In 1990, sociologist William Julius Wilson wrote a provocative article for this magazine, "Race-Neutral Politics and the Democratic Coalition," arguing that Democrats should de-emphasize race-specific policies like affirmative action in favor of race-neutral policies that disproportionately serve minorities (who are disproportionately poor) as a strategy of expanding the Democratic base. The article was a flash point in a then-roiling debate not only about identity politics within the Democratic Party but about the country's willingness to continue activist policies to achieve racial equity.
America faces a daunting challenge. Even as we dig our way out of the worst economic implosion since the Great Depression, we must construct the foundations of a new economy, one that extends opportunity to "every willing heart," and provides basic security – a job with a decent wage, affordable health care, a quality education, dignity in retirement – for every working family.
As you may have noticed, the site looks different this week. We've just started a new subscription service that's available to you online; you'll find it when you click on selected stories from this month's print edition. If you're already a magazine subscriber, you can claim your free online subscription service today. You'll be able to read every article from the current print issue the same day it gets back to us from the printer's -- nearly two weeks before it hits the newsstand. If you're not a magazine subscriber, you can subscribe electronically today -- for the low price of $14.95 a year, not the $19.95 charged to print subscribers -- and get all the benefits of membership.
The person for the job: Someone who appeals to workaday voters
The election will be won or lost in the swing industrial states of
the Midwest--Ohio, Missouri, Wisconsin, and also Pennsylvania. If
Dems have a shot at other job-losing states, like the Carolinas, it
will also be because the ticket has credibility with workaday voters.
Good candidates: Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin.
Also John Edwards -- but only if polls show that he really pulls with
working-class voters better than he did in most primaries. Totally
Wall Street and totally wrong: Bob Rubin.