The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Steve Phillips on American democracy and midterm elections

Steve Phillips joins Washington Post Live on Monday, Sept. 26. (Video: The Washington Post)

The country’s changing demographics and a growing national consciousness about racial inequality have shifted the political landscape. Join associate editor Jonathan Capehart for a conversation with Steve Phillips, author of “How We Win the Civil War,” about the state of American democracy and why he says a “race-conscious” lens is key to understanding the upcoming midterm elections.

Click here for transcript


“The failure to understand and invest and lean into and lift up the leaders and move resources to the groups trying to get people of color to the polls will result in the demography not transforming elections.” - Steve Phillips (Video: Washington Post Live)
“We are still engaged in a fundamental battle in this country over ‘is this going to be primarily a White country or is it going to be a multiracial democracy?’ And that’s largely how elections play themselves out. So, the failure of Democrats and progressives is to define the race in those terms.” - Steve Phillips (Video: Washington Post Live)
“On Jan. 6, you had people literally trying to stop democracy… We had a chance to choose between democracy and Whiteness and a whole lot of people did choose Whiteness… and still want the man that is a personification of that to lead this nation.” - Steve Phillips (Video: Washington Post Live)
“This movement to define this country as a White nation literally goes back to the Civil War and it continues up to this day, and if it’s not Trump, somebody else will be championing that fight in 2024 and beyond.” - Steve Phillips (Video: Washington Post Live)

Steve Phillips

Founder, Democracy in Color

Author, “How We Win the Civil War”