The Democrats Failed White Voters
Beating up on white women won’t change that.
(/sites/default/files/uploads/2014/11/wendy.jpg)The left isn’t known for being a good loser. The Democrats had counted on women to be their ace in the hole in the election. Now lefty media outlets are lashing out at women.
“White women didn’t just fail Wendy Davis — they failed the rest of Texas,” Salon bellows. That would be the rest of Texas which also voted against Davis. “Married white women… failed Wendy Davis,” another lefty site declares.
It never occurs to the left that Wendy Davis might have failed white women and that they might have rejected her because she had nothing to actually offer them.
In the left’s warped tyranny of ideology, their politicians don’t fail the people. The people fail them. Obama and Davis are always right. It’s up to the people to prove that they’re good enough for a Barack Obama or a Wendy Davis. If they are, the media will pat them on the head for voting the right way. If they aren’t, they’ll be blamed for thinking the wrong way and failing their rightful rulers.
East German authorities had warned that the government had “lost confidence in the people”. Now that white voters have lost confidence in the Democratic Party, the Party is announcing that they failed it.
The left doesn’t listen to people. It tells them what to think. If they don’t agree, then they have failed it.
White women are the latest punching bag for the Democratic Party’s humiliating defeat even though the previous election should have been a warning sign that even the white voters that the left treats as its property were drifting away. Romney had won white women in every age group and the Jewish vote had dropped. If the Dems couldn’t rely on the friendlier portions of the white vote, they were in trouble.
White voters felt that Obama and his party had failed them. Exit polls showed no confidence in the future. Instead of trying to connect with them, the Democratic Party doubled down on identity politics sloganeering. Obama had won anyway which proved that white voters didn’t matter. Not when a sizable turnout and a disproportionate voting tilt by minority voters could politically erase a more moderate tilt among white voters. It didn’t matter if you were losing the white vote by 12 percent if you were winning the black vote by 90 percent. The model had worked for Obama, but it didn’t work for his party.
The shift in the white vote proved to be politically deadly. The 90⁄12 formula depended on a large minority turnout and a weak white turnout. It also assumed that there wouldn’t be a bigger and deeper shift among white voters.
What happened had nothing to do with a black president. It had to do with using community organizing techniques to win elections. The same racial polarization that brought in black voters also alienated white voters. While the Democrats were selling a narrative of Republican extinction, they were the ones whose extremist identity politics were forcing them into a narrow demographic corner.
Obama won by turning out his base and turning off what used to be his party’s base. The more he committed to racial polarization, the weaker his position with white voters became.
The working class white voter had come to be ignored and disparaged by a Democratic Party that envisioned a new electoral politics based on demographic change and welfare voters coming out to protect their privileges and challenge the “disrespect for our president”. The new slogans of the Democratic Party spoke to a rainbow coalition culture of angry minorities and Sandra Flukes who were constantly demanding things while the Democratic Party’s original base was left by the side of the road.
Working class white voters did not shut out Democrats. The Democrats shut them out.
The Democrats took their positions, such as opposition to coal or support for gun control, as a given and no longer even acknowledged the existence of voters who disagreed. The results were inevitable.
There are now more black Republicans in Congress than there are white Democrats from the Deep South. The War on Coal may have been won at the policy level by the EPA, but the blowback has forced Democrats out of coal country.
In a profound admission of political failure, Democratic consultants are dropping quotes about learning to talk to white voters again. Should a mostly white party really have that much trouble talking to white people? But the white people they’re talking about don’t have much in common with their political establishment of Ivy League grads obsessed with diversity for whom “white people” is a contemptuous punchline. Diversity devalued the existence of white people. Elitist smugness shut out the working class.
The white women who “failed” Wendy Davis didn’t have much in common with her, despite a fictionalized biography of struggle, or with her message which centered on an ideological dog whistle that penetrated loudly and shrilly in Berkeley or Portland, but fell flat in much of Texas.
Voting is as cultural as it is political. Anti-abortion is progressive code for Christian fundamentalist. To the shock of a lot of Blue State media types, this code not only doesn’t work that well in a Red State, but its covert political payload isn’t a bad thing in a place where religion is an organizing principle for communities in the way that virtual fandoms, hobbies and progressive politics can be in a Blue State.
Democratic political consultants didn’t ask themselves why they thought that declaring a Blue State culture war in a Red State was supposed to be a winning formula. Or why women in Colorado or Texas would want to put a lefty culture war pitched in shrill tones ahead of their own economic concerns.
And it’s the economy that is still the issue.
White women in Texas “failed” Wendy Davis because they weren’t interested in an Emily’s List sideshow of pink sneakers, they wanted economic security. White voters failed the Democrats because they weren’t interested in their menu of culture wars. What they wanted was the return of a better life.
And a better life is the one thing that Democrats can’t deliver as affordable health care turned out to be very expensive and every year’s bold new jobs program has consisted of worthless pork.
The Republican Party’s formula for a majority-minority party looks better now than the Democratic Party’s formula for a minority-majority party. Without Obama on the ballot, the Democrats have to confront the possibility that they might be caught without minority turnout or white voters. And that leaves them with nothing. Nothing is what they ended up with in this election.
White voters didn’t fail the Democrats. The Democrats failed white voters.
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