TLDR: Author argues that there are very few libertarians or centrists and that the two parties are instead fighting over economic left/cultural conservative voters. He then gets prescriptive. Feel free to ignore the latter. https://twitter.com/davidoatkins/status/1651281534702460928 For those who can’t handle tweets, you’re welcome. I’ve copy/pasted it: Almost every major error and meltdown in Dem/left politics, from post-left fash apologism to popularist left-punching cringe, comes from fatally flawed attempts to solve what I call the Upper Left Quadrant problem. Here is the chart, and the fundamental problem: /1 This chart explains *so much* about modern American politics. What it says, simply, is that almost all the actual persuadable voters in the electorate aren't "moderates." They're cross-pressured extremists and...kinda fashy. They're socially bigoted and economically leftist. /2 Needless to say, this is not great. It's a huge impediment for making progress. But it's also highly inconvenient for the major ideological factions in American politics. /3 Let's start with "No Labels" style centrists. These are corporate folks who push the idea that most persuadable voters are socially liberal but economically conservative. Romney types. This is FLATLY FALSE. As you can see, there is almost NO ONE in that bottom right quadrant./4 The suburban Romney Dem does exist, of course--but their numbers are actually quite limited and they are far less economically conservative and more socially liberal than usually given credit for. They're not really persuadable and likelier to vote for AOC than DeSantis. /5 Now let's take the socialist left. It is tempting to look at this chart and say "hey, there's opportunity for left populism here! Let's persuade some of these folks!" I myself made that error in 2016, thinking that left populism could win many of them over. That was...wrong. /6 It was VERY wrong. The Trump presidency proved it. He went full Paul Ryan on economics, & lost none of his supporters over it. Trump-curious Upper Quadrant types didn't shift left. Instead, Greenwald-Tulsi types went head over heels to the far-right in hatred of liberals. /7 Then there are the Yglesias/Chait/Shor popularists. They look at the Upper Left Quadrant and think "hey if we just toned down the social liberalism then these folks would vote for a milquetoast liberal party." Yeah....no. That doesn't work, either. /8 An upper-quadrant voter who likes social security but hates LGBTQ people isn't going to vote Dem over GOP because you sidearmed trans people a little bit. A racist who wants government spending for whites only isn't going to vote Dem if you bash DEI initiatives. /9 Whether econ or social leftism overreaches sometimes is debatable on its own merits as public policy when it comes to, say, housing policy or standardized testing. But it's worthless as an *electoral* strategy for reaching the Upper Left Quadrant voter. /10 And, of course, the GOP is eating itself alive over this problem. It turns out no one actually believes in David Brooks / Burkeian conservatism. Economic conservatism was always a front for hurting the marginalized. No one wants what Paul Ryan is selling, and it shows./11 The only real way to solve the Upper Left Quadrant Problem is by gradually sorting it out of the electorate, and being economically left-populist in the mold of younger voters. Younger voters are overwhelmingly bottom left quadrant (econ & soc left). /12 Let the fash sort with the fash into the upper right. Let liberals and the left sort with each other. Leftists: stop trying to placate the fash with anti-globalism. Centrists: stop trying to be "anti-woke" or appeal to non-existent bottom-right quadrant voters. /13 The country is going to get a lot *more* polarized before things get better, and things will only get better when the AOC/Bernie/Warren-aligned under-45s who vote Dem +20 points are a bigger and bigger share of the electorate. We're not getting any more conservative with age. /14 Ultimately, there are a lot more of us than there are of them. There is no magic bullet to fixing the Fash problem. It will be with us for a while. All you can do is understand it--and then reform the anti-majoritarian structures of American democracy that empower it. /end For those asking, here is the source of the chart. I haven't seen a 2020 version, unfortunately. https://t.co/CPNfYcH36Q Me/Anc: I agree that currently there aren’t any libertarians out there (the internet in the 2000s turned out not to be representative) but there does appear to be some centrists at least according to that chart. Not a majority and significantly less than either the main Dem or R camps and less even than the Upper Left Quadrant folks but a not insignificant grouping. Also not sure we can say all ULQ folks are fascist. I’d be interested in seeing a demographic breakdown. I imagine you would find some significant racial and ethnic minorities in that quadrant. Lastly, I first heard about this vein over ten years ago: http://wordforge.net/index.php?posts/2352201/ So not exactly new. There have been arguments made that it goes at least back as far as FDR’s coalition. That the reason that Social Security originally didn’t cover farm or domestic labor is that those jobs were overwhelmingly held by blacks. Socialism for whites > socialism for all.