President Biden’s generation: Silent no more

President Biden’s beliefs and behaviors embody many of the traits of the Silent Generation (Americans born between 1925 and 1945) of which he is a member, which is why so many younger Americans are going through a “period of adjustment” as they try to take the measure of the man. As fellow Silents, we find what he does and how he goes about it completely comfortable and appropriate, even as he continues to befuddle and frustrate younger generations—Boomers, X’ers, Millennials and even those Plurals old enough to care about politics.The Silent Generation lived in the... Read more
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Protecting democracy and containing autocracy

Democracy has been under increasing assault in the U.S. over the course of this century. Sixty percent of white working class Americans agreed with the statement that “because things have gotten so far off track in this country, we need a leader who is willing to break some rules if that’s what it takes to set things right.” Although only 40% of all Americans felt that way in 2017, almost 47% of them voted in 2020 to support a candidate for president who exhibited blatant authoritarian behavior. For the first time since... Read more
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A Rising Blue Tide Lifts the Nation

  A version of this blog was published on the Brookings website on November 16, 2020. The 2020 presidential election, for all its twists and turns, delivered further evidence that the Democratic blue wave that swept Democrats to power in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018 was not a unique phenomenon, but part of an inexorable rise in the level of Democratic support. Although Democratic victories were not as overwhelming as predicted, their increased level of support was sufficient to flip... Read more
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2020: The Year of the Woman Voter

  The 1992 election was called the “Year of the Woman” because the number of female senators tripled (from two all the way to six) and two dozen women were elected to their first term in the House, the largest number in congressional history. By contrast, this year’s election is being driven by the increasingly overwhelming determination of a significant number of women from every demographic to vote Democratic at every level of the ballot regardless of the gender of the... Read more
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Trump Jumps the Shark

Given Donald Trump’s background as a reality show host, the TV-based idiom, “jumping the shark,” provides the most apt and accurate description of the impact his disastrous musing that injecting disinfectants might be a cure for Covid-19 has had on his presidency.The term "jumping the shark" originally came from the long-running television show, “Happy Days,” that captured the zeitgeist of middle class America in the 1950's. One of the show’s characters, Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli, a rebellious but good natured black leather jacket-wearing motorcycle rider, appeared occasionally when the... Read more
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Biden Has Women To Thank For His Primary Victories

  A version of this blog was published on the Brookings website on March 17, 2020. Women have become the most dominant demographic in determining the outcome of this year’s Democratic presidential nomination and will be equally important in November’s general election. Women have participated more than men in all the Democratic primaries so far. Their overwhelming preference for former Vice President Joe Biden has effectively ended the race four months earlier than was expected just two weeks ago. When Biden is nominated at the Democratic convention in July and chooses,... Read more
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Women's Growing Political Power Will Determine Who Wins in 2020

  A version of this blog was published on the Brookings website on February 19, 2020. The most profound change in American politics today and in the years to come will result from a massive movement of women into the Democratic Party. As this realignment takes place Hillary Clinton may well go down in history as this century’s equivalent of Al Smith. Al Smith was the Democratic nominee for president in 1928 and the first Roman Catholic ever nominated by a major political party. Although he lost the election, his campaign presaged the movement of... Read more
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Racism Won’t Work for Trump Thanks to Millennials

A version of this blog was published by the Los Angeles Times on August 20, 2019. Racism is increasingly unacceptable to most Americans. This is true among conservatives as well as liberals, college and non-college educated adults alike. But what’s behind the United States becoming a place where racist expression is more and more unpopular are the beliefs and behaviors of the generation born between 1982 and 2003, the Millennials.USC political scientists, Morris Levy and Dennis Chong, examined 40 years of data gathered by NORC at the University of Chicago in its... Read more
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When Is a Blue Wave, not a Blue Wave? When it’s a Realignment

Final results from the 2018 midterm elections make it clear that Donald Trump’s presidency has accelerated a political dynamic likely to defeat him and his party in 2020. Five years ago, our book, Millennial Majority, identified a new majority coalition in American politics led by Millennials, minorities and women. This year’s midterm elections saw this coalition solidify its support of Democrats, particularly in U.S. House races, that caused many to conclude a “Blue Wave” had at least temporarily overwhelmed Republicans. But in fact, the changes... Read more
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Whatever Happened To Civility In America?

The "us vs. them" tone of American politics, most visibly emanating from the White House, but infecting all the country’s political rhetoric, has now spread to daily life. The polarization leads some to question the country’s ability to keep its democratic traditions and hold together as one nation. A recent poll conducted with bipartisan sponsorship by the Biden and Bush Institutes found that 50% of Americans believe that the United States is in “Real danger of becoming a nondemocratic authoritarian country and 80% of Americans... Read more
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