The United States is fairly unique in its electorate. Most progressive countries are overwhelmingly white, so there are certain issues that might not be as personal to most progressive voters in those countries. Here in America, next year will be the first year in which there will be more non-white 18-year-old voters than white 18-year-old voters. That demographic shift will continue for another couple of decades until white people are in the minority. As a party, staving off that inevitability seems to be the top priority of Republicans, which is why they have instituted draconian immigration laws, why there is so much gerrymandering and voter suppression, and why they want to rig the census with the citizenship question. The Republican reign is coming to an end — it may not happen with Trump, but thanks to population trends, it’s only a matter of time.
For the time being, however, it’s fairly easy to unify the Republican base. They’re white people trying to maintain their grip on power in the United States. The Democratic Party, meanwhile, is divided into different constituencies, but chief among them is 1) opposition to a Republican system where the nation’s wealth is concentrated in the one percent, and 2) opposition to racism. But the people who want access to health care and no college debt have different problems from the people who earn less, have less opportunity, are imprisoned at higher rates, and are often killed because of the color of their skin. There’s crossover, for sure, but a lot of Black people in Alabama or Arkansas are less worried about college tuition and more worried about criminal reform, being able to vote, and f**king white supremacy.
Obviously, we want the Democratic Party to address all of those issues, but the voters themselves have different priorities. White progressives? We want a positive vision for the future, we want no student debt, access to healthcare for all, real income redistribution, more affordable childcare, the Green New Deal. A lot of people of color? They just want to vote, they don’t want to go to prison, and they don’t want to get shot for talking on their cell phones in the backyard. In other words? White progressives want Bernie or Liz! A lot of Black people? They just want Trump the f**k out of the White House.
There are a lot of Black people in the South. Historically, Black Voters in the South do not matter in Presidential elections because the Electoral college renders their vote meaningless. But they matter a lot in the Democratic primary. If you want to win the Democratic nomination, you need to win the South, and if you want to win the South as a Democrat, you need to win the Black vote, and if you want to win the Black vote in the South, you have to appeal to voters who are less interested in Medicare for All and more interested in combatting white supremacy.
That’s why Joe Biden is winning. That’s why Pete Buttigieg has no chance in hell. That’s why Sanders and Warren have a difficult challenge ahead of them in the South. That’s why it really sucks that Kamala Harris has dropped out and that we have no people of color in the next Democratic debate.
But I’ll tell you this much: Those people who just want Trump the hell out of the White House? Joe Biden released an ad last night that appeals directly to the “f**k Trump” voters.
This Biden ad will do 10m+ views on twitter tonight.— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) December 5, 2019
Pro tip: Campaigns should stop buying TV time and start spending heavily on powerful digital ads, hard hitting, no bullshit rapid response (counter-punch) and build a cultural narrative against Trump.pic.twitter.com/NwejSFy7Cy
That’s a good ad. I’m no more inclined to vote for Joe Biden myself, but I am even more jazzed about voting against Trump. More to the point, that’s how it should be done: When Trump tries to engage you in a tug-of-war, you drop the rope and let the world see Trump for the buffoon he is. I still believe that Bernie and Warren are better candidates; I even think they’d do a much better job than Biden in dealing with those issues that matter most to Black voters. But if calculation for Black voters in Mississippi and Texas is, “Biden is in the best position to save us from four more years of voter suppression, police violence, and white supremacy,” I will line the f**k up for Dopey Uncle Joe in the general.