How Democrats got their confidence back

Democrats aren’t afraid anymore.

For much of my adult life, the party has operated from a stance of fear, caution, and tactical retreats. Bill Clinton’s “Third Way” centrism was born, in part, of a belief that liberal Democrats couldn’t win national elections with a progressive agenda in the post-Ronald Reagan era. His declaration that “the era of big government is over” came after Republicans took the House in 1994. When Barack Obama passed a huge stimulus during the Great Recession, it was filled with “nudges” designed to ensure that Americans didn’t actually notice how that same big government was improving their lives.


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