Why won’t you racists vote for us?
August 26, 2008
Matt Bai, writing in the New York Times today, argues – correctly, in my view – that the Democrats’ focus on race as an explanation for the close poll numbers is misplaced. Instead, the Dems might want to stop telling voters how stupid and racist they are:
Ever since 2000, a lot of so-called progressives have proudly displayed a healthy contempt for less-educated white voters who cast ballots in defiance of their “economic self-interest,” as Thomas Frank argued in “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” (The widespread acceptance of Mr. Frank’s thesis is how John Kerry largely escaped the scorn that is ritually visited upon losing Democratic presidential nominees; the members of his party directed their exasperation at the voters instead.) But surely caricaturing a large subset of voters as ignorant has made those voters even less inclined to pull the lever for the Democrats this time around. All this talk about racism isn’t likely to help.