Kevin Drum has a good post on everyone’s favorite subject: “What Democrats Stand For.” He points to one source who learned from focus groups that the public perceives,
The purpose of the Democratic party is to help the poor and the disadvantaged. [. . .] if the purpose of the Democratic party is to help the disadvantaged, what can the party possibly offer to the overwhelming majority of Americans who see themeslves as middle class?
He offers that the
gnawing stress and uncertainty that has always afflicted the daily life of the poor is increasingly afflicting the working and middle classes as well: stagnant wages, booms and busts in income from year to year, disappearing pensions, predatory lending, unreliable healthcare, and the constant, everpresent background fear of being laid off and falling into a hole you can never dig yourself out of.
This growing instability affects a huge swath of workers in the United States, and it’s something the Democratic Party should dedicate itself to addressing.
Let me sum that up as I see it: The Democrats are the political party that created the middle class (working hand-in-hand with organized labor), and are now fighting to keep the middle class from falling back again. It’s the party of the people, not of the rich and corporations. Now that the country has had a good, long taste of the Republican agenda and its effects, they might be ready to hear that.