Campaign IDs and Ideas

Democrats need to escape identity politics | The Seattle Times

by David Horsey

Just as Republicans find their most loyal voters among conservative Christians, militant gun owners and billionaires who want to hoard their fortunes, the Democratic Party has long depended on Black, Latino and Asian voters to give them an edge. But that may be changing.

Latinos, in particular, are shifting in significant numbers toward the GOP. A large share of these voters are working class folks and, like white working class voters, many have bought into the very dubious notion that Republicans have their best interests in mind.

There is the fact, too, that this overwhelmingly Catholic ethnic group is much more socially conservative than the progressive activists who are monopolizing the Democratic Party agenda. Among Black voters, as well, one finds far more churchgoers than in the Left Coast cities and university faculty lounges, and many are not buying what the activists are selling.

What about Asians? There is no group as negatively impacted — at least in their own perception — as Asians when it comes to affirmative action programs and efforts to open up more university slots to underrepresented students. They fear their own high-achieving kids will be bumped out to make way for someone else.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs in the South Asian communities may well take offense at the anti-capitalist rhetoric of the Left. And the new dogma in the academic world that divides everyone into two antagonistic groups — colonialist oppressors versus the virtuous oppressed — also may not ring true for a big share of non-white voters who see the world in more nuanced ways.

Which is all to say that Democrats need to escape from the social theorists, the activists and one-dimensional identity politics. Democratic politicians should not think they can continue to stand up at a national convention and rattle off a list of groups — Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Indigenous, gay, lesbian, trans, yadda, yadda, yadda. — and think they have given a speech that says anything at all to these very distinct human beings.

The more diverse this nation becomes, the more complex it will be. Political campaigners will not find it easy to categorize people and superficially assume they know what those people care about. The biggest surging cohort in our citizenry is mixed race individuals. Will they be Democrats or Republicans? The answer is both and neither. They will be what they will be and they are quite unlikely to find common cause with each other as a predictable voting bloc.

Those who want to box Americans into tidy, monolithic racial or ethnic groups are swimming against the tide. Democrats should stop listening to the shrill voices of activists and start listening to the actual voters themselves.


Back To the Saudis

NYTimes: Trump Spoke Recently With Saudi Leader

NYT: It is not clear what the former president discussed with Prince Mohammed bin Salman, but news of their call came amid Biden administration negotiations with the Saudis over a Middle East peace plan.

This comes amid reporting on the Saudi government intending to work against Biden’s re-election. It also comes as a major Saudi real estate developer has inked a deal with the Trump Organization for a villa and golf project worth $4 billion.