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View Diary: Democrats need to do better with white voters (162 comments)

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  •  We whites need to fix our culture (37+ / 0-)

    The problem as I see it is not that the Democrats are doing things wrong that hurt white voters, but actually that white voters are often screwed up people.  We need to learn to resolve our problems that have us focused on fantasy, individualism, and privilege.

    •  THank you for this (22+ / 0-)

      If "doing better with white voters" means becoming Republican-lite then fuck that.

      Barack Obama for President

      by looty on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 02:25:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We could mirror-image the R strategy ... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shrike, gzodik, dopper0189

        I have no problem (speaking as  non-white) to run White candidates to get the racist vote, if that person is a liberal. Hence, I'm very much behind Hillary for 2016 if she's healthy and willing ...

        Kind of a mirror image of the Republican plan to run Marco Rubio because he's a Mexicuban Latino teabagger.

        •  my friend, i believe you've missed the great (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          lesson of the 2012 national election. the GOP, by virtue of its 40 decade long "Southern Campaign", to gather under one umbrella, all the disaffected bigots of the old south. those who mightily disagree with integration, both institiutonally, and socially. the GOP became the bulwark against change, and  change itself became the enemy. and that pretty much sums up the romney/ryan campaign strategy.

          it also sums up, in a nutshell, the massive problem the GOP faces, if it wishes to continue being relevent in the future, at present, it doesn't appear to want to make those changes.

      •  That's my biggest concern, as a white American (4+ / 0-)

        Most of my family are Republicans, and I think that whole line of thinking has become a dead-end trap for them.  I am not happy with how the Democratic party are basically a center-left party at best.  While there are aspects of the left that I think need to be balanced out by real conservatives (not these psycho idiots running the modern GOP) I think the left is way too underrepresented in our government.

    •  I've learned over and over again (13+ / 0-)

      it's hard to underestimate how much white racial resentment plays into these politics. Unless the dems are willing to shop at the white resentment store too, I don't see how this would change in the short term.

      I work with lower income kids on a college admissions program, and I had one of them tell me the other day his parents were convinced he couldn't get good scholarships or get into a decent college because he's white and mail.

      I mean, this kid is 18, and his parents have already set him up to believe that if anything goes wrong in his life it's black people's fault (or hispanic people's, or asian peoples, etc).

    •  It is an issue of race. Sometimes thinly veiled, (4+ / 0-)

      sometimes not at all, but clearly about race and I think fear of a future without white privilege.  

      It is also an issue of age in that it is older whites who grew up segregated who have issues with a multicultural nation.  Younger people have often grown up in a more multicultural environment.

      There is also the urbanization of the US leaving the rural white populations behind.

      •  part of the ubanization issues (0+ / 0-)

        inner city white people are often not afraid of other colored people, as they live next to them, and see they're not scary.  (those in enclaves, not so much)  Just as gays are not as scary, because everyone knows some.
        If you're not raised in fear, you don't see it in every black child.  Hopefully, we who were alive when racism was the norm, will not leave behind the legacy of hate we had all around us as we were growing up.

    •  This is one of the primary reasons for the issue (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alice in Florida, RamblinDave

      "If only white people didn't suck so bad, America would be better."


      It's like you're channeling Newt Gingrich and swapping out skin colors. I see a lot of Democrats doing this and frankly this is a major part of problem.

      Would you sit here and criticize the black community for "often being screwed up people", I have hunch you would not. Yet you do with whites.

      "You people need to change! You're messed up!" Apparently both sides have something in common this one.

      •  It is self criticism (0+ / 0-)

        I can't claim to speak for all white people, but I can say that in my experience we have a lot of problems we need to deal with.  Unfortunately, it took a lot of exposure to other cultures and ways of thinking for it to be as apparent to me as it is.

    •  i see no way of reversing this so long as we (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      continue the discussion as we have.

      When we brag about the 'browning of america'.. you're drawing the line between whites and everyone else and then laughing at them for their diminished say in the country that their ancestors founded.

      I know this mind set because I'm surrounded by it in my family.

      If you wish to win with them you can't 'other' white people.

      •  Constructive self criticism is not "othering" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        We need to look at ourselves. No one is bragging about browning anything (except my roast, which is excellent.) No one is laughing at white people's diminished say in this country. And why mention that it was white people's ancestors who founded this country? Did Native Americans and people of color have no part in that?

        You appear to be feeling attacked, why? Who here has attacked you or done the things you describe?

        •  i'm repeating things that i hear from my family (0+ / 0-)
          •  You're also reflecting views that do get voiced (0+ / 0-)

            at times (by whites) on DKos -- ie "those white people are so hopelessly screwed up."  Yeah, it's a kind of "othering."  I think it comes basically from a desire to show that "we" -- us progressive whites -- aren't "them."

            Just read some of the comments about southerners at times.  

            THe fact is that the Democratic party hasn't always served the interests of white working & middle class people (how's that for a bit of understatement?).  And the Dems certainly have not taken on race in a forceful way, and countered all the false messaging of the GOP, Fox, big chunks of the media, etc.

            We need to be better on the issues and better on messaging, especially messaging on race.  This would strengthing the Democratic party and make it truer to it's best history.  

            But let's remember that it's also something white activists owe to our allies of color.  Reducing racial polarization in the US -- not by winning over all white people but by reaching those who are reachable -- is one of the best thing we could do to ease some of the most painful problems that burden communities of color.  See recent diaries on the fear of young black men.

            --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

            by Fiona West on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:54:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  You can look at yourself honestly (0+ / 0-)

          without being overly offensive. Constructive criticism often works well. Let's say you had a friend who needed to lose a lot of weight to avoid serious health problems. Do you think saying "Fat people are seriously screwed up" and "Fat people suck so bad" would help of hurt?

        •  Yeah we are. (0+ / 0-)
          No one is laughing at white people's diminished say in this country.
          Of course we are.  Same as we're laughing at men's diminished say.  Which "diminished say" amounts to the same thing: loss of an unfair and unmerited privilege, which they have held for so long that they think it's the way things are supposed to be.

          It's really, really hard not to gloat at the consternation of the privileged when they have to face the possibility of losing it.  And some of us don't even try not to gloat.

          I am white and I'm laughing at us, some of the time.

          And it's not real helpful.

      •  I'm actually in the same boat as you (0+ / 0-)

        I am in a mostly conservative, strongly Christian family.  I know exactly what you are talking about, but let's be realistic.  Nothing needs to be diminished for white people or anyone else in terms of the future of our nation.  What is happening is that we are losing our ability to force others to do what we want.  The result of this is that a certain influential segment of our population, mostly older white people, have become delusional and overly aggressive.

        When I say that we whites need to fix our culture, it's not about shaming white folks.  It's about expecting more out of us.  We need to be responsible for giving others the same respect and space that we demand for ourselves.  We need to allow people to have pride in their own backgrounds without criticizing it as unAmerican.

        At the same time, we do need to take back control of our own culture from the corporations and groups that are erasing our history and memory to replace it with propaganda.  There should be no shame in having a rural background.  We should be proud of our musical heritage with folks like Pete Seeger being brought back into our memories.  We need to start working together to rebuild our society instead living as a bunch of strangers living in general proximity to each other.

        The fact is, we still run this country for the most part.  Even with all the talk about Obama being a sign of a post-racial nation, he's as much a white man as he is a black man, and he was mostly influenced by his white grandparents with no input from his dad.  White people are still in charge here.  We shouldn't feel threatened that other cultures are being added to ours in the traditions of our nation.  This has always gone on and will for the foreseeable future.  We need to become comfortable with ourselves so we can also be comfortable with others.

    •  @theboz: I got your culture.....n/t (0+ / 0-)

      This "Trickle Down" thing has turned out to be somebody pissing on my leg and tellin' me it's rainin'.

      by swtexas on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:14:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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