Far-left academics and activists are suggesting the “endangered state of American liberal democracy” under President Trump will require the Democratic Party to defy political norms and pursue “emergency steps” to create a permanent progressive majority.
“Democrats should plan to treat political norms, when and if they’re in charge of a unified government, the way Trump and the Republicans do,” declared Rob Goodman, a political theorist at McGill University, writing for Politico. “They should be readying a program of systematic norm-breaking for partisan advantage—but only if they are willing and able to follow it through to its conclusion.”
Specifically, Goodman cities a new book by political scientist David Faris, It’s Time to Fight Dirty: How Democrats Can Build a Lasting Majority in American Politics, as a blueprint for the type of “systematic norm-breaking” he is advocating for.
The Democratic Party should “take advantage of legal and constitutional silences to transform American politics in a lasting progressive direction,” Faris wrote. “Doing so will require party leaders to pursue policy changes that will be ridiculed by their opponents as outrageous affronts to democratic decency and received by their own voters with puzzlement or even shock. They need to do it anyway.”
The radical agenda to ensure a permanent far-left majority includes the following policy goals: grant statehood to the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico; break California into seven states, with the goal of adding 16 new Democrats to the Senate; expand the Supreme Court and lower federal courts, packing them with liberal judges; move to multi-member House districts to “roll back the effects of gerrymandering”; pass a new Voting Rights Act, encompassing nationwide automatic voter registration, felon enfranchisement and an end to voter ID laws: grant citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants, creating a permanent Democratic voting block.
“Republicans have always feared that immigration would change the character of American society. Democrats should reward them with their very worst nightmare,” Faris added.
While acknowledging pursuing such a radical agenda solely for political gain would open the Democrats up to retaliation by Republicans, Faris expressed little concern for such an escalation in tensions.
“I do believe we’ll have to find a way to end this procedural war at some point,” Faris said in an interview with Vox, “but now is not that time.”
Goodman, however, noted the kind of tit-for-tat escalation Faris expressed little concern for could lead to a violent confrontation.
As such, Goodman argued, the Democrats must adopt a strategy that will “result in a lasting political realignment—to break the cycle rather than escalate it. It must so thoroughly disempower the other side that it forestalls serious reprisals.”