Thursday, December 14, 2017

Why Doug Jones Is Smarter Than The Rude Pundit And So Many Others

I don't have any problem at all with the people who are noting who it was who voted for Doug Jones and who have been the most reliable groups of people for Democrats and that if Democrats want to inspire them to come out and vote they have to give them a reason to be enthusiastic.   Black Women in Alabama, when considered as a demographic group, voted for Doug Jones by a large percent, White Women there, when considered as a demographic group, voted for Roy Moore.   As Newsweek put it,

On average, women preferred Jones by 57 percent, according to CNN, but the breakdown differed greatly by race. Black women were a particularly important demographic for Jones’s win, turning out in big numbers in a way that was reminiscent of Democratic turnout for former President Barack Obama.

Ninety-eight percent of black women voted for Jones, while 63 percent of white women voted for Moore. About 30 percent of white voters overall chose Jones, CNN reported.

Which is certainly an important thing to consider and, as a politician, a Democrat who won a Senate seat from one of the most Republican of states* Doug Jones and those who turned out the vote for him know that better than anyone.   Charles Barkley had every right to say what he did on that count though why the websites and magazines only have pictures of him looking angry attached to it, I don't know.  It was a reasonable thing to say and I'm certain that it was already known by the guy who reportedly risked his life to bring Klan members to justice.  Clearly Black Women, Black People in general, are about the most loyal and dependable groups in the large Democratic coalition and their issues must be addressed.  Why anyone thinks that is not exactly the same interest of us all, equality under the law and in society, justice, especially criminal justice and most of all economic justice, is what led to me writing this.

When a group is asking for equality, they are making the entirely reasonable demand that they be treated like the best are treated, that isn't a "zero-sum game,"  the way it's generally presented in journalistic and pundiotic presentations of it. 

The problem of the United States has, from the start, been that various classes of rich, powerful men have rigged things so they can steal stuff from poor people.  Slavery was a legal system of slave owners stealing the products of slaves labors.  The same can be said in the wage-slavery that was never officially abolished.  That those are just variations on the same thing is how effectively chattel slavery went to a brutal model of wage-slavery in the confederate states after the slaves couldn't be bought and sold as property - that was the only real difference that emancipation made for a lot of people, a great difference but far from freeing people. 

To do that the wealthy, those who owned and own the media, used racism, other forms of local bigotry, regional resentment and derision, they had to find a way to distract groups and set them against each other so they could benefit.

It is a bad habit of thought that the left is hardly immune to.  I got the feeling that some people on the alleged left were relishing the chance to assert negative regional stereotypes so beloved of Northern snobs, especially those with college credentials.   It's certainly what you can see in what we get as a lefty pundit class, such as the self-designated "Rude Pundit,"  they do it even when they're making otherwise intelligent points.

As I've also said repeatedly, fuck the white working class. Fuck them. When their needs cross with those of the non-white working class voters you're courting, then great. And you know what? Most of those needs do cross because they are class-based. They need health care, poverty programs, jobs programs, decent education. Democrats keep wanting to pretend that racist fucknuts can be appealed to based on class. It's a comforting lie that is proven to be bullshit time and again. Roy Moore got 92% of the white vote, and that motherfucker was a wretched candidate before it was revealed he finger-fucked a 14 year-old. This country doesn't belong exclusively to white people anymore. The Republicans are fighting a desperate battle to try to maintain that white dominance. They will lose.

Apparently it didn't occur to him that Doug Jones got 30% of his votes from White Voters and that if he had been able to convince more White Voters to vote for him - INEVITABLY MANY OF THOSE PEOPLE OF THE WHITE WORKING CLASS - his security in office would be far stronger and his win far less narrow.    I listened to Steve Kornacki on election night at my brothers' and he kept noting that one of the big surprises was that districts with large college educated populations didn't do what they normally do, vote overwhelmingly for the Republican.   I don't remember people dumping on the college grads, you know, People like Us Pundits,  who voted for Trump** or Moore like in the same way they relish talking about "working class" people.

If there were some way in this century for Democratic politicians to put together a winning margin by convincing enough white voters in even the "reddest" states that their interests were the same as Black people Latinos, LGBT people to vote with the Democratic coalition, it would lead to the greatest advances in the rights of all since the last period when that was possible, in the mid-1960s.  That is something that would be the worst nightmare of oligarchs here and around the world.

It never ceases to amaze me how some of the would-be best and brightest among us think you can win elections by offending people, that you can win people over to your side by insulting and shaming them.   But such brilliance, more gratifying to snobbery than electoral success, is hardly rare on the alleged left.

But that's the difference between being a pundit-snob and a politician.   Doug Jones, if he hopes to win reelection will know that he has to increase his base, not shrink it.   He has to do that by convincing enough of the Voters of all demographics that equality means everyone gets what they need, everyone gets their due.   And it's clear that while many a lefty pundit, many a blog babbling, tweeting twit can use this in about the stupidest possible way,  which does more to endanger a Doug Jones than help him, he, as a politician who knows holding the office depends on votes, gets it.  He said so, on election night:

"I am truly, truly overwhelmed. But, you know, folks, and you have all heard me say this at one point or another in this campaign, I have always believed that the people of Alabama have more in common than to divide us."

THAT'S how to rebuild the Democratic coalition and win elections.   It's how to do it everywhere.  Yeah, I used to find the Rude Pundit funny though not much now, we agree on a lot of things but he's got little to no clue how to win elections,  pass bills, make laws and improve life.

*I read somewhere that Alabama is actually not the "reddest state" but that it's the sixth most Republican state.  You can, actually figure those kinds of things out because you can get an accurate count of party affiliation and votes (see second footnote below for context).

**  The idiocy of believing in surveys, in any of the methods of self-reporting that pretends to be social science, is that it leads people to pick and choose the results they like so to reinforce their existing prejudices.   If you love to feel superior to and hate on a group, you ignore the often quite large percentage of that group who voted with you while using an often narrow majority as reported in a survey to tar all of the members of that group.   Which is why so many snob-pundits never diss on the large percentage, often a definable majority of upper-class, college credentialed groups that vote Republican.   Those Republicans are more people like them - often going to the  same schools.

And there's more than a slight amount of class bias and cowardice in that, it's always easier to stigmatize poor people than people with money. 

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