By Al Lococo
Is it possible that anyone and everyone who voted for Trump is an ignorant racist? I don’t think so. They say all universalities are false, perhaps including this one.
Clearly a very large number of those who voted for Trump are one or the other or both. But those folks alone could not have gotten him elected.
I make these remarks not to defend Trump, his rhetoric, his actions or his appointments, but to bring attention to the reasons for his winning votes that had nothing to do with Republican voters ignorance or racism. Neither is my point to deny that racism is a factor. It is simply not the only factor or the the most important factor in terms of number of votes in my opinion. That is not to say racism is not important. For those who think this upset is all about racism or mostly about racism among Trump supporters, then the upset has nothing to do with mistakes made by the Democratic party. There simply nothing that can be learned and no need for change in the Democratic party because they did everything right.
To assume ignorant racist describes the monolithic group that voted for Trump is a cop out that allows a Clinton supporter to believe all the the things they believe about the nature of our current circumstances and our future under a Trump or Clinton Presidency. Clearly this characterization of Trump supporters is an oversimplification that overlooks the very real problems in this country being ignored by both parties and given only lip service by the Democratic party.
Clinton supporters are making predictions about the future of our nation as ridiculous and unlikely as Republicans made about Obama. Obama was coming to get your guns. Obama will be the first third term president since FDR. Clinton will effectively be the third Obama term.
Actually, Obama did a pretty good job of being Bush’s third and fourth term surrogate. He signed the extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Obama signed the extension of the Bush Patriot Act after it expired. Obama signed the NDAA giving the President the power to imprison citizen “terrorists” without trial indefinitely.
The Bush policy of preemptive wars is thriving under Obama.
Obama gave us the all of the above “Clean” energy policy which gave us off shore deep water drilling, fracking, drilling and mining on federal lands and the LNG terminal. These policies resulted in almost doubling US oil production and dropping the price of gas from $4.00 to $2.00 per gallon exceeding the dreams of Bush and his cronies Gingrich and Bachmann. Both Obama and Clinton have ignored the North Dakota Access Pipeline protesters.
Obama has increased the rate of deportation over those of Bush and done nothing to eliminate the mass incarceration of blacks.
Much of the worst of what Democrats deplore about Republican policy we got under Obama and certainly would have continued under Clinton and will continue under Trump. Only the rhetoric under the Democrats would differ.
So, if Democrats assume this election was about racism and racism alone, and if they assume that if Clinton had won the election, things would be very much improved, they have missed the point. You can not field a Democratic candidate like Clinton who is a Republicrat or a Demopublican, I’m not sure which. But in either case, she is a corporatist, interventionist, elitist, plutocrat oligarch who convincingly delivers populist rhetoric. The Democrats need to field a populist, progressive, environmentalist who will deliver the policies and programs that are consistent with the rhetoric of the party.
As long as Democrats believe their Republican opposition is always and only racist and Democratic party policies and practices are always and only just, and as long as Democrats are blind to the injustice they practice and ignore, which is endemic in our criminal “justice”system and economic polcies, Democratic voters will not turn out in sufficient numbers to win elections.
As long as Democrats are indifferent to the needs of the working class, Democratic voters will not turn out in sufficient numbers to win elections.
As long as progressive and environmentalist Democratic and Independent voters perceive little difference between the candidates they have to choose from, these voters will not turn out in sufficient numbers for Democrats to win elections and Republican voters will remain vulnerable to Republican party racist scapegoating.
As long as Democrats see all Republicans as racists and candidates like Clinton as a clearly superior alternative to candidates like Trump, little attention will be given to our real problems which are:
- Bias in the media resulting from the fact that six corporations control the information that US citizens see.
- Super-delegates in the primary.
- Debates run by the two party duopoly barring third party candidates on the ballot.
- Lack of Ranked Choice voting encouraging third party voting.
Democrats need to own up to the shortcomings and lack of differentiation in policies of their candidate and failures of the process to encourage meaningful alternatives and not make their loss all about racism. Racism exists, but it is not the sole cause or even the most significant part of the cause for this upset. Democratic party policies and choice of candidate resulted in votes for Trump and lack of turnout for Clinton.
If Democrats continue to make this upset about Republican racial injustice and Republican ignorance while the Democratic party ignores the weakness and failings of their candidate and their policies, the outlook for the Democratic party and the country will continue to look grim.