Can progressive Democrats win an election with a campaign platform that rests on a foundation of accusations of white, male privilege? Peter van Buren, writing at The American Conservative, explains that achieving such a victory will be difficult. He calls the Democrats’ strategy of “shorting” the white vote, a bad idea, writing (abridged):
The exaggeration of white privilege has become a cornerstone of progressivism. It’s also one of the ways Democrats risk losing the 2020 presidential race, as it leads inexorably to the devaluation of voters needed to clinch the Electoral College.
The candidates then either dismiss what they call white angst as a Fox News narrative or condemn it as supremacy, Nazism, and fascism, words that have lost all meaning. Dems crow about changing demographics that will turn America into a non-majority-white nation and celebrate the end of privilege as the country depletes its stock of Caucasians. They fail to see that the salient statistic of America is not that the 61 percent who are white is falling, but that a tiny group, the top 0.1 percent of households, now hold the same amount of wealth as the bottom 90 percent.
It is time to admit that racism is not the core problem, the one Pete Buttigieg claims “threatens to unravel the American project.” It is in 2019 an exaggeration driving a key Democratic strategy: betting the White House on unreliable voters (since the 1980s, blacks have turned out in higher numbers than whites, percentage-wise, only for the Obama elections) against a body of whites they devalue.
In Wall Street terms, Democrats are “shorting” white voters. A short means betting against something, devaluing it. If you are short on Microsoft, you make investments that will go up if Microsoft goes down. Dems think white voters have little value and are betting against them with exaggerated claims of supremacy. Along the way, they assume all “people of color” will fall into place, believing that what resonates with young urban blacks will also click with their older rural relatives in swing states, as well as with Latinos who trace their roots from Barcelona to Havana to Juarez, and Asians too (why not?), simply because, in Democratic lexicon, any color trumps white—no shades of nuance needed.
If that sounds simplistic, never mind inaccurate, and a bad idea, you may want to consider shorting the Dems for 2020.
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