In early September of 2008, I predicted that Barack Obama would defeat John McCain. I have to apologize for being lazy this time around and not posting this when the election was decided in January, when the Republican Party pivoted from a white bread conservative party to all out nativism. Not every pivot is good people!
Why will Hillary win? Aside from Donald Trump being… I can’t even think of a worse enough insult here…. Donald Trump? In a single word, data. The same DNC political stats machines that won it for Obama are winning it #withher. This is all well and good, and it highlights just how behind the times the Republican base is, because they clearly seem to want some sort of martini drinking, Sinatra crooning, 1950s throwback.
It wasn’t a clean campaign on either side, divided crudely along race and class lines. A struggling Hillary had to fallback on getting out the female vote, on the basis of both voters and Hillary having the same lady-parts. That’s a troubling continuation of the racially influenced Obama campaign, which boosted turnout among African American voters due to his race. Did everyone vote strictly on racial lines? No of course not. Did some people? Yes. At the very least, identifying physically with their candidate (or not) was a factor, and it’s why I think we’re going to continue to see political gridlock. When I ask a Hillary supporter why she’s going to vote for her, and the answer is “Because she’s a woman”, I can’t help but feel a bit appalled.
As a white man, people would be aghast if I told them I were voting for candidate X because he is also a white man. They would be enraged, they would push back. But that is EXACTLY what some liberals are saying should be done with Hillary Clinton this cycle. Don’t get me wrong, there’s certainly value in having diverse viewpoints, but perhaps we should look a little deeper than skin color or gender to build a policy platform? Simply pushing the agenda of people who share the same genetics as you seems…. bigoted? People can change their political affiliations. Ideas can evolve. Genetics are largely what you get stuck with, and rallying your base along those lines only evokes a sense that the other side can never belong.
White nativism won’t be going away, because poor whites will feel under siege after this election cycle. They have lost out economically over the past decade to globalization, and what is immigration if not a billboard style reminder of globalization? The rural and suburban areas in which poor whites live have been largely left behind by the elites on both sides. They have witnessed a whole bevy of race and gender-based policies rolled out to encourage equality for women and minorities in the workplace and in school, which tend to favor races rather than poverty. Identity politics doesn’t thrill them and why should it when they are the only class+race of people that can be openly ridiculed, called deplorable for their beliefs however misguided, and then ignored for 4 years?
So the Republican Party will likely remain obstructionist. One representative has already proposed re-re-re-visiting the email scandal after January 1st. Seriously?
The two parties are morphing in weird and wildly unpredictable ways, if only there was a forum for new ideas that wasn’t restricted by the two incumbents.