According to all the polls and statistics I should be a Republican! Since 1980 on average only 38% of American white men over the age of 45 have voted for the Democratic Partys candidate for president.
I have never voted Republican and never will. So what is it about me in particular that separates me from 62% of my fellow white male voters who find some sort of appeal in the Republican Party an appeal that obviously eludes me! I have to point out here I consider myself a pretty average guy. I am married two children three beautiful grandchildren a veteran fairly regular church goer I own guns have a boat I fish I could go on but as you can see I am pretty average.
So I asked myself the other day is it me or is it the Democratic Party? What is it they do that is such a turn off to my fellow white males voters ? Where is the disconnect?
Maybe it is I recognize that since the Nixon administration the Republicans have been waging a class war against the working class that by 1970 had obtained some economic power and stability. Nixon established relations with China to provide global capitalism with a huge cheap labor pool, basically destroying millions of well-paid union manufacturing jobs. He appointed anti-union corporate attorneys to the National Labor Relations Board to prevent workers from obtaining any power by organizing into unions. The long term economic results have been disastrous disproportionately for white male Americans. Yet the Democratic Party has refused to address class politics or even recognize it exists. In fact they have run from any mention of it.
The 1972 McGovern Democratic Presidential Campaign was sharply anti-working class. Democrat, Jimmy Carter, a peanut farmer from the anti-union South, failed to recognize the class war even as Ronald Reagan made it his main campaign theme. Working class Democrats hoping for a return to FDRs, JFKs, or LBJs job creation programs that had kept the party in power for so long with workers votes were to be sorely disappointed. The so-called Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Bill passed in the late 1970s by a Democratic Congress was quickly forgotten and never carried out.
Instead of jobs, jobs, jobs the Democratic Party has decided to run on race, gender and the needs of the most vulnerable among us. They have ignored the single issue that is at the core of all the problems the party professes to be concerned about the issue of economic class! If the Democrats would pay attention to economic class and how it effects the groups they profess to be concerned with they would find a unifying issue not only improving the conditions of the most vulnerable among us but also attract many white male voters back into the Democratic fold.
I dont mean to blame only the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Candidates for President for failing as a working class political party. The state and local party organizations have not been user friendly for the working class white male voter either nor is the Welcome mat out for the middle aged white male voter like me.
As for issues heaven help the white guy at a local Democratic Party meeting who would dare suggest affirmative action is in fact the boss game. A dishonest public policy designed specifically to create competition between workers of diverse backgrounds, forcing them to fight over limited employment opportunities and keep the question of Why arent there jobs for anyone who wants to work? from even being asked! Racist will rumble through the self-righteous diverse crowd. The social liberalism of the Democratic Party for years has accepted the smoke and mirrors game set up to appear to address inequality without looking at the economic system and the class warfare that is going on within that system. They also fail to consider whether or not a white male voter might have a different perception of the situation because of the damage done to the working class manufacturing sector.
But let me return to my original question why am I one of only 38% of white male Americans who have always and will always vote for Democratic candidates in any and every election? Its the big picture! The long haul!
Historically the most basic research tells the tale. The most progress made not only by white male workers has always been under Democratic Party governments. Additionally all groups of citizens (even the rich) have fared better under Democratic Administrations. Its a fact look it up! But nothing is happening today that would indicate the Republican history of giveaways to the rich is going to change.
And finally I shall always keep in mind this great truism by Will Rogers so many years ago: I belong to no organized political party I am a Democrat!
Bill Johnston is a retired staff organizer of the United Food and Commercial Workers. He is a member of the National Writers Union (Pacific Northwest Chapter). Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
From The Progressive Populist, August 15, 2010
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