It doesn't just narrow your coalition; it can prompt a counter-formation
I'm 50 and done with the Democrats, although I am not ready to register Republican. With respect to to post-material, one of my big problems with the Dems is that they have gone full "let them eat woke" and no longer do anything except pay lip service (if that) to economic issues. For me, it's not post-material politics, it's that neither big party engages in material politics that I can support. The last Dem politician representing my politics was Sanders (nominally an independent), but I saw what the party leaders did to him.
"If that doesn’t prompt a rethinking, I don’t know what would."
Couldn't the exact same conclusion be made with the same degree of accuracy about the cohort of people--probably less than 8%, but I doubt massively less--who currently identify with the Democrats not for economic reasons, not for woke reasons, and certainly not for foreign policy reasons, but solely because 1) the Republicans won't or can't (thanks to the electoral incentives baked into the primary system) move against Trump, and/or because 2) the Republicans continue to double-down on, or at least embrace those who do call for doubling-down on, abortion bans, despite the way they are obvious (on the basis of Kansas and Ohio and elsewhere) electoral losers?
Noah, a good piece, and the corollary to this group might be the people currently voting Dem who are old line establishment Rs who are now voting D, the Romney Democrats. Might be as numerous as your described crew.
I might have joined your cohort as a Bill Maher type of Dem but I recommend Matt Labash's hilarious take (substack Slack Tide) on the situation in his piece "Wokeism vs Semi Fascism" and seems to in a PJ O Rourkish manner choose the wokesters and I quote :
"We have to settle differences at the ballot box, not in the streets or in the broken-glass-strewn, feces-caked halls of Congress after an angry mob has invaded it, at the behest of their then-president and with cover-fire laid down by their elected representatives who are afraid of him. And if a large portion of one-half of the country refuses to live by those results, well, that gives me even greater pause than some lefty nutjob cancelling comedians or insisting I use invented pronouns that are enemies of the English language. Which admittedly, are awful. Both behaviors evidence stupidity, petulant temper-tantrum throwing, and nods toward totalitarianism. But only one of those behaviors – the former – could permanently undo my ability to punish and eject the jackasses who embrace such stupidity."
I can handle wokeism in that I think it will run its course and most of the public and even a large part of Dems dont buy into the hecklers of college speakers and such, but that half the country might vote for a man who suggest is is OK to suspend the Constitution- I will remain in the party until the MRSA regains the GOP- Make Republicans Sane Again. Not that I wouldnt vote for a Larry Hogan or Murkowski type, but we dont have them in these parts
The forced-teaming we see on the activist side of the left was always going to alienate some. (The idea that if you sign up on one issue, you have to support a slate of other - often unrelated issues). The right aren't immune to the purity spiral on some things either (particularly abortion - an issue on which both parties were a broad tent a generation ago).
"Stop caping for the child-sterilizing Moloch cult," I told Democrats. "Stop the goosestepping with the progress flags. Stop putting men in women's prisons and caping for men who cheat at sports. Stop it all before you elect a Ron DeSantis as president-for-life." And here we are.
I am a 67-year-old lifelong Democrat and liberal activist who has worked over the decades as a volunteer on multiple Democrat campaigns at all levels.
But in 2022, I became one of those Republican "newcomers". I now vote straight Republican.
My reason is that, in my view, the Democrats have become a party dedicated single-mindedly to promoting transhumanist totalitarianism and race-based essentialism.
Most egregious is blue-state laws (usually passed with unanimous Democrat support) that allow the State to force "gender affirming care" (puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, genital mutilating surgeries) on kids whose parents will not assent to it.
Going along with this is the Democrats' attempted obliteration of women's sex-based rights: https://www.womensdeclaration.com via the odious "Equality Act" (unanimously supported by Democrats in Congress) and similar legislation. At the state level, male rapists are housed in women's prisons because they claim a "woman identity". The Women's Liberation Front (which now gets all my political donation money) is bravely fighting this: https://womensliberationfront.org/chandler-v-cdcr
I look forward to the day when a prominent Democrat (Biden, Harris, Schumer ...) gets the same treatment from the press on these issues that Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon got, shortly after Scotland passed it's own equivalent of the Equality Act:
Less than one month later, Sturgeon resigned.
I wonder if "extra-material" is a better term than "post-material"? At any rate, I get what you mean and I mostly agree with it.
Does it seem accurate to say the Newcomers have at least a healthy overlap with Matthew Walther's "Barstool conservatives"?
I read the Upshot piece, like Noah I was struck by the newcomers. But I couldn't get a grip on who they are, and this piece hasn't helped much. What is the ideological bossiness you see that so alienates this group? Examples would be great.
There is no ideology, whether political, religious, racial, sexual etc, that is not, at bottom, a reduction - and therefore, a falsification - of human experience. Ideologies exist by excluding what doesn't fit into the frame. So I can't subscribe to them, any of them, even if I agree with some of their tenets. Life is too short and experience too variegated to hobble by attaching an "ist" to your name.