Swing Voters

Detroit turned out 70,000 fewer voters this year than in 2012. Hilary lost Michigan by 12,000 votes. In Milwaukee County she received roughly 40,000 votes fewer than Mr. Obama did. She lost Wisconsin by just 27,000 votes. And let’s not talk about the midterms.

Some African-American leaders have complained the Democratic Party has taken them for granted. (Ironically, the Reagan Democrats think the party does too much for blacks.) They threaten to withhold their vote for more power, a seat at the table.

Well, they certainly should have a seat at the table and their concerns should be addressed. They are still uniquely disenfranchised, disempowered and generally abused in the United States.

But unless their leaders figure out a way to turn them out reliably, there is no threat to be made about withholding their support. They’re doing that already.

The real lesson from this election is that the Democrats are not going to return to power on the shoulders of minorities. Hispanic turnout in Florida was strong, but it wasn’t enough. Nor was it in Arizona. (Though we wouldn’t be talking about this at all if we chose the President by who gets the most votes in the election, not state-by-state.)

The real swing voter is the disaffected Democrat, the working class, “less-educated” as Trump likes to call him. He feels the Party doesn’t listen to him (because it is  listening to blacks); the Party doesn’t respect him. If he thinks the Republicans respect him, then he’s even dumber than he is “less-educated,” but how do you show a voter respect? Easy. Give him stuff. If Hilary had enunciated a clear message—and sometimes she did, but she was too often distracted by the pressing and maybe unnecessary business of deriding Trump—no one heard it. She ended up, like John Kerry before her, hoping that reasonable people would see what a dufus her opponent was reasonably decide to vote for the more qualified, idealistic, just plain better candidate. As if that’s what voters do.

If Kerry just tossed voters a bone like “Security begins at home” or something, voters would have had something to vote for. They already knew what they wanted to vote against.

If Hilary had said something like “Time to bail out Main Street” people would have stopped noticing how much they disliked her and listened for what free stuff she was going to give them. Free stuff? Now that’s showing respect.

Author: leonardrysdyk

Leonard Rysdyk is the author of more than a dozen novels, stories, articles and poems. His work has appeared in many publications including Snow White, Blood Red, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Aboriginal Magazine and the New York Review of Science Fiction. A professor at Nassau Community College, he teaches literature (including science fiction), cultural history (including the history of science) and is an acknowledged innovator in the field of Computer Aided Instruction (CAI), a subject on which he has lectured and consulted.

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