The Democratic National Committee has a plan to win back the presidency in 2020: alienate every white voter they can find. This strategy is based on Barack Obama’s tried-and-true coalition strategy in 2012. It ignores the fact that Obama’s coalition is not replicable – that it depends on the candidate. It ignores the fact that racially polarizing the electorate for the sake of winning elections doesn’t merely make you less likely to win elections, it actually destroys the social fabric at the same time.
But hell if the Democrats won’t double down on it anyway.
On Monday night, as reported by Grabien, the various candidates for Democratic National Committee chair did a townhall event with MSNBC’s Joy Ann Reid, who once declared that the slogan “Make America Great Again” was racist. There, the candidates competed for the honor of demonstrating who could disparage white people the most. Idaho Democratic Party executive director Sally Boynton Brown, a white lady, made a strong early move: Democrats, she said, must “train” Americans “how to be sensitive and how to shut their mouths if they are white.” She added, “I’m a white woman, I don’t get [what it’s like to be black]….My job is to listen and be a voice and shut other white people down when they want to interrupt. This is life and death….I need schooling so I can go school the other white people.”
This strong play was quickly countered by Fox News analyst Jehmu Green, who said that Democrats did a “piss poor, pathetic job” of reaching out to minority voters, despite Democrats’ continuous pandering to Black Lives Matter and repeated attempts by Hillary Clinton to impute racial bias to whites exclusively. Non-white consultants, Green stated, “need to get the same resources that the white consultants have gotten.”
New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman Raymond Buckley then told a sob story about how his black niece feared living in America under Donald Trump. He concluded, “That fear is all across the country. It’s even in rural new Hampshire. So when people say black lives matter, you are damn right they matter.”
All candidates said they would never work with Trump.
If this is how Democrats hope to reach those white working class voters they lost in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, they’ve got to be out of their minds. But they don’t care about those voters. They believe that demographics will simply shift voters in their direction as white voters represent a shrinking percentage of the voting base. As I wrote in December:
Democrats believe that demographics are destiny. As good identity politics ideologues, they think that the increasing number of Hispanic voters will guarantee them a leg up in future elections (Hispanics could represent upwards of 15 percent of the vote in 2020); they point out that millenials, who voted 55 percent for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and 60 percent for Barack Obama in 2012, will represent 34 percent of the electorate by 2020, while Baby Boomers, who will represent just 28 percent of the electorate by 2020, voted 53 percent for Donald Trump. For Democrats, the key to electoral victory resides in continuing to drive a wedge deeper between white voters and minority voters, between young and old.
This is why Barack Obama won’t leave the scene. He’ll stick around to ensure that racial politics continues to remain front and center, even as President Trump does his best to reach across racial boundaries. Trump’s team is smart enough to recognize that Trump will have to do better among minorities to win re-election, and he’s actively seeking their support. That could shift the Democrats’ strategy on its head as those who buy polarization become a smaller and smaller core. But the Democrats will certainly continue to up the racial ante in order to prevent any semblance of American unity from threatening their path to power.