Coalition for a Democratic Majority

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The Coalition for a Democratic Majority (CDM) was a centrist faction, active in the 1970s within the Democratic Party of the United States.

The CDM was formed in December 1972, after the landslide victory of Republican Richard Nixon over Democrat George McGovern in the 1972 presidential election,[1][2] by inspiration from Henry M. Jackson,[3][4] junior United States Senator from Washington. Jackson was a Cold War liberal, an anti-Communist, a supporter of high military spending and a hard line against the Soviet Union, especially on human rights' issues, but also a strong supporter of the welfare state, social programs and labor unions.[5] Despite the CDM's substantial membership and support, Jackson, who had run also in 1972, came fifth in 1976 Democratic presidential primaries (during which he came first in Massachusetts and his home state, and second in Florida and Pennsylvania) and failed to win the Democratic nomination, which went to Jimmy Carter.

The CDM received great support from the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO) and, as later groups (as the Democratic Leadership Council and the New Democrat Network), argued that, in order to win, the Democrats should return to a more centrist, big tent stance.[6] The CDM's manifesto was indeed titled "Come Home, Democrats" and declared that "The "New Politics" has failed".[7] The CDM also attracted members from the Social Democrats, USA (SDUSA), the moderate wing of the Socialist Party of America (SPA),[8][9][10] and, chiefly, the SPA's youth wing, the Young People's Socialist League (YPSL).[11][12][13]

Leading CDM members included Les Aspin, Daniel Bell, Lloyd Bentsen, Peter Berger, David Boren, Midge Decter, Tom Foley, Nathan Glazer, Ernest Hollings, Hubert Humphrey, Samuel Huntington, Daniel Inouye, Max Kampelman, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Charles Krauthammer, Irving Kristol, Seymour Martin Lipset, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Joshua Muravchik, Michael Novak, Sam Nunn, Richard Perle, Richard Pipes, Norman Podhoretz, Bill Richardson, Chuck Robb, Eugene Rostow, Ben Wattenberg, Paul Wolfowitz, James Woolsey and Jim Wright.[14][15][16][17] Many of these were later associated with neoconservatism.[18] Some, including Aspin, Bentsen, Nunn, Richardson, Robb and Woolsey, participated in the Democratic Leadership Council and/or Bill Clinton's administration, while several others, including Kirkpatrick, Krauthammer, Kristol, Muravchik, Novak, Perle, Pipes, Podhoretz and Wolfowitz, eventually became Republicans and/or served under Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush.

See also


  1. Jacob Heilbrunn, They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons, Doubleday, 2008, p.114.
  3. Robert Gordon Kaufman (2000). Henry M. Jackson: A Life in Politics. University of Washington Press. p. 312. ISBN 978-0-295-80222-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Kenneth R. Timmerman (2002). Shakedown: Exposing the Real Jesse Jackson. Regnery Publishing, Incorporated, An Eagle Publishing Company. p. 187. ISBN 978-1-62157-102-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Kit Oldham, "Cyberpedia Library: Jackson, Henry M. 'Scoop' (1912–1983): Essay 5516", (The Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History), August 19, 2003, accessed May 17, 2007.
  8. Andrew Battista (2008). The Revival of Labor Liberalism. University of Illinois Press. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-252-03232-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Jack Ross (2015). The Socialist Party of America: A Complete History. University of Nebraska Press. p. 68. ISBN 978-1-61234-750-9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Craig Unger (2007). The Fall of the House of Bush: The Untold Story of How a Band of True Believers Seized the Executive Branch, Started the Iraq War, and Still Imperils America's Future. Simon and Schuster. p. 48. ISBN 978-1-4165-5359-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Sara Diamond (1995). Roads to Dominion: Right-wing Movements and Political Power in the United States. Guilford Press. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-89862-864-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. U S Congress (January 2010). Congressional Record, V. 151, PT. 17, October 7 to 26, 2005. Government Printing Office. p. 23439. ISBN 978-0-16-084825-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Oldham, Kit (August 19, 2003). "Jackson, Henry M. "Scoop"".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>