Is the Democratic Party Too Far Left? Open to Debate Tapes Virtual Debate on March 21
Congressman Jamaal Bowman
Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza
Manhattan Institute fellow Coleman Hughes
Political scientist Ruy Teixeira
Defund the police. Abolish ICE. Redistribute the wealth. These are but a few of the one-liners that have emanated from the liberal wing of the Democratic party in recent years. With the emergence of “The Squad” in 2018, liberal lawmakers have grown more prevalent in recent election cycles. And with just a slim 51-49 Democrat majority in the Senate, progressives are now eyeing 2024 as a way to strengthen their broader influence. By doing so, some say, the party risks aligning itself with ever more extreme politics, alienating moderate voices, and straying from what made it successful in the past. The equating of liberalism with Democratic policies, they argue, is a recent and dangerous trend, which makes governing more difficult. Others argue that the party is finally poised to make good what constitutes the reemergence of the political left, long stymied by the compromising influence of Washington and beltway politics. What’s more, they argue, this renewed focus on issues such as race, climate, income inequality has not only begun to address in earnest issues once paid only superficial notice, but is also electrifying the nation’s progressive base in ways that can win elections. On March 21, nonpartisan debate series Open to Debate will tape an episode debating the following question: “Is the Democratic Party Too Far Left?”
Arguing “NO” are Congressman and educator Jamaal Bowman, serving as the U.S. representative for New York’s 16th district as a member of The Squad, and civil rights activist Alicia Garza, one of the three women who popularized the slogan #BlackLivesMatter. Arguing “YES” are Manhattan Institute fellow Coleman Hughes, named to Forbes’ 30-under-30 list in 2021, and political commentator Ruy Teixeira, who studies the transformation of party coalitions and the future of American electoral politics.
While the debate will not be released widely until April, via public radio, video and the Open to Debate podcast, press are invited to attend and ask questions at the live virtual taping on Tuesday, March 21 at 2:15 PM ET. Media can email firstname.lastname@example.org for virtual access.
* Coleman Hughes, fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor at City Journal
Named to Forbes 30-under-30 list in 2021 for defining and driving the world of news and content, Coleman Hughes is a former Presidential Scholar, fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and a contributing editor at City Journal, covering race, policy and applied ethics. He has also written for outlets including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. His podcast tackles issues such as reparations for slavery and the origins of morality. He graduated from Columbia University in 2020 with a B.A. in philosophy.
* Ruy Teixeira, political scientist and commentator
A prolific author and political commentator, Ruy Teixeira has written several books on various topics in political science and political strategy, and is senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on the transformation of party coalitions and the future of American electoral politics. Before joining AEI, he was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress from 2003 to 2022. He is most noted for his work on political demography, and particularly for The Emerging Democratic Majority, which argues that the Democratic party is demographically destined to become a majority party in the United States of the early 21st century. He is also co-founder and politics editor of the Substack newsletter, The Liberal Patriot. His forthcoming book, with John B. Judis, is Where Have All the Democrats Gone?
* Jamaal Bowman, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York’s 16th district
Jamaal Anthony Bowman is a U.S. Congressman and educator, serving as the U.S. representative for New York’s 16th district as a member of The Squad, a faction of progressive House Democrats that began as four congressmen and now include a group of nine Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Bowman is also the founder and former principal of the Cornerstone Academy for Social Action, a public middle school in Eastchester, Bronx. He is a member of the Lower Hudson Valley chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America.
* Alicia Garza, civil rights activist, writer, and co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement
Alicia Garza’s name is etched into history as one of the three women who popularized the slogan #BlackLivesMatter in response to Trayvon Martin’s 2013 killing. An activist and writer, she is currently the special projects director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Previously, Garza served as the executive director for People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER) for the San Francisco Bay Area and was board chair for Right to the City Alliance in Oakland. She is on the board of directors of Forward Together’s Oakland California branch, is involved with Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity, and is on the board of directors for Oakland’s School of Unity and Liberation. Garza graduated with a degree in anthropology and sociology at the University of California in San Diego in 2002.