In This Review

The Emerging Democratic Majority
The Emerging Democratic Majority
By John B. Judis and Ruy Teixeira
Scribner's, 2002, 224 pp

Those worried by the unilateral doctrines in Republican foreign policy circles will be comforted by the message of Judis and Teixeira: the Bush administration is a flash in the pan, and the Democratic Party is becoming the new natural party of American government. Combining state-by-state analyses with a look at broader demographic trends (the growing importance of minority voters, the persistent failure of Republicans to appeal to upwardly mobile women, the widespread public suspicion of the religious right), The Emerging Democratic Majority is one of the most impressive overviews of American politics in recent years. But the authors are surprisingly weak on foreign policy. Indeed, most of the book is written as if foreign policy had zero impact on American politics outside of wartime. The authors acknowledge that September 11 may have given the Republicans a boost by shifting voters' attention, at least temporarily, away from the economic and cultural issues that favor Democrats and toward security issues that make Republicans look more attractive. Yet they fail to note that voter uneasiness over Bill Clinton's trade policy and over Al Gore's perceived eagerness to support humanitarian interventions contributed materially to Bush's narrow victory in 2000, in which the domestic issues heavily favored the Democratic incumbent. The case for a new Democratic majority may not be as clear as the authors (both acknowledged partisans) might wish, but anyone hoping to predict the course of American politics and foreign policy will find this book a helpful guide.