Remember when the Romney campaign said they weren’t using “dog whistles”? Remember how they said they cared about all of America? Well, it turns not to be true–surprise! Apparently, it was the white middle and upper class voters that mattered more according to Romney’s chief strategist, Stuart Stevens.
On Nov. 6, Romney carried the majority of every economic group except those with less than $50,000 a year in household income. That means he carried the majority of middle-class voters.
There was a time not so long ago when the problems of the Democratic Party revolved around being too liberal and too dependent on minorities. Obama turned those problems into advantages and rode that strategy to victory.
Republican ideals — Mitt Romney — carried the day. On Nov. 6, that wasn’t enough to win. But it was enough to make us proud and to build on for the future.
Shorter Stevens, the white people who matter voted for our ideas so we won a moral victory and will keep building on that for future elections. What a rational, pragmatic person should say in this situation would be, “Wow, we lost women, all of the minorities 1, too many in the middle class 2, and the fastest growing part of the population which accounted for 53% of the population. Maybe we’re doing something wrong!” No, instead the GOP is signaling that the 47% that voted for them, particularly those white folks, was good enough for them. So they’ll hunker down using the same failed strategies to motivate white voters that were so concisely detailed by Lee Atwater 3 and reinforced by jerks like Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh 4. Kind of makes you wonder, who was really engaged in class warfare?
From a practical campaign point of view I say keep on keeping on. Once whites begin to lose their majority status (which is happening as we speak) the GOP won’t win another major election until they change their ways. From a moral viewpoint, Stevens’ opinion and anyone that supports it in the GOP is insulting and wrong. From a long-term view maybe we will be better off as a country if the GOP dies this slow death. Maybe a new party that truly champions conservative ideas without using hate, and religious intolerance, and one that lacks a frothing at the mouth desperation can finally come into being. Then we could actually discuss the issues instead of the wedges. I’m allowed to dream once in a while, right?
1. For example, Asian Americans who used to heavily favor Republican candidates made a dramatic shift to support President Obama. Why? The evidence seems to suggest that they, like me and many other whites who voted for Obama, didn’t vote solely on their own best interests. That they voted based on a principle belief in the American Dream and to them the President best represented that American Dream….a point I have made on this blog, many, many times. To me, President Obama is the quintessential example of the American Dream and I heavily identify with it, as do many hard working, successful Asian Americans.
2. BTW, I’m white, middle class and Romney didn’t win my vote and there were tons more like me…why? Because we don’t believe that we are the only face of this country. We don’t think our interests are more important than other citizens’ interests….we love our country, every diverse part of it. We are capable of empathy, selflessness, and long-term thinking. By voting for Obama we could not only look out for our own interests but the interests of many others. With Romney there was a choice between “us” and “them”. I reject that kind of narrow thinking and I’m glad the majority of America did too.
3. Known as the “Southern Strategy” it now appeals to white folks in places like Wyoming, Kansas and Indiana. It’s no coincidence that as white’s lose their majority status in this country that more and more white ears can now hear this kind of appeal. Nothing opens the eyes and ears than the loss of privilege and it’s part of why extremists in the GOP appear to be increasingly desperate (and clinging to desperate hopes like secession).
4. Bill O’Reilly and all the other GOP operatives masquerading as journalists, pundits and blowhards who said the President won because he was “giving away” stuff…you’re wrong. For example, in 2014 when insurance companies can no longer reject me for pre-existing conditions I will have to pay about $18,000 a year out of pocket for that health insurance, which does not include co-pays, prescription costs, extra lab fees, etc. Does that sound free to you? And this will apply to everyone else in the same boat. Even if we had a Single Payer health care system it wouldn’t be free because we ALL pay taxes in one form or another. So eff off with your lies about “free gifts” and Obama as Santa bullshit.