an organized faction within the Democratic Party that emerged after the 1988 presidential election. The Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) is their central institution. They are identified with center-right social/cultural positions on political issues and neo-liberal fiscal issues.
- Democratic Leadership Council (DLC)
The Democratic Party became a liberal party largely through the "New Deal" policies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the Great Depression. Before FDR, "laissez-faire" or "free-market" policies were the only policies acceptable to America's ruling elites. FDR's New Deal policies used government spending power to create jobs for the masses of unemployed, and used payroll taxes to provide retirement security through Social Security. FDR also created regulatory agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to avoid another financial crisis.
FDR's liberal policies were supported by Democratic and Republican administrations until Ronald Reagan began a conservative counterattack against FDR's policies in 1981. After 8 years of Reaganism, conservative Democrats began embracing the Reaganite assault on liberalism, and called themselves "New Democrats" to distinguish themselves from traditional FDR-inspired liberals. These "New Democrats" drew support from large corporations that wanted a return to "laissez-faire" policies to get out from under regulations.