One of the things that canvassing for political candidates (including some guy named Bill–twice) has taught me is that swing voters usually are usually leaners: they typically are very unlikely or simply will not vote for one candidate, but they are on the fence about the other candidate. These are the voters Democrats need to reach, not only to stop Il Trumpe, but also to gain majorities in the Senate and House (admittedly, the latter seems very unlikely regardless, but we really do need the House to get much done).
Some quotes from this Vox interview of a Sanders supporter are worth noting (boldface mine):
Let me just start out by saying I was a full supporter of Bill Clinton in the ’90s and voted for him twice. Back then, I was the local secretary treasurer for my local union of the American Federation of Government Employees.
I was a carpenter on a military base. We made ammo boxes and we built crates for different types of weapons systems. We also went around maintaining the buildings, and I did that for 11 years. It was the same plant my father worked for.
Then Clinton and Al Gore, they had this thing called “Reinventing the Government.” They said it was an opportunity for employees to work with people in government and get rid of waste. One day, they told us that they were getting rid of the masons and the mail-carriers and the carpenters and all the lower-level staff people — and we were out.
So in 1998, I was suddenly out of a job. I got divorced. And I had two small children to take care of by myself — both little girls. It was better for me to have a nighttime job, and I started waiting tables at Ruth Chris Steakhouse…. [Mad Biologist: note the downward mobility]
Bill Clinton, the only reason he was successful in getting stuff pushed through Congress is that he made so many concessions to the right he basically was a Republican. I’ve read some articles that Bill Clinton was ready to push privatization of Social Security through in ‘99 and the only thing that stopped him was a blow job from an intern. [The Cato Institute basically agrees.]
I just feel like the Clintons have betrayed me over and over. I read a book about the Clinton years and how the liberal class just sold out the middle class, and Clinton was a big part of that. Living through these things, I remember when they said, “We’ll reform welfare” and they did that by taking millions of single women off of food stamps with no way to feed their children. Then they started the “three strikes and you’re out” policy, and it put a generation of black men in jail. [Mad Biologist: not a racist]
Clinton got rid of Glass-Steagall and after that we fell apart. We lost our jobs in the recession. We lost our homes, and after that they bailed out the bankers and gave them trillions of dollars so they could keep their bonuses while the working man hasn’t gotten a raise in 25 years. And the elite give themselves money and pat themselves on the back.
I don’t know how we stop this with having another one of them as president…
I know Donald Trump will appoint worse judges. I would never vote for him. I’m just trying to imagine either of them being president, and all I see is them as puppets for the bankers and the elites pulling the strings behind the scenes…
Bernie said things I never heard in my whole lifetime — universal health care and college free tuition and expanding Social Security. All I’ve heard before that is letting Wall Street handle Social Security.
Right now, I’m now hearing that they’re talking about increasing what we have to pay for our health care [in Voorhees’s work as a trucker]. That [New Jersey Gov.] Chris Christie is doing this and all the firemen and police unions and teachers will have to pay more for it, so you will, too.
I have two kids who just got out of college with substantial student loan debt. Every other industrialized country can provide education and provide health care to their people.
Despite the constant shitting by some pundits and others on the white working class and the constant statements that all working class whites are racist (and the implication that we can then ignore their concerns–which, by the way, are some of the same concerns lower-income minorities have), we need this guy to vote for us. And to do that, we need to help him.
First, it’s the right thing to do. You can’t get all tingly about Rev. Barber’s speech and then deny economic justice to certain people. Second, as I noted above, helping him also helps key parts of the Democratic base (e.g., lower-income minorities*). Third, we need his vote, especially down ballot. If Democrats could get forty percent of the white working class vote, that would be tremendous. This is what pragmatism means. That’s what cobbling together a coalition looks like.
And a note about the repeated attempts to woo conservatives at the Democratic convention by extolling the virtues of Reagan (who was absolutely awful by the way):
Even elite Republicans are for her. They all know that if they get Hillary, their investments are safe.
The small, but vocal, subset of Democrats who suffer from Sanders Derangement Syndrome isn’t helping.
*I’m not imply all minorities are lower-income; I’m simply referring to those who are.