In 2016, the election of Donald Trump caused a political earthquake in the United States. Its principal victim: the Democratic Party, devastated by the defeat of Hillary Clinton. Now, in 2020, the time has come for Democratic voters to choose the candidate best suited to take back the White House.
A frequent commentator of U.S. politics for a French audience, Célia Belin, visiting fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe, spent months following Democratic candidates, militants and sympathizers to find an answer to the question: What do Democrats in 2020 stand for?
Her forthcoming book, Des Démocrates en Amérique : L’heure des choix face à Trump (Fayard-Fondation Jean Jaurès, 2020), examines the ideological forces at play within the 2020 Democratic Party, offering a French perspective on the battle for the 2020 Democratic nomination. Belin transcends the crowded field of candidates and oft-cited ‘moderate vs. progressive’ dichotomy to identify three strategies at work within the Democratic Party: recapture working and middle class voters lost to Donald Trump in 2016; reconcile a hyper-polarized, hyper-partisan country; and overthrow the system that structurally marginalizes minorities. The Democratic Party establishment, for its part, has a single priority: to find a candidate capable of defeating the Republican incumbent. Belin’s timely analysis offers rich insight into American democracy today and the Democratic candidates mobilized to change the face of the country.