Yesterday there was an op-ed by David Leonhardt regarding the advice by Steve Phillips that Democrats should move left, not back to the center to “attract” the white flight”. Mr. Phillips as I quoted him in Monday Morning on Tuesday, pointed out that the Democrats lost more to third parties and staying home that to Republicans. Mr Leonhardt doesn’t agree, but doesn’t present any evidence and then gives us this:
Phillips is right that the Democrats would be crazy to alienate the growing voting groups, such as millennials, Latinos andAsian-Americans, that now support the party so strongly. The answer for the party is almost surely more complex than simply moving to the right. Instead, it likely revolves around an economic message that appeals to both center and left.
But if Democrats want to return to power — not just in the White House, but in Congress and at the state level too — they need a strategy that appeals to more white voters.
Here is what bothers me with that, Leonhardt does not get that being Progress as Bernie was, does appeal to them. Progressivism is a strategy more complex than just moving right. It address the real reality of our economic world and offers solutions. But as we will seen, many are recommending just that.
Here is Nicholas Kristof explaining why we should not alienate these voters:
I understand the vehemence. Trump is a demagogue who vilifies and scapegoats refugees, Muslims, undocumented immigrants, racial minorities, who strikes me as a danger to our national security. By all means stand up to him, and point out his lies and incompetence. But let’s be careful about blanket judgments.
My hometown, Yamhill, Ore., a farming community, is Trump country, and I have many friends who voted for Trump. I think they’re profoundly wrong, but please don’t dismiss them as hateful bigots.
The glove factory closed down. The timber business slimmed. Union jobs disappeared. Good folks found themselves struggling and sometimes self-medicated with methamphetamine or heroin. Too many of my schoolmates died early; one, Stacy Lasslett, died of hypothermia while she was homeless.
This is part of a national trend: Mortality rates for white middle-aged Americans have risen, reflecting working-class “deaths of despair.” Liberals purport to champion these people, but don’t always understand them.
In Yamhill, plenty of well-meaning people were frustrated enough that they took a gamble on a silver-tongued provocateur. It wasn’t because they were “bigoted unthinking lizard brains,” but because they didn’t know where to turn and Trump spoke to their fears.
But I am with one of his readers who Tweeted, “Sorry, but if someone is supporting a racist ignoramus who wants to round up brown ppl and steal my money, I’m gonna patronize.” He wants us to understand them and forgive them for their vote as though their economic anxiety and situation somehow legitimizes voting for a “racist ignoramus,” not to mention a pathological liar, misogynist, and autocrat. If you looked the other way because you are feeling anxious you are a racist, misogynist, nativist, pining for autocracy, you are enabling it and are one. But Charles Blow gave us this, this morning and I think it sums it up:
So, then as now, economic anxiety and throbbing xenophobia were convenient shields behind which brewing racial animus could hide. Indeed, Trump’s slogan “Make American Great Again” was first used by Reagan. And yet, Democrats in 1984 were quick to look for the lessons they could learn on how to reach out to the Reagan coalition, instead of condemning it.
In the days following Reagan’s win that year, The New York Times reported: “Democratic Party leaders began yesterday what they foresee as a long and agonizing appraisal of how they can renew their appeal to the white majority in presidential elections and still hold the allegiance of minorities, the poor and others who seek federal assistance.”
Trump is rushing headlong into Muslim bans and mass deportations, wall building and Obamacare dismantling. Indeed, it feels like the campaign promises Trump is keeping have to do with cruelty and those he’s flip-flopping on have to do with character.
For instance, it is now abundantly clear that Trump had no intention whatsoever of draining the swamp in Washington. He is simply restocking it to his liking.
This is why I have no patience for liberal talk of reaching out to Trump voters. There is no more a compromise point with those who accept, promote and defend bigotry, misogyny and xenophobia than there is a designation of “almost pregnant.”
Trump is a cancer on this country and resistance is the remedy. The Trump phenomenon is devoid of compassion, and we must be closed to compromise.
Amen to that. Thank you Charles. We cannot normalize or legitmize what was done in the name of economic pain or we too enable racists, nativists, xenophopes, anti-intellectualism, and just flat ignorance.