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Who could be a "Democratic Reagan?"

Veridian

disasterpiece
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the next universe over
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Looking to have a free-wielding discussion on who could possibly fill a similar niche for the Democrats as Reagan did for the Republicans.

By a "Democratic Reagan," I don't mean more literal examples like actor-politicians or even that they have to necessarily govern in the '80s, although such examples are nevertheless encouraged and appreciated. I mean moreso potential presidents who could move the American Overton Window towards the left and leave the public with a nostalgic aftertaste rather than triangulating centrists.

POD intentionally omitted - go wild with whatever set of circumstances you have (within reason).
 

Japhy

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Albany, NY
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The easiest way to do it is to have a Kennedy do a "Return to Camelot."

Robert Kennedy living, losing in 1968 and then making a comeback in either 1976 or 1980 or Ted Kennedy not descending into manslaughter and complete drunkenness and coming in in either 1976 or 1980 works. Especially if in the lowest turnout election in all American History Gerald Ford squeaks out a victory and the Republicans get to carry nearly all the pop cultural 'guilt' for the economic hardtimes of the 1970s.

How liberal either Kennedy would be in office is another matter entirely.
 

Nyvis

Token Marxist
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Paris
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She/Her
The easiest way to do it is to have a Kennedy do a "Return to Camelot."

Robert Kennedy living, losing in 1968 and then making a comeback in either 1976 or 1980 or Ted Kennedy not descending into manslaughter and complete drunkenness and coming in in either 1976 or 1980 works. Especially if in the lowest turnout election in all American History Gerald Ford squeaks out a victory and the Republicans get to carry nearly all the pop cultural 'guilt' for the economic hardtimes of the 1970s.

How liberal either Kennedy would be in office is another matter entirely.
Is that likely to deliver a radical shift left in the way Reagan shifted things right, though? Republicans went from a party willing to consider universal healthcare under Nixon to basically destroying American taxation.

The real problem is that I can't see any democrat willing to do that push left also getting the party's support to make it happen when in office. They're much more likely to be a lame duck short of a much wider movement to change the party's lawmakers coming along with them.
 

Japhy

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Is that likely to deliver a radical shift left in the way Reagan shifted things right, though? Republicans went from a party willing to consider universal healthcare under Nixon to basically destroying American taxation.

The real problem is that I can't see any democrat willing to do that push left also getting the party's support to make it happen when in office. They're much more likely to be a lame duck short of a much wider movement to change the party's lawmakers coming along with them.
If you want Socialism we've got to back to the 1920s at the very least. If you want more muscular liberalism and the Democrats not becoming a third way party that doesn't really want to fight for anything this gets that job done probably.
 

Oppo

Erik Ƭ̵̬̊
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You could have the fabled “buyer’s remorse” ticket of HHH and McGovern in 1976 succeed, assuming that Humphrey’s cancer is pushed back a little bit. Humphrey can use his legislative chops to get the ball rolling while McGovern continues a shift to the left.
 

Makemakean

Mr Makemean
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Logical, unlike those in German
I think it's worth to ask the question about the extent to which Reagan himself actually shifted the Overton window, and how much Reagan's landslides were the result of the American voting public already having started to shift to the right. I mean, Nixon had already accomplished a 49 state landslide in 1972, and Carter had been elected as a moderate.
 

Ricardolindo

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Location
Portugal
I think it's worth to ask the question about the extent to which Reagan himself actually shifted the Overton window, and how much Reagan's landslides were the result of the American voting public already having started to shift to the right. I mean, Nixon had already accomplished a 49 state landslide in 1972, and Carter had been elected as a moderate.
What caused the Overton window to shift to the right was the disastrous Carter administration. Carter was not a liberal but the failures of his administration became associated with liberalism.
 

Makemakean

Mr Makemean
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Logical, unlike those in German
What caused the Overton window to shift to the right was the disastrous Carter administration. Carter was not a liberal but the failures of his administration became associated with liberalism.
As I’ve indicated, the shift started long before Carter, and to an extent, Carter was in fact a beneficiary of the shift.

I mean, this was part of a global phenomenon. Thatcher didn’t win 18 months before Reagan’s election in Britain because of a dissatisfaction with Jimmy Carter, nor did Bob Hawke and Paul Keating in start to liberalize the Australian economy because people there were annoyed with Jimmy Carter. Mitterrand’s U-turn in France had nothing to do with Jimmy Carter, nor was Carter’s unpopularity in the US a factor in the calculations that made the FDP leave the coalition with Schmidt’s SDP and make common cause with Kohl’s CDU.
 
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Elektronaut

Holy, Holy, Holy
I mean, this was part of a global phenomenon. Thatcher didn’t win 18 months before Reagan’s election in Britain because of a dissatisfaction with Jimmy Carter, nor did Bob Hawke and Paul Keating in start to liberalize the Australian economy because people there were annoyed with Jimmy Carter. Mitterrand’s U-turn in France had nothing to do with Jimmy Carter, nor was Carter’s unpopularity in the US a factor in the calculations that made the FDP leave the coalition with Schmidt’s SDP and make common cause with Kohl’s CDU.
Agree with Mr Makemean and this needs emphasising. There was a shift to the right across a lot of the west and in every anglosphere country.
 

Makemakean

Mr Makemean
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I don't buy 1972 as indicating a shift. McGovern was of the New Left. He was not a traditional liberal.
The New Left may well have pinned their hopes and dreams on McGovern, but the man had been a Senator since 1963, and had throughout the 1960s been a rather not-out-of-the-ordinary member of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. There really was little particularly revolutionary about George McGovern when you start breaking it down.
 

Ricardolindo

Well-known member
Location
Portugal
As I’ve indicated, the shift started long before Carter, and to an extent, Carter was in fact a beneficiary of the shift.

I mean, this was part of a global phenomenon. Thatcher didn’t win 18 months before Reagan’s election in Britain because of a dissatisfaction with Jimmy Carter, nor did Bob Hawke and Paul Keating in start to liberalize the Australian economy because people there were annoyed with Jimmy Carter. Mitterrand’s U-turn in France had nothing to do with Jimmy Carter, nor was Carter’s unpopularity in the US a factor in the calculations that made the FDP leave the coalition with Schmidt’s SDP and make common cause with Kohl’s CDU.
Economic liberalization was inevitable by the 70s but the rightwards shift in the US and the UK was was not. Have Ford win in 1976 and the Conservatives win in 1974 to prevent them.
 

Ricardolindo

Well-known member
Location
Portugal
So, the rightwards shift was inevitable, but the rightwards shift wasn’t inevitable?
I'm saying that conservatives in the style of Reagan and Thatcher weren't inevitable. Elsewhere in the Western world, economic liberalization was led by social democrats or more moderate conservatives.
 

Makemakean

Mr Makemean
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I'm saying that conservatives in the style of Reagan and Thatcher weren't inevitable. Elsewhere in the Western world, economic liberalization was led by social democrats or more moderate conservatives.
Which is my point. Voters didn’t turn on American liberalism because they associated it with Jimmy Carter. Voters were already turning on American liberalism, as part of a shift rightwards globally. The Overton window was shifting to the right regardless of whether a Democrat or a Republican was in the White House.
 

Time Enough

"Enthusiastic Cis Male Partner"
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I do have to agree with @Makemakean about the raise of Monetarist model worldwide being part of a Economically Right Wing shift, and didn’t matter if you were a Social Democrat or a Conservative, you were conforming to that ideal.

Now this is where it’s always easier with the Labour Party to conjure up answer for the British version of this question because you have names like Bryan Gould and Peter Shore being bandied about before you even get to folks like Benn.

For America it’s harder, this is probably down to the long history of Fiscally Conservative Progressivism in the country so anyway that could provide an answer to this probably would support the Right Wing shift in economics.

Now my answer is possibly Jerry Brown though he’s essentially a Proto-Third Wayer ‘Low Tax’ Liberal Progressive in 1980, so he wouldn’t really do anything to go against the Monetarist consensus.

The only other answer I can provide to this question is I don’t know, Larry Aragan in 1992 but even then that’s not what’s being asked here.
 

Time Enough

"Enthusiastic Cis Male Partner"
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Just realised rereading the opening question that if we can have any time period I could say that Walter Reuther being on a JFK/LBJ ticket as Veep and then muscling his way into the White House is the best way in a Post 1950s America to gain a Muscular Liberal/Social Democratic America.
 
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