Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Criticizing Democrats in 1980


New Deal Demoncrat - 1980's "The Changing of the Guard". Wherein he argues that the Democratic Party's turn away from the working class was evident even back in 1980. It's a good read. Here's his conclusion:

Even now, two generations later, as we have seen that when you take economic equity for granted it goes away, Chuck Schumer in 2016 and Mark Penn this year have continued to laud a strategy grasping for suburban Republicans and eschewing the traditional Democratic urban working class. As it turned out, bill Clinton had the priorities of voters fundamentally wrong: social conservatism was categorically more important to a critical mass of (especially white Southern) voters than economic conservatism.

But the ideology that Bill Black spoke of in June was already flowering 40 years ago -- the turning away from traditional Democratic power centers, and from broad government programs anchored in economic populism, in favor of social issues and a commitment to lower taxation and more efficient fiscal prudence -- espoused by a group that grew up in the post-war middle class suburbs and sought to appeal to those suburbanites first and foremost, taking for granted that the broad prosperity that those programs forstered would continue.

I'd add two things though.

The Republicans have followed a long strategy of changing the narrative for the working class/rural/southern Conservative voter. Firstly, they got involved in swinging Christian fundamentalism hard-right, to the point that now apparently American Jesus believes in hating black people and letting poor people suffer.

Secondly, through the Mont Pelerin Society, the right wing has worked tirelessly to brainwash people into thinking that radical right-wing policy is supported by economic theory and brings wealth to all, and that it's not even remotely a trojan horse used to reassign more and more wealth to the kleptocratic right-wing elite.

The Democrats seem to have not bothered trying to speak to the rural, conservative, working class voter, or to address the predominant narrative in his political stance in any way, for over 30 years now. It's as if they gave up on the south after Carter.

And maybe that's because American progressivism has always known that rural, conservative voters are susceptible to the most odious forms of populism, and they want to stay above populist manipulation.

Well, guess what? You gotta do it if you want to accomplish something.


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