March 21, 2019

How Democrats can reach non-blue America

Sam Smith - In the last presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton offered a classic example of why Democrats often do so poorly in non-blue states. She offered this summation:
You could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables....The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that.
While she was theoretically talking about only a half of Trump supporters there was no way a Trump supporter could tell which half Clinton thought they were in.

This is not the way to win votes.

As this campaign begins, there is little evidence of Democrats finding the voice that will capture the attention of non-blue states. It is too easy in politics to please your own constituency while ignoring the swing votes that could get you into office. For example, while one can make a moral argument for reparations, the political one goes nowhere as is often the case in arguing about history instead of the present and the future. Consider, for example, that there are twice as many poor whites as there are blacks in total. How will they respond to this argument? 

Here are a few things Democrats could be emphasizing that would help them get into office:

Small business: Neither party pays much attention to small business yet these firms are central to the culture of many of non-blue states. Small business people are typically important members of local communities.

Farming: Farming may seem insignificant but agricultural states not only have serious problems, they have significant electoral votes.

Change the talk about climate change: A simple way to do this is altering the subject from the grand theory to real examples such as flooding in the center of our country. Big theories rarely are better than nearby realities. Deal with the flooding issue and folks will come to climate change in their own time.

Find cross-ethnic issues: One of the big differences between the New Deal and Great Society with today's Democratic Party politics is the relative lack of thriving economic issues.  These are among the best issuess that can being ethnic groups together.

Healthcare - The Democrats are finally getting into this in a way far more meaningful than the complex or limited Obamacare. Keep it up.

Home ownership - Younger people are shying away from buying homes because of the financial costs. In the last campaign we suggested a plan that would ease this: in case of the threat of foreclosure the federal government would have a program in which it could come in as part owner by paying part of the money owed. Then, when the house was sold, the government would get its share - not atypically a profit. 

1 comment:

Kevin Carson said...

It's actually pretty obvious who belongs in that half, because Trump's own followers made it so easy. Clinton said half of Trump's followers were "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic..," and Twitter MAGAs immediately said "Yep, that's me -- I'm a Deplorable!" When people tell you what they are, listen to them.