Joxam wrote:I haven't seen one person on the minority left who hasn't blamed working class white democrats for failing to show up to vote at the expense of people of color and the LGBTQ community and to contrast that mainstream liberal news is talking pretty consistently about how poor white people think the Democrats spent too much time worried about minority and LGBTQ issues and not their issues (money).
And while I guess technically both sides agree what the issue is (poor white democratic turn out) I think they both ascribe to radically different ideas for what to do about it.
I think the only correct answer is you have to do both
In the primaries, we had one candidate who appealed to working-class whites but not minorities, and one who appealed to minorities but not working-class whites. I think the Democrats need a candidate who can do both.
The good news is, they're not mutually exclusive; it's not a zero-sum game. You can absolutely
be an economic populist and
support minority rights.
The question is, who the fuck's it gonna be?
There aren't a lot of good names jumping out at me as candidates for '20.
If Michelle Obama ran, I think she'd win in a walk. But she sure doesn't look like she's planning to.
Who else is there? I think Biden*, Sanders, and Warren could all earn some blue-collar cred (and take the next four years to shore up their appeal with minority voters), but they're not exactly fresh faces; Warren's the youngest of the three and she'll be 71 years old in 2020. (Granted, Trump will be 74 -- though we don't even know for sure he'll be the Republican nominee.)
We've talked about Sanders's disconnect from minority voters before; my read is that where he fucked up was his inability to shut up about Wall Street for five minutes. In his early confrontations with BLM protesters, he made some serious misstakes and missteps; when people are worried about being murdered by the police, the appropriate response is not
to talk about increasing taxes on the big banks. Yes, racism and classism are
inextricably intertwined, but abstract, long-term economic solutions are no comfort to people who have immediate, concrete fear for their personal safety, and their families', and their friends'.
And "Look, I've been on your side for decades; I marched with Dr. King" is privileged white guy defensiveness; while I respect the hell out of Sanders's participation in the protests in the 1960's, it's not relevant to the question of what he's going to do right now
to deal with racial injustice.
On the plus side, it looks to me, at least, like he's learned his lesson and started speaking more concretely about racial injustice. I don't know how good a shot he'd have if he ran again in '20 (again, dude is old
), but he's got the potential to be a powerful voice in the Senate.
Who am I missing? There've gotta
be some rising stars in the Democratic Party who were born after
the Truman Administration, right?
And, granted, it's four years out and there's plenty of time for surprises; nobody in '12 was saying Trump would be the nominee. But on the other hand, Bush, Gore, Kerry, McCain, Romney, Clinton, and even Obama were pretty predictable choices four years before their respective contests.
Hm -- what about Gillibrand? I think she'll need to move to the left on economic policy if she's going to appeal to the white working class, but she's already done a pretty credible job of moving to the left on social policy. She might be someone to keep an eye on.
* Biden's actual economic positions
are neoliberal as fuck, but politics is about perception, not reality. The image of Trump as a "blue-collar billionaire" is complete horseshit, but a lot of people eat it right up. Biden himself has done a very good job of maintaining a relatable, down-to-earth lifestyle, and I think that's a lot more important to public perception than the details of his policies.