On Friday, October 16th, our community came together to process the midterm results and where the major parties — and labor — go from here. Was it a blue wave? Maybe. A red tide? Decidedly not.
In an electoral season in which the sitting presidential administration has loomed large, what do the elections tell us about the current political landscape, especially with regard to racial, gender and class voting patterns? What do the contemporary Democratic and Republican Parties stand for? What are the challenges and possibilities that face people and organizations committed to social and economic justice?
The conversation featured John Nichols, national affairs correspondent at The Nation; Esther Kaplan, editor at The Investigative fund; and SLU distinguished lecturer Basil Smikle. The panel was moderated by Daryl Khan, director of the Urban Reporting Program at the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.
The New Labor Forum has a bi-weekly newsletter on current topics in labor, curated by the some of the most insightful scholars and activists in the labor world today. Check out some highlights from the latest edition below.
With perhaps the most important midterm elections in a generation happening tomorrow, we offer you: an invitation to join us in a post-election reporters roundtable on November 16th; a video from our September 14th forum, featuring the trenchant commentary of New York City Deputy Mayor J. Phillip Thompson on whether a democratic capitalism is possible; midterm polling data that shows white working-class voters in the Midwest returning to the Democratic Party; and a summary of ballot measures in tomorrow’s elections that seek either to expand and further contract our democracy.
Table of Contents:
Blue Wave or Red Tide? 2018 Post-Election Reporters Roundtable/CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY
Is a Democratic Capitalism Possible?/ J. Phillip Thompson, The Murphy Institute, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies
Why are Democrats looking so strong in the Midwest?/ Perry Bacon Jr., FiveThirtyEight
These are the biggest 2018 ballot measures on elections, voting rights, gerrymandering, and more/ Stephen Wolf, Daily Kos
The New Labor Forum has launched a bi-weekly newsletter on current topics in labor, curated by the some of the most insightful scholars and activists in the labor world today. Check out some highlights from the latest edition below.
One of the enduring conversations of the 2016 election is the significance of the white working- class Trump vote. According to some pundits, this vote drew much of its impetus from economic decline characteristic of the rust belt. New Labor Forum’s Michael Zweig writes about White Working-Class Votersand the Future of Progressive Politics. One major issue he raises is the difficulty of identifying precisely what we mean by ‘working-class,’ as well as the extent to which class anxiety versus racial animosity motivated their support for Trump. An excellent data-filled companion piece is the PRRI/The Atlantic report on the WWC. Using large data sets and prominent academic researchers, this report indicates that economic fatalism predicted support for Trump, while economic hardship predicted Clinton support. Greg Sargent of the Washington Post focuses on a specific demographic: the swing voters who moved from Obama to Trump. This group played an outsize role in the 2016 elections. What are they telling Democrats?
The economic nationalism and xenophobia that motivated some working-class Trump supporters has found distinct articulations throughout Europe. The failure of European center and center-left parties to take a stand against the ravages of neo-liberalism has buoyed right-wing populism. Edouard Louis has written a moving essay about the recent French elections describing the feelings of neglect many working-class voters have experienced at the hands of the governing Socialist Party and expect under Macron’s centrist banner En Marche!. This fact, he contends, lead many of them, like his working-class father, who sense their own invisibility to vote for Marine Le Pen.
“Do you hear the buzz? The buzz says: let’s defend the common good.” These are the lyrics of the campaign song of Barcelona en Comú — one of the new “confluence” platforms of “popular unity” running in the May 24th municipal elections in Spain, sung (with the help of autotune) to the rhythm of a popular Catalán rumba by its candidate, Ada Colau. According to the polls, Colau is poised to win the mayoral election in Barcelona this Sunday. These electoral insurgencies across Spain are reimagining the promise of radical democracy, one that draws from social movements to define a new participatory style of “governance by listening.” Four years ago, the May 15 movement appeared precisely during the campaign for municipal and regional elections. Despite its undeniable questioning of electoral politics and representation, previous election cycles were too soon to measure the movement’s impact. Then, the characterization of the movement by many politicians and mainstream media oscillated between patronizing and condescending overtones: “If these kids want to achieve anything, they should organize a party, and run for elections.” Continue reading Spain’s Municipal Elections and the Prospects for Radical Democracy→
Last Friday, Sarah Jaffe, Juan Gonzalez, Errol Louis, Michael Hirsch and Ed Ott participated in a panel discussion in front of a packed house here at Murphy. The panelists analyzed the 2014 midterm elections, looking at what happened this time around and discussing the implications for the future.
Miss the Forum? Check out the livestream, embedded below and archived on our new YouTube channel.
A conversation about workers, communities and social justice