My last blog quoted Jim Messina, President Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, on Trump’s tweets. There’s another point in Messina’s article that deserves attention:
“…(A) debate has developed within some of the Democratic Party about whether we should focus on the white working-class voters or what pollsters call the ‘rising American electorate,’ which is usually defined as Millennials plus people of color and unmarried women. And while I hope the recent election—in which Democrats rode a cresting tsunami of enthusiasm and engagement into office from coast to coast—will quell this debate, I want to reiterate that Democrats don’t need to adopt an either/or strategy, treating support from each group as though it’s mutually exclusive. Barack Obama won two presidential elections because he focused on both, and going forward, Democrats would be wise to remember the lesson of his example.”
I want to agree with Messina. After all, Jim Hunt won four races for Governor by going after a broad spectrum of voters. In North Carolina, it’s hard to see how Democrats become a majority party if they write off big chunks of voters. And, yes, Obama did focus on both groups in both his winning campaigns.
Is it possible that the very fact that Obama was President – or, more to the point, the first black President – erected an impenetrable wall (pardon the word) between Democrats and vast swathes of white voters?
Is it possible that what moves white working-class voters isn’t “economic anxiety” or “anger at the system,” but pure and simple, black and white: race?
Here’s a long article that will give you food for thought as you digest your Thanksgiving feast this week, “The Nationalist’s Delusion” by Adam Serwer in The Atlantic. He examines whether racism was the driving force behind Trump’s appeal – and concludes:
“These supporters will not change their minds, because this is what they always wanted: a president who embodies the rage they feel toward those they hate and fear, while reassuring them that that rage is nothing to be ashamed of.”
Chew on that.