A Bigger Tent for Democrats: Lanae Erickson

Why aren’t Democrats doing much better in elections for Congress and also in state races? We explore several reasons. One is that Democrats have been losing the support of many black, white and hispanic working class voters. We heard a forceful argument about that in "How Do We Fix It?" episode #389 with Ruy Teixeira.


In this show we expand the argument and look at another group of voters often ignored by Democratic party leaders— Christians and especially Catholics who are among the largest group of swing voters. 


This is a shared podcast with "Talkin' Politics and Religion Without Killin' Each Other". Their show and ours are members of the Democracy Group podcast network, Our guest is Lanae Erickson, Senior Vice President at Third Way, a center-left think tank that champions pragmatic liberal ideas. She spoke earlier this year with Talkin' Politics and Religion's host, Corey Nathan. Thank you, Corey, for giving us permission to share an edited version of a rich and thoughtful conversation. 


We hear from Lanae about why she's a pragmatic progressive. She argues that the only way America can make lasting progress on major issues is to include different sides in a debate. We learn why so many elected officials and activists treat public policy as an all or nothing proposition. 


"I would say we should try to get what we could done, and then do it again, do it again and do it again, instead of holding out and making the perfect the enemy of the good," she told Corey Nathan.


As Senior Vice President for Social Policy & Politics at Third Way, Lanae tackles hot-button issues like immigration, abortion, religious liberty, education and guns. Previously, Lanae served as a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. 


Her commentary has been featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, USA Today, Politico and PBS NewsHour. Lanae is also principal second violinist in Washington DC's Capital City Symphony.


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