VDARE.com has repeatedly pointed out that the GOP (M. Romney, Presidential nominee) is failing to mobilize its base, white Americans in general and the white working class in particular. (See here and here and here…) But it should also be noted that the Democrats have problems with whites too—indeed, since 1944 Democratic presidential candidates have only carried whites once, in the aberrational year of 1964.
The Left is of two minds regarding white working class voters. Its intellectual vanguard despises them, considering them a bastion of racism, sexism, heteronormativity, and xenophobia, based in evil industries like coal mining. This progressive hatred occasionally slips into outright eliminationist rhetoric crowing over the drowning of the traditional American nation. The talking heads of the Left have barely concealed their rage at the implicit whiteness of the Romney candidacy and the Republican Party. The Obama campaign has used its own subtle dog whistle racism to associate Mitt Romney with the dystopian nightmare that was 1950s America.
At the same time, Leftists patronizingly cast white workers as victims of the moneyed classes and the One Percent who must be saved by heroic progressive leadership—despite being “distracted” by the cultural warfare trifecta of Guns, Gays, and God to “vote against their own interests.”
The result: the deeply confused approach of the Democratic Party towards white working class voters every election cycle.
The suddenly-tight 2012 presidential race is focusing attention on a small number of swing states, especially Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Both nationally and within these areas, white working class voters have emerged as the key swing demographic. Romney’s recent surge is largely due to an increase in support from blue collar “waitress moms” worried about the economy.
Meanwhile, contrary to popular belief, the white working class is actually evenly divided in every region of the country outside the South. And in some swing states such as Ohio, this demographic makes up half of the electorate.
Regardless of what the Obama Administration and the Left really think of the white working class, they have to win at least some of these voters.
Which is why the Obama campaign has run a wave of ads attacking Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital career as a corporate raider that look like they were drafted by Pat Buchanan.
Romney is slammed as “the problem” for outsourcing jobs to China. Obama criticizes Romney for being an “outsourcing pioneer” in ads seemingly designed to infuriate Reason magazine. Obama’s longer videos are filled with salt of the earth white rural Americans marching determinedly to jobs at the auto plant or the steel mill. The President brags about creating “4.3 million new jobs,” all of which are apparently in construction, but of course, there is always “more to be done.” Forward, not back!
At the heart of the Obama Administration’s contradictory approach to the white working class is Vice President Joe Biden.
On the one hand, Biden is known as a gaffe-prone buffoon, arguably selected precisely because he has no political following of his own. He is the bumbling but oddly sympathetic white man that Americans have been conditioned to expect from decades of television sitcoms—a comic foil to his superior, the competent and cool President who is simply beyond criticism. Biden is the old white male forced to align himself with the new America of political correctness, and we all get to laugh as someone who was a Senator for decades attempts to be a part of the governing class in the age of diversity.
On the other hand, the President uses Biden as a “regular Joe,” a working class hero who takes the Amtrak and gives fiery speeches to union workers about corporate perfidy. At the Democratic National Convention, Biden bragged that “General Motors is alive and Osama Bin Laden is dead.” In the vice-presidential debate, Biden alternately smirked and raged at GOP candidate Paul Ryan, giving the kind of high energy, confrontational performance that liberals wanted from Obama. Maureen Dowd hailed the “Irish-Catholic wake up call,” and Michael Brendan Dougherty described the new Tribune of the Plebs as Obama’s “secret weapon” in states like Ohio.
But, needless to say, behind the rhetoric and the symbolism Biden does not actually offer anything to the white working class. His supposed Catholicism is as empty as that of Nancy Pelosi, or for that matter, Andrew Sullivan. On jobs, Biden is an enthusiastic defender of American worker displacement through mass immigration. And, rhetoric notwithstanding, then Senator Joe Biden was one of the leading Democrats in support of passing NAFTA in 1993.
This champion of the white working class also promotes Hispanics as “the most powerful force in American politics,” and said one of his proudest moments was Barack Obama’s unconstitutional Administrative Amnesty. Biden has consistently voted in favor of racial discrimination against whites throughout his career.
Biden is simply the white frontman for President Obama’s refreshingly overt campaign to redistribute income on racial grounds. To paraphrase Jean Raspail in The Camp of the Saints, there’s a very old word for what Joe Biden is. The word is “traitor.”
In contrast, while Romney has bobbed and weaved on so many issues that it is almost impossible to say what he believes about anything, he did select as his Vice Presidential nominee a man chiefly distinguished by proposals about Medicare that frighten voters in swing states. Rather than championing the conservatives who rallied against Obamacare with signs that said, “Keep your hands off my Medicare,” Romney and Ryan are running on an ideological agenda of tax cuts, budget restraint and ignoring all issues other than the economy.
But that doesn’t mean Conservatism Inc. is ignoring race. Conservative websites such as the Daily Caller, WND, Drudge, and Breitbart have run a whole series of race baiting stories, about Flash Mobs, Obama phones etc. during the election cycle. At times, they have left the impression that the New Black Panthers are running the Department of Homeland Security.
Liberals have complained—mostly because these kinds of stories have worked in the past. However, past Republican racial efforts actually confronted real issues. The supposedly infamous Willie Horton ad exploited Americans’ fears of crime (and did not directly refer to race). The even more notorious Jesse Helms’s “Hands” ad criticized race-based Affirmative Action. These were ads that actually confronted real subjects that were important to all Americans. They were only “racist” to those who were determined to see it that way.
In contrast, Conservative Inc. today promotes purely negative fear mongering, without proposing any actual solutions. By clinging to colorblind rhetoric and repudiating any manifestation of positive white identity, Conservatism Inc. mouthpieces maintain their claim to respectability—and, more importantly, prevent class unity among whites and patriotic Americans of all races.
The Left’s critique of the conservative movement is actually correct—Conservatism Inc is promoting racially-charged stories and disguising its anti-worker agenda. Leftists see this as proof conservatives are racists. But the truth is that it proves conservatives are actually less afraid of being called racist than they are of actually doing something that helps white workers, or confronting real issues like immigration or affirmative action.
Republicans could cruise to victory if they represented the white working class. Unfortunately, they’d rather hold to their economistic ideology—and respectability—than win.
The only question is how much of this is a product of corporate donations and how much of is driven by Republicans who really believe their own propaganda.
Leftists of course are just as guilty of hypocrisy. They give their own rhetorical nods to worker solidarity, but try to undermine the American middle class every chance they get through mass immigration, Affirmative Action, racial socialism, and “free trade.”
To adapt the famous question: What’s the matter with Kansas? The same thing that’s the matter with America—there’s no one to represent her.