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I'm confused by this passage:

Roosevelt revolutionized the art of political campaigning, revitalized the Democratic party, and created a new national majority that included those previously cast aside.

Could someone please do me a favour to explain the phrase in bold? In particular, can you explain how one could "create" a majority? What does the phrase "a new national majority" exactly mean?

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  • In this case, a majority means a majority of opinion. After Roosevelt acted, an opinion or set of opinions was held by a majority of US citizens; that was not the case before he acted. Roosevelt created [a situation where] a majority [of US citizens] [held a specific set of political/social/ethical beliefs]. Part of the people who now held these beliefs, who formed part of this majority of opinion, were people who had been socially disadvantaged prior to the shift. That is, they had been disenfranchised by the prior majority.
    – Dan Bron
    Jul 22, 2015 at 13:51
  • @Dan Bron Thank you for your reasonable explanations. But the word "cast" that follows is highly likely to mean "cast a vote", so the word "majority" means a majority of votes for Roosevelt. Do you agree on it? :)
    – Jarl
    Jul 22, 2015 at 14:16
  • Jarl: nope, that "cast" is part of the phrasal verb "cast aside", which means "discarded" or "thrown out". The broader context is "those cast aside", where "those" is a set of people, and thus "those cast aside" means "those [people] [previous society had] [disenfranchised]". That's what I meant by the final two sentences in my previous comment: the socially disadvantaged, who had been disenfranchised by the prior majority now formed part of Roosevelt's new majority. Get it?
    – Dan Bron
    Jul 22, 2015 at 14:19
  • @Dan Bron So please let me paraphrase the sentence. Could you please help me check it if it is right?
    – Jarl
    Jul 22, 2015 at 14:34
  • Jarl: Yes, that's right, but isn't necessarily the whole story. Roosevelt's new majority definitely included those people who were not previously accepted, but there may have been more to it than that. In other words: there's more than one way to create a new majority; if there were enough not-accepted people to overrule the accepted-people, then organizing them would be sufficient. But that's not usually the case, so in addition to organizing the not-accepted people, he may have also changed the mind of some, or many, accepted people.
    – Dan Bron
    Jul 22, 2015 at 15:10

2 Answers 2

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I think it means that he established, through his policies, a constituency of support that he would in future be able to rely upon to provide a national majority.

One way this can be done is by appealing to voters who hitherto have never voted - the poor etc. Another way is to capture the centre ground, so that people who had previously voted for your opponents come across. The quintessential example of this was Tony Blair, who reformed the Labour Party in Britain so that it would no longer appeal just to trade unionists, intellectuals, and the marginalised, but to many who occupied the prosperous centre-ground of British society. The result was that in 1997 he won a stunning victory - with a majority of over 160 seats in the House of Commons. He repeated this in 2001, and to a lesser degree in 2005. Blair created a new national majority.

I am not as familiar with Roosevelt's success in 1932 - but I am supposing that it was achieved by appealing both to previous non-voters, as well as to the centre-ground. But from wherever the majority came it won him 4 presidential elections.

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  • Oh, thanks a lot for your informative explanations. I think you are quite right. So could I just interpret the phrase "to create a new national majority" as "to win once again in the presidential election"?
    – Jarl
    Jul 22, 2015 at 15:20
  • @Jarl No, you can't interpret it that way. It is entirely possible for someone to "create a new national majority" -- that is, change the opinions of a majority of the people of a nation -- and still fail to win an election, or in fact not be a political candidate at all. For example, Martin Luther King, Jr. was an influential figure and you could argue he changed the views of the American majority (or at least heavily influenced those changes), but he never ran for or held public office. Please separate the idea of "create a national majority" from voting/elections in your mind.
    – Dan Bron
    Jul 22, 2015 at 15:30
  • (With that said, in this case, you're right that by changing the opinion of a majority of people in the US, Roosevelt was able to win the presidency, but the relationship is causal, not identity.)
    – Dan Bron
    Jul 22, 2015 at 15:31
  • @WS2 I wish to thank you wholeheartedly for your patience. It's been a great help! :)
    – Jarl
    Jul 22, 2015 at 15:39
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Here Rooselvelt revolutionized and revived democratic party means you must be knowing the meaning of democracy where equality and representative elected by people with majority of people vote so He (Rooselvelt) included cast which was aside previously and made a new national majority.

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  • Good job! Thank you very much. You have put it quite easy to be understood. I didn't take much heed of the word "cast", which can mean "cast a vote".
    – Jarl
    Jul 22, 2015 at 14:10

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