What’s wrong with the Democrats? Media bias, inequality and the rise of Donald Trump – co-authored with Prof. Robert M Entman
In this book we document how over several decades a failure by The Democratic Party to fully deliver policies that would halt rising economic inequality, was reinforced by a growing inability to communicate these policies among key communities. Within a context of mainstream media bias and Republican communicative strength, we show how this allowed the rising perception of Democrats’ ‘distance’ from working class America. In 2016 Donald Trump exploited this skilfully using right-wing populism to seize the presidency and expose a divided America. We illustrate the major communication failures that led to The Democrats’ catastrophic loss in 2016, failures that must be addressed if they are to build a unifying identity and effectively communicate progressive economic policies to the working class and middle class American voters that most benefit from them. Democrats need to close the gap with their formidable Republican opponents – to aid this we propose a powerful new communication strategy that will enable them to secure dominance over the GOP and deliver a truly progressive outcome in 2020.
Analysis of key areas of debate during the elections from 2000 until 2016 using content analysis; Audience research; Interviews from the 2016 Democratic campaign including with leading politicians, campaign officials and grassroots activists.