(Washington Insider Magazine) – The Democrats have a problem: They have run away from their core voters. And they are beginning to notice and worry.
Lefty blogger Kevin Drum noted this recently. He observes that Republicans have moved slightly to the right, but Democrats have moved way, way to the left on social issues.
Drum says he is “personally happy” about the Democrats’ move left. But he is worried, because while the Democratic Party has moved hard left, the voters it relies on to attain power haven’t.
Thus, in the 2020 election, former President Donald Trump — despite being called a white supremacist and a Hispanic-hater by all the mainstream media — picked up black and Hispanic votes.
One reason for this is that racial polarization went down, but “education polarization” went up. The Democrats are increasingly the party of the college- and graduate-school-educated white gentry class. The Republicans are increasingly the party of the working class, which includes a lot of . . . blacks and Hispanics.
Just look at the issues the Democrats are pushing: defunding the police, which hurts mostly poor and working-class neighborhoods; critical race theory, which mostly interests woke white activists (and rich-and-guilty Dem donors) but which actually sends a message of inferiority to minority youths; gender ideology, which plays less well among the more traditional and more religious working-class minorities; environmental policies that produce higher gas prices and lower employment, while pushing food prices up; open borders that drive down wages for downscale workers; and so on.
Donors and activists love this stuff. They live in neighborhoods that are mostly insulated from urban crime and disorder. Their kids will still be privileged, regardless of what theories on race are popular. Transgender issues make them feel hip and cutting-edge. Higher gas and food prices won’t affect them. And illegal immigration makes sure they don’t have to pay too much for a nannies and gardeners.
For a long time, the Democrats were able to have it both ways, pretending solidarity with the working class while promoting policies that undercut it. But they have overdone things, and now people have noticed.
The voting shift of 2020, they fear, was just the beginning.
An example is the recent Democratic Party primary in New York City, where Eric Adams triumphed over more radical opponents. In most cities Adams would be a lefty himself, but these days, simply opposing crime and disorder is enough to get you tarred as a “conservative.”
Adams lost in Manhattan, the wealthiest and whitest borough in New York. He won in all the others. His support came from the working class. As journalist Michael Tracey tweeted, “It’s so funny that an alliance of the New York Post, ethnic whites and outer-borough blacks was the winning formula for the New York City mayoral race.”
Or as Adams himself put it: “This wasn’t simply a campaign, it was a five-borough movement of working-class New Yorkers coming together for a safer, stronger, healthier city.”
A safer, stronger, healthier city — and for that matter, a safer, stronger and healthier America — is what most voters want. It’s just not what the Democrats’ activist core wants. Otherwise, the Democrats would be supporting policies that would produce that result.
Things like controlling street crime, homelessness, public defecation and drug use, etc. used to be no-brainers for politicians. How many voters, after all, are in favor of those things?
But in Mayor Bill De Blasio’s New York, and in the Democrats’ version of America generally, those things aren’t priorities. Heck, they’re not really even goals.
Voters are pushing back, in the Big Apple and across the country. Democrats are on the defensive, going so far as to try to deny that they supported things like defunding the police, or teaching critical race theory in schools. But voters aren’t that dumb.
If the GOP is smart — I know, a big if — it will run on these issues. Give the voters what they want: An idea so crazy, it just might work.