George Packer, a political analyst at the Atlantic, argues in the latest issue that, confronting a Republican Party committed to an authoritarian quasi-democracy, defenders of democracy need “a broad alliance of the left and the center-right.”

He has a point, but only up to a point. Yes, defending democracy is more important than battles between progressives and centrists within the Democratic Party. Both factions need to recognize that they can only win nationally when they’re working together. They need to avoid what could sink the Republicans: “primarying” people in their own party with whom they disagree.

John Peeler is a retired Professor of Political Science and Latin American Studies at Bucknell.

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