Conversations: Thomas Frank -The Transformation of the Democratic Party

Thomas Frank, Listen, Liberal...Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? (Also by Thomas Frank: Pity The Billionaire, The Wrecking Crew and What's the Matter with Kansas? For tonight's Conversations with Great Minds - we're going to take a closer look at what happened to the Democratic Party. From the New Deal until the middle part of the 20th century - the Democratic Party - like most left or center left parties the world over - was the party of the people. It was the home of unions - social security - medicare - and American working and middle-classes. But then something strange started happening. Over the course of the 1970s - the 1980s - and then the 1990s - the Democrats - well - they got a lot less democratic. They were still "liberal" - or said they were - but they now got their economic policies from Wall Street - and their trade policies from multinational corporations. And that was just the beginning. Then came school "reform" - welfare "reform" - the bankruptcy bill - the bailout. What happened? What happened to the party of FDR - Henry Wallace - and Lyndon Johnson? When did that party disappear and become the party of Bill Clinton - Tim Geithner and Larry Summers? Joining me now to help answer these questions and more is Thomas Frank, founding editor of the Baffler - contributor to Salon and author of numerous books - including his latest - "Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?”

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