I have another op-ed in the Netherlands’ NRC newspaper, this time about the German election.
I argue that Germany’s Social Democrats have the same dilemma as the Dutch Labor Party, which suffered an historic defeat in our election in March. The party tried to appeal to both low- and high-income voters and ended up satisfying neither. Cosmopolitans switched to the liberal Democrats and Greens; working-class voters defected to the far left and the far right.
In Germany, blue-collar voters are only 17 percent of the Social Democrats’ electorate anymore. Yet the party still spends a lot of time and effort appealing to them.
It would be better off, I argue, if it focused on its middle-income supporters. They have chosen the Social Democrats to be their party, but if the Social Democrats won’t choose them they have other places to go to.