Zakaria: 'Working-Class Whites' Vote On Emotion, Not Policy

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign did not fail as a result of its subscription to unpopular left-wing policies, said left-wing CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Sunday’s GPS. As is his custom, his introductory monologue was a reading of his weekly column at left-wing news outlet The Washington Post.

Despite declaring Hillary Clinton’s victory as inevitable on October 16 (“Let’s be clear. Donald Trump will lose the election.”), Zakaria now claims to understand President-elect Donald Trump’s appeal. He also now claims to know what Clinton could have done to win the presidency.

American voters aren’t driven by policy, said Zakaria, but by emotion:

“Most people don’t vote on the basis of policies… Voters don’t choose between politicians based on policy stances; rather, voters appear to adopt the policies that their favorite politicians prefer. And how do voters pick their favorite politicians? It is a gut decision that is more emotional than rational. Mostly it hinges on whether they identify with a politician in the social and psychological senses.”

Zakaria said “progressive” - a left-wing term coined for the purpose of rebranding socialist and communist ideology - policies were inherently desired by a plurality of Americans:
“The problem for the Democratic Party is not that its policies aren’t progressive or populist enough. They are already progressive and are substantially more populist than the Republican Party’s on almost every dimension. And yet, over the past decade, Republicans have swept through statehouses, governors’ mansions, Congress and now the White House. Democrats need to understand not just the Trump victory but that broader wave.”
Clinton could have won the election, said Zakaria, had she focused more on her upbringing to send a “subliminal message to working-class whites:”

“Hillary Clinton’s campaign, for instance, should have been centered around one simple theme: that she grew up in a town outside Chicago and lived in Arkansas for two decades. The subliminal message to working-class whites would have been “I know you. I am you.” It was the theme of her husband’s speech introducing her at the Democratic convention, and Bill Clinton’s success has a lot to do with the fact that, brilliant as he is, he can always remind those voters that he knows them. Once reassured, they are then open to his policy ideas.

With these insights in mind, on the campaign trail, perhaps Clinton and the Democrats should have rallied not with Beyonce and Jay Z but rather with George Strait. And if you don’t know who he is, that’s part of the problem.”

Watch the segment below:

On October 16, Zakaria forecast what he said was Clinton's inevitable presidency. He said, "Let's be clear. Donald Trump will lose the election."

On November 13, Zakaria claimed that Trump’s electoral win was primarily a function of anti-black "racism" he alleged to be widespread among white Republican voters. White voters' support for Trump, he said on the Sunday after the election, was evidence of his allegation (no such analysis was provided to explain widespread black support for President Barack Obama or the broader Democrat Party):

"But there is also another sin that was highlighted in this election: racism. I know this makes many uncomfortable, but hear me out. Donald Trump won among whites without a college degree by a staggering 39 points according to exit polls. But he won those with a college education by 4 points, as well. He won working class whites but also middle class whites. And here is the key point: Trump is not unusual. Right-wing populism is on the rise across a variety of Western countries. It is rising in countries in Northern Europe has been robust. It is rising in countries like Germany, where manufacturing jobs have stayed very strong. In France, where the state provides many protections for the working class."

Zakaria neglects to consider that Americans - particularly those he describes as “working-class whites” - take policy differences into consideration when casting their votes. He also neglects to consider the relationship between political principles and emotions, opting instead to cast his political detractors as simple-minded and ignorant in the realm of politics.
David Horowitz expresses a related view, in the sense that he advises the right not to overlook the importance of imagistics, symbolism, and emotion.
See Howoritz’s advice to Republicans below.

Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter.

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