Let them have their Trump for another 4 years. He will do more damage to them than to us, the educated and affluent class. If these people aren’t going to open their eyes, then that is their problem. Let them have their bottle of whiskey, if that is what they really want.

  208. Timothy Egan is consistently urging NYT readers--we must admit, a self-selected group--to hew to political moderation, to avoid condescendingly dismissing a swath of persuadable voters, and especially, it would seem--to use an old, salt of the earth phrase of my own grandmother--to "watch your mouth." I consider myself warned! But, if I'm reading him right, Mr. Egan has been consistently uncomfortable with Senator Warren's candidacy. That Ms. Warren's proposals--rebuilding the middle class, truly comprehensive and inclusive health care reform, addressing corporate monopoly power and empowering consumers--in both their daring and in their articulation, do not seem to qualify as "kitchen table issues" to him is puzzling to me. Apart from his confessed inability to persuade his own sister (whoops!), and apart from my doubt that Democrats are well advised to focus too much energy and resources on "persuadables," even in swing states, would it be too woke of me to detect just a slight bit of...good, old-fashioned gender bias in his appraisal of Ms. Warren?

  209. Well said! I'm friends with Trump voters and many of them are clients. They feel, not without reason, that all politicians lie, that all politicians serve themselves while in office and that Trump is only different in that he's "honest" about it. To see things from their perspective, imagine how the Russia and Ukraine investigations would have played out happened with a Democratic president. How would Democrats have spun the facts? My Trump voting friends and clients do not agree with despoiling the environment. The know that climate change is real. They want affordable health care. They like and respect immigrants as individuals. But, yes, they really do want to stop illegal immigration and feel that refugees get too many free benefits. And yes, they do like their guns. And yes, many are religious and appalled by unrestricted abortion. They also think that Trump is a jerk. A few of them might vote for a Biden, Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Bullock or Delaney. Surprisingly, some might vote for Sanders or Klobuchar or even the Rev-1 Kamala Harris. But none, nada, not a one, would vote for Warren. Elections are won at the margins. Like Tim Egan, I'll vote for a tree stump or a blind and deaf ferret if that's what it takes to get Trump out of office. But my vote won't determine the outcome in 2020. Disaffected Trump voters in swing states can make the difference. Let's open the door to these people by respectfully disagreeing on policy while respecting them as people.

  210. @Mad Moderate Why might they vote for Sanders, but not Warren? Is it because she is an intelligent woman? Please explain.

  211. if you think Democrats are bad. You should spend some time with Republicans! Or just browse some of the memes and comments from my Republican friends on Facebook. That's the problem with Democrats, we have to play nice meanwhile the Republicans are given a pass.

  212. As someone who lives in a rural area of NYS, I believe this opinion piece hits the nail on the head!

  213. I would really like to get Elizabeth Warren into the White House, but I agree her strident messaging is getting in her way. She talks about perfection... well that is a journey and a tough one given the humans that she is trying to drag with her. I believe in BHAGS: Big Hairy Audacious Goals.... but they are really tough for most people to get their heads around. They want to be shown a path they can walk... then you can push them harder once they see the path. Show compassion in your language, in your tone, don't shout at us or your competitors. Save that for DJT. Showing respect and giving people dignity is not a weakness, it is what I would look for in my president.

  214. Great essay! I’m an old Democrat, and I am demeaned by my own children, who are rabid progressives. When I talk about winning the Electoral College, they sneer. When I mention George McGovern’s historic liberal loss, they think I’m crazy. When I say that Bernie or Elizabeth will never win a purple state, let alone a red state, they insist that all logical people will eventually vote for The Bern. When I tell them that the only answer is Biden or Pete or Bloomberg, they hiss that people like me are obsolete centrists. I feel bad for them because they’re going to get another heaping of Trump.

  215. @David G. I know what you mean. My two nephews treat me similarly. Neither of them could bring themselves to vote for Hilary, and I fear they and progressives like them who protest-vote or sit out the election will again help hand Trump a victory. I do hope Obama will keep repeating his warnings regarding party purity but, frankly, the recalcitrance of some progressive voters really worries me.

  216. @David G Truth. Warren and/or Sanders will not win this election. That’s just the bottom line. Right now, I couldn’t care less about either of them as candidates, because they are flat out unelectable in the flyovers. They don’t want John Reed or Emma Goldman (google it). This grand experiment with an unqualified “businessman” is over. It’s a disaster and it didn’t work. They want Harry Truman - someone to step in and right the ship with the least amount of drama - but who’s not afraid to land a punch.

  217. @BothSides According to recent polling, only one Democratic candidate leads Trump in the must-win battleground states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Bernie Sanders. If anyone is "flat out unelectable in the flyovers" it isn't him.