February 21, 2017

Tip to Democrats: Stop trashing white voters

Sam Smith - A lot of liberal rhetoric these days makes the white vote seem hopelessly racist and right wing. This is a masochistic view not based on facts. For example after Obama's second election, NBC reported, "Obama, in his first election, won 43% of the white vote, the second-highest number for a Democrat since Carter. His 39% in 2012 puts him further down the list of Democrats in the last 10 elections, but only slightly below the average 40.6% share for Democrats through the years."

 And Steve Philips argues in the NY Times, "If Democrats had stemmed the defections of white voters to the Libertarian or Green Parties, they would have won Michigan and Wisconsin, and had they also inspired African-Americans in Pennsylvania, Mrs. Clinton would be president."

Where Philips is dead wrong, however, is when he says, "If progressive whites are defecting because they are uninspired by Democrats, moving further to the right will only deepen their disillusionment."

Seeking support from middle and lower class whites doesn't mean moving to the right; it means rediscovering the economic issues that built the New Deal and Great Society, issues that not only help these whites but blacks and latinos and everyone else.

Talking about "white privilege," for example,  is not likely to turn a working class white towards the Democrats, but dealing with cross-cultural economic issues can.

A handy tool: go after the bad guys, not the people they fool. 

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