Issue #264

The coming realignment: cities, class, and ideology after social conservatism

Michael Lind is a cofounder of The New America Foundation and author of Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States.

Following Barack Obama’s historic victory in 2008, pundits posited that a new Democratic majority would dominate American politics for generations to come. But according to Michael Lind, no such majority will hold: political conflict is with us to stay, though traditional terms like ‘left,’ ‘right,’ and ‘center’ will take on new meanings. Thanks to a shift in generational values, social conservatism is experiencing a rapid, terminal decline. As issues like “God, gays, and guns” become less and less relevant to Americans’ worldviews and political preferences, the Left/Right axis will experience a radical realignment. Economic attitudes will become the central battleground of politics, leading to the emergence of two new groups, the populiberals and liberaltarians, each clustering in its own unique geographical niche. Forget “red states” and “blue states”: the rural and peri-urban Posturbia and the urban Densitaria will be the key new constituencies on tomorrow’s political map. The implications for American politics and policy couldn’t be greater. Michael Lind, Breakthrough Journal, 4-28-14.


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