Last week’s election was surprising. Maybe surprising isn’t the right word because a lot of democratic talking heads seem to be shocked out of their minds right now. They can’t believe how hard the republicans whooped their asses all around the country. They got all kinds of reasons and theories and excuses. They’ll tell you all about how that’s just how the pendulum swings in the midterms or how the media has been unfair to democrats or how progressives have pushed the party too far to the left.
That’s all whiny bullshit. Sure, the trend is for the opposite party to win in the midterms, but that trend is nowhere near consistent enough to be inevitable or even reliable. Is the media unfair? I’ll be ready to have that conversation the second they interview a Black parent about how race is being taught to their children. And too progressive? Most Americans support policies far to the left of anything the democrats are willing to do.
The truth is that republicans use race to manipulate white voters and the democrats are helpless to stop them because they do the same goddamn thing. Sure, they may be friendly and polite and their interests may sometimes align with Black interests, but when they don’t: Look out.
I’ve mentioned this before, but remember when the democrats had the most diverse field of major presidential candidates in the history of all glorious liberal history? In case you forgot, in reverse social order of the day, there was a Black woman, a Latino, a Black man, an Asian man, a gay white man, a couple of white women and two old white men. It wasn’t 15 minutes after the first democrat slapped himself on his back before he started asking, “But who’s really electable?”
Next thing you know that question was being asked by every talking head, late night host and podcaster. We all know exactly what the fuck electable means, but in case you’re the very last person to figure it out, what happened next made it plain. One by one the candidates started losing support and dropping out in that exact social order I was talking about earlier. First Harris lost support and dropped out. Then the Castro. Then Cory Booker, Andrew Yang, Pete Buttigeig and finally Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren were forced to leave the race. Then there were only two old white men left—But hang on just one minute! One of them is Jewish.
It’s not a grand conspiracy. It’s just how white supremacy works. White people who don’t consider themselves racist will bend over backwards to keep from offending their most devoutly racist counterparts. Just be nice to them and they’ll be nice back, right? They’ll be cool and then we can all get back to normal, right? Right…?
At least 13 people who were at the January 6 rally (read: insurrection attempt) ran for public office last week and at least 10 of them won. This is them being cool. Also, republicans gathered in Dallas in droves because they thought JFK Jr. was going to show up, reveal that he faked his death and then become the 45th president’s running mate in his quest to become the 47th.
Back to normal, right?
The republican gubernatorial candidate in Virginia who wouldn’t shut up about CRT somehow won. It’s very surprising. I can’t imagine how playing into white America’s deepest fears could possibly continue to be the single most reliable way to motivate white voters.
New Jersey’s longest-serving state senate president is a democrat named Steve Sweeny. His opponent was a man named Ed Durr, known for bigoted social media posts. Ed Durr spent only $153 on his campaign, mostly on Dunkin Donuts and paper flyers. And he won. I’m sure the democrats will take a long hard look in the mirror and decide it was probably just another coincidence.
Democrats will often sidestep by claiming to run on policy not culture wars, but, you know… When taxing the wealthy turns to tax breaks for the wealthy, and when canceling student debt turns into free community college—which then turns into neither—and when your best climate change strategies include more oil, gas and coal then maybe policy isn’t the strength you think it is.
They’ll continue on about the republicans and Joe Manchin and how all the other convenient villains are just terrible. Of course, there was no way the president with the 50-year-long political career including first-hand experience of the obstruction Obama faced could’ve possibly guessed how the republicans would behave. Just no way to know.
Any minute now we’ll see celebration of how this is the most money we’ve ever spent on these issues, like firefighters battling a raging forest fire suddenly stopping to congratulate each other on the amount of water they’ve poured. Maybe they’ll say something about how they didn’t get everything they wanted, which is OK because neither did the other side—always cautious to avoid the reality that their casual “wants” are actually our dire needs.
If the democrats aren’t careful even white people will start to feel alienated. Then again, maybe that’s just another swing of the pendulum.
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