Norwegian journalist and regular critic at Modern Times Review.

«American identity politicians have no strategy, and do not want one. All they want is to express themselves and progressively radicalise.»

This biting remark comes from the book The Once and Future Liberal by writer, historian of ideas and professor at Colombia University, Mark Lilla. According to him this is the main problem for the Democrats in the age of Trumpism. Right now the entire left-wing in western democracies is divided. It is all too often «we against us,» and right-wing extremism profits from this.

What do we do now?

Every year the Economist Intelligence Unit (the EIU), a London-based institute, publishes a so-called democracy index. Based on 60 criteria, researchers assess yearly the conditions of democracies in 167 countries. In 2016 the US slid down the scale from «full democracy» to a so-called «flawed democracy.» All who would like to see a Democrat as president ask continuously: What is happening? What should we do now?

« Evangelism is about speaking truth to power. Politics is about seizing power to defend the truth.»

The two-party system doesn’t help. All potential voters in the US must be gathered up and consolidated into one of the two parties. That places high demands on a unifying strategy to avoid losing votes to the opposite party. Such a strategy must be utilised by the Democrats, says Mark Lilla, and in his opinion this lack of a unifying strategy is historically rooted in two epochs, the Roosevelt period with the New Deal and Ronald Reagan’s regime marked by self-sufficiency. A key concept in the analysis is called «identity politics.»

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