Thomas Frank On How The Democratic Party Lost Touch With The People

With guest host Ray Suarez.

A big new broadside against the Democratic Party by liberal stalwart, Thomas Frank. He blames a yuppified Democratic Party for the rise of Donald Trump.

A portion of the cover of Thomas Frank's new book, "Listen Liberal." (Courtesy the Publisher / Metropolitan Books)

A portion of the cover of Thomas Frank’s new book, “Listen Liberal.” (Courtesy the Publisher / Metropolitan Books)

The Democratic Party of the 20th century helped rally the nation during the Great Depression, championed organized labor, and government action to relieve the sufferings of poverty and the injustice of discrimination. Author Thomas Frank has published a scathing critique of this latest Democratic Party, version 2.0 you might say. He concludes that old Party is dead. This hour On Point, do today’s liberals really care about working people?

— Ray Suarez


Thomas Frank, author and historian. Author of the new book, “Listen Liberal — Or, Whatever Happened to the Party of the People?” Also author of “Pity The Billionaire,” “The Wrecking Crew,” “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” and many others. Founding editor of The Baffler and contributor to Salon.

Jim Kessler, co-founder and senior vice president for policy at the center-left think tank, Third Way. Former aide to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). (@ThirdWayKessler)

From The Reading List

New York Times: Public’s Disgust With the Democratic Party Propels Sanders — “Bernie Sanders is a fine politician, but that is not why he has emerged from obscurity to win so many Democratic primaries. The real story here is the breakdown of the ideology pursued for decades by the Democratic Party’s dominant faction.”

The Guardian: Millions of ordinary Americans support Donald Trump. Here’s why — “Trade is an issue that polarizes Americans by socio-economic status. To the professional class, which encompasses the vast majority of our media figures, economists, Washington officials and Democratic powerbrokers, what they call ‘free trade’ is something so obviously good and noble it doesn’t require explanation or inquiry or even thought. Republican and Democratic leaders alike agree on this, and no amount of facts can move them from their Econ 101 dream.”

Third Way: Ready for the New Economy — “Most poignantly for Democratic policymakers, while voters try to navigate these economic tides, they sense our public policies and institutions haven’t been modernized for this global information age. They worry that they and their families are on their own in this journey, and that the basic middle class bargain—work hard, play by the rules, achieve the American Dream—has fallen into dis-repair. Driving this anxiety is deep skepticism about the efficacy of government, especially as a vehicle to help them succeed.”

Read An Excerpt Of “Listen Liberal” By Thomas Frank

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