Democrats Consider How To Move Forward After Trump Victory

November 11, 2016 | | NPR: All Things Considered |

The election of Donald Trump has Democrats asking themselves why they lost and where they go next as a party. NPR's Ari Shapiro talks to Tamara Draut of the group Demos and Rep. Xavier Becerra, a Democrat from California.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

After Donald Trump's inauguration in January, Republicans will control the House, the Senate and the White House. So Democrats are asking where their party should go from here. We'll have several conversations about this in the weeks ahead. This afternoon, we called two people who come from different parts of the Democratic Party. Congressman Xavier Becerra of California is chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. Tamara Draut is with the progressive advocacy group Demos Action. As I spoke to them, it became clear that the area where these two disagree most is over how close their party should be to Wall Street. First, here's Draut.

TAMARA DRAUT: We need to shed any remnant of a more Wall-Street-friendly approach to the economy. And I think that's why you saw so much support for Bernie Sanders and why you have Elizabeth Warren as sort of the new leader of the Democratic Party. We need to make it clear to people that we believe the heroes of our economy are janitors and home health aides, not Wall Street CEOs. And that wasn't clear to people. We had a problem with the trade issue on the Democratic Party. We had been the party of these trade agreements that Trump was running against.

SHAPIRO: Congressman, do you agree that the Democratic Party should distance itself from Wall Street more than it has?

XAVIER BECERRA: My sense is that Democrats should be prepared to stand by the things that give Americans reassurance that we're going to fight for them. We don't want to...

SHAPIRO: Does that mean closer or farther from Wall Street?

BECERRA: Well, we - what we don't want is to drive business out of the country. And I think it's important to recognize that all of our different business sectors, whether it's the financial service sector, whether it's communications, whether it's construction, hospitality - we want to fight to have businesses start up here in America, to create jobs here.[...]