Persuasion: Commentators have said the Democratic Party’s most progressive wing put off some voters, particularly Latinos in Florida who had known socialist dictatorships in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. But what effect did progressive activists actually have? After all, the Democrats did select a centrist candidate in Joe Biden.
Teixeira: I don’t think there’s any doubt that wokeness, and the issues around that, helped brand the Democratic Party. The Democrats spent three months with a discourse dominated by the protests around George Floyd, racial justice and so on, culminating in the defund-and-abolish-the-police movement, which was basically of very little interest to the median voter. To the extent that the Democrats are identified with that rhetoric—from language-policing to terming the U.S. a White-supremacist society—the less able the party is to appeal to working-class voters of all races and moderate voters in general. It’s great for the Democrats and, I think, for the country that Trump is probably going to be a one-term president. But I think it’s fair to say the Democrats fell short of their goals.