After getting trounced in the election, particularly among white working-class voters, the Democratic Party is beginning to openly reconsider their recent strategy to focus almost exclusively on minorities. Some in the party are starting to (finally) realize that their reliance on identity politics has come with a staggering price tag.
In comments made this week, Sen. Bernie Sanders said that the Democratic Party message had to consist of something deeper than the “diversity” of its candidates.
“It is not good enough for somebody to say, ‘I’m a woman, vote for me.’ That is not good enough,” Sanders said. “What we need is a woman who has the guts to stand up to Wall Street, to the insurance companies, to the drug companies, to the fossil fuel industries.”
Meanwhile, of course, Sanders is promoting a black Muslim for DNC chairman, so we’ll see how seriously these ideas take root in the party. The hilarious thing is that Sanders isn’t even a Democrat…
And all of these arguments have to be taken with a grain of salt, especially when you have Democrats – including the ones who masquerade as reporters – vilifying all of Trump’s cabinet appointments as racists, warning of a surge in hate crimes, spotlighting a roomful of 30 white nationalists and pretending it says something about the state of the country, etc., etc. In many ways, they seem more intent on dividing the country by race than ever before.
You also have the Democrats who are pushing back on the counter-narrative rising within the party. Former Obama administration employee Lis Smith told the Washington Times that identity politics had nothing to do with Hillary Clinton’s defeat.
“Democrats are trying to say that we spend too much time talking to Hispanics and African-Americans than we do white working class voters. That isn’t true,” said Smith. “A lot of Democrats are taking the wrong lessons from this election. Democrats have shown for years that they can walk and chew gum at the same time, and we do not face an either/or choice between speaking to the diverse nature of our party and to the white working class.”
If this kind of denial wins the day, Democrats will go on, having learned nothing from this historic upset. Just biding their time, waiting for the demographics to turn unstoppably in their favor.
Of course, if Trump has a successful presidency, Democrats may find their grip on America’s minorities slipping away as well.