Live by the [identity politics], die by the [identity politics]

Live by the [identity politics], die by the [identity politics] November 9, 2016

I suspect my commentary on the election, such as it is, is going to come in bits and pieces as I process it.  Unlike Clinton supporters, I’m not devastated at the results, nor am I panicked that the economy and the entire world order will collapse — yes, there’s a risk of that, but we have to work together, and hope that Congress works to avoid that, and hope that worst-case scenarios don’t come to pass.

But here’s what I can’t help but think:

Trump’s success is attributed to white working-class voters (not necessarily the poor, but those earning incomes at blue-collar jobs, without college degrees), and is further attributed to the racism of those voters.

At the same time, you have surely read as often as I have, articles proclaiming that those WWC voters are fast on their way to becoming a minority, articles celebrating the growing size of the Latino population through immigration and high immigrant birth rates, articles enthusing that Republicans will be a permanent minority party because the Democrats have a lock on the Latino vote, due to brand loyalty and the desire for generous welfare programs.

To the extent that the Democratic party celebrated its status as the Party of Latinos, did they unintentionally tell the white electorate that they, too, should likewise vote based on their race?  Did the emphasis on the “power of Latinos” persuade white voters, at least in part, that politics was just as much about sharing the spoils with “your” people as it has been in the past?  And, if so, how can we move beyond that?

Asking for a friend, of course.


Browse Our Archives