Democrats remain optimistic about their chances for retaking the House of Representatives in November’s mid-term elections. The party’s successes in last week’s California primary election have buoyed their hopes further.

“But they should take note of the bigger picture when it comes to left-right politics these days,” warns Washington Post columnist Fareed Zakaria.

In his June 7 column, Zakaria notes that in the decade since 2008’s global financial crisis — precipitated largely by unchecked excesses in the private sector — “the parties that have been punished are largely on the left, and those rewarded are largely on the right.”

Today’s Issues: Race, Religion, Gender, Identity

Zakaria points to three factors that have propelled conservatives in recent years: personality, economic shifts and, most prominently, the expansion of identity politics.

“People today are moved by issues of race, religion, ethnicity, gender and identity,” Zakaria says. As a result, he notes, the left’s celebration of diversity has triggered a backlash among an older, whiter population.

Hope Is a Hard Sell

While the message of Democrats has long been focused on a hopeful vision of social justice, inclusion and prosperity for all, Zakaria says that optimism is in short supply today.

“(W)hen a large part of the public is fearful and pessimistic — and nostalgic for a world gone by — offering hope become a hard sell.”

You can read Zakaria’s latest column, The Democrats are Still in 2018 Trouble, at The Washington Post.

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