Sorry Women, Blacks, Latinos, and Young People—You Don't Count


Jamelle Bouie

A group of real Americans protest President Obama.

It goes without question that, if President Obama wins reelection, he will have done so with one of the most diverse coalitions ever assembled by a major party nominee. He will have won large majorities of women, young people, African Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans.

To most observers, this narrow majority of voters represents a broad cross-section of the country. To Politico’s Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei, it’s a dangerously limited coalition. Why? Because it doesn’t include enough white people, and particularly, downscale white men:

If President Barack Obama wins, he will be the popular choice of Hispanics, African-Americans, single women and highly educated urban whites. That’s what the polling has consistently shown in the final days of the campaign. It looks more likely than not that he will lose independents, and it’s possible he will get a lower percentage of white voters than George W. Bush got of Hispanic voters in 2000.

A broad mandate this is not.

This is a not a new narrative. After the 2008 election, when Obama became the first Democrat in 36 years to win a majority of the popular vote, conservative writer Byron York argued that if you excluded the African American vote, Obama wasn’t as popular as he looked. And just last week, another Politico reporter—James Hohmann—wrote that “white voters still matter,” as if they were some kind of marginalized group.

To a large degree, white Americans—and white men, in particular—are still treated as the “default” voter, for whom politicians must focus their appeals. When Mitt Romney held a rally with coal workers in Ohio, he was trying to “broaden his appeal.” When President Obama focuses on immigration and reproductive health—core issues for Latinos and women—he’s “pandering.” The alternative view—that white men are a special interest whose voting is out of sync with the rest of the country—is rarely entertained, despite the fact that it is closer to the truth.

In any case, a vote is a vote is a vote, and the votes of minorities, young people, and women are worth just as much as the votes of white men, married white women, and other Republican-leaning groups. If Obama wins on Tuesday, it will be because a non-traditional but just as American group of voters decided he was the best choice for the next four years.

With that said, I expect Obama’s low support among white voters to become a bullet point in the inevitable conservative case against his “legitimacy” should he win. The usual suspects on the Right will argue, loudly, that a president who loses a majority of the white vote isn’t a president who represents “Americans,” narrowly defined.


Not so hard to understand the white male vote which is 70% for the Republicans.

In the past, if you were a white guy you knew that there was certain shit you wouldn’t have to do. You wouldn’t be at the bottom of the heap because there was a permanent black underclass: no matter how dumb you were, you wouldn’t end up there. You wouldn’t have to do boring, dead-end, underpaid clerical or service work because that was pink-collar womanshit. You were, you believed, entitled to a “family wage” and half decent work that wasn't too boring because you were a white guy.

So now the dumb asses who counted on their white male privilege, have to compete with minorities and women. Tough titty, jerks. Welcome to life. Eat shit--the shit that we women have been eating for decades.

re, the "dumb asses".
Spread the hate. Let it show. Wear your hate proud. Maybe if enough people do it the Prospect will take it on as a new editorial policy. Maybe we can make a new Democratic Party rallying point around it. Nice.
Oh but really I'm sure you're right. I'm sure the millions of white male voters out there voting the Romney/Ryan ticket are doing so because they want to keep the coloreds down and they want women to get barefoot and back in the kitchen. I can just see on their faces how that's what they really want, and that's what their real gripe is. Yup. You called it. What'd that take? 60, 65 IQ points and a whole honeypot of hate? Come'on, put the honeypot aside and get the forebrain on this - I know you're packing more up there.
You know - I just wouldn't be so glib. I spent some time on the other side of hiring, promoting, awards, honors, etc. I know affirmative action law, how it works and how its applied.
It's kinda simple: rich white folk are not at all affected by AA. They have their meal ticket pre-paid.
Working white folk are ROUTINELY pushed aside to make way for less qualified minorities, and, ahem, if its between a white guy and a white gal, women. They are out-performing you, but you get the spoils.
That has become the policy of the Democratic Party: spoils.
I feel very badly for white men. The wealthy never stopped being privileged and never faced real-world trade offs ... they were and are not subject to losing out the position as an engineer when they worked their way through college, got a B+ or A- average, but were looked over because a female or minority with a C or B- average had some subjective quality that could be rationalized as "promising".
The wealthy don't want to be engineers.
But we convinced ourselves that all white men have the same privilege as all wealthy. 15 seconds of straightforward observation while not holding your breath should be enough to take in the reality around you: they don't.
But worse - white men have really been played. They've been convinced that since the Dems have no place for them, then their own interests are somehow tied to the wealthy, which has always sought its representation through the GOP.
Their interests are not with the wealthy.
Dems needed, our country needed, our souls needed ... for the Democratic party to spend several decades raising the status of women and minorities. That was essential. It cannot and will not be turned back.
But arguably, as the wealthy are wildly ascendant, as plutocracy lurks, as white men are pushed aside and run through as cravenly as any group has been in the past, arguably its time for the Democratic party to reorganize and recharter, around the interests of all working class, all downtrodden, no matter what race or gender they come configured in.
That, or just keep your hate on because you know, it looks really good on you.

I am a white male. I know many other white males. We all believe we are all in this together as Americans. That's why we are all voting Obama. Hooray for equality!!!! TeaPurge 2012 is finally here. Enjoy election night as we witness one Democratic victory after another. Watch this anti-republican anthem as you consider your outfit for voting day:

Christina Wolbrecht addressed the gender gap in a guest post at Mischief of Factions; concluding it is men who've shifted their positions, not the so-called women's issues (abortion, wage disparity):

So the gender gap is a persistent feature of American presidential elections, and has favored the Democrats since 1964. Why? Repeated research has failed to uncover evidence that women’s issues, including abortion, cause the gender gap. Long story short, there are few consistent gender differences in attitudes on such issues, and limited evidence that women prioritize women’s issues such as abortion in their voting calculus to a greater extent than men do. If and when such issues do influence vote choice, we have reason to believe they may work in either a liberal or conservative direction. Finally, as I show in my book, the parties only diverged on women’s issues in the late 1970s, and as we’ve seen, the pro-Democratic gender gap emerged earlier than that.

So if it’s not abortion and women’s issues, what causes the gender gap? One word: Men. Most explanations for the gender gap focus on women, implicitly assuming that men are the norm and any divergence from male behavior is an oddity to be explained. But a closer look at the data suggest that most of the relevant movement, at least initially, was on the male side, a point made originally by Wirls, and later supported by (among others) Norrander and Kaufmann and Petrocik. As Figure 2 shows, when we disaggregate male and female party identification (including leaners), the pattern is clear. Men and women were virtually equal in their propensity to identify with the Democratic party in 1964. In the 20 some years that followed, both men and women defected from the Democrats, but men at a far greater rate than did women. The movement of men away from the Democratic party opened up the gender gap in party identification and as a result, presidential vote choice.


If Obama wins my only consolation is that the people who vote for him will suffer as much as those who fought against his commiecratic policies. The US is broke and we are printing more money everyday which is devaluing the dollar and is leading to inflation. The only right you have is to be free,freedom to take care of yourself, freedom of speech, freedom to carry a gun. Young people today don't know who the founding fathers were and could care less--very ignorant. They play video games well. Our laws mean nothing anymore because judges have become part of politics. The Justice Depart. is a joke -they would not know justice if it bit them in the a^^. Obama hates white America as do many who are trying to dismantle the country until we look like Mexico. I wish I could live to see this country in 2050. Be careful what you ask for --you just might get it.

An old Yiddish folk tale describes a husband and wife who take their dispute over something to the rabbi. After hearing the husband, the rabbi says, "You're right." Then, after hearing the wife, the rabbi says, "You're right." They both, in unison, exclaim, "We can't BOTH be right!" The rabbi says, "You're right!"

The point is, there is truth in both sides. Baber may have been over-reacting, but it is true, the old regime was set up by RICH people, who were white in those days, to have poor white men (women, of course, did not vote) identify emotionally with THEM, rather than with poor men and women in general. There is an old Southern saying, "I'm free, WHITE, and 21, so you can't tell me what to do." Baber was pointing out the truth that even white men who DID have to do menial underpaid work felt BETTER than minority men who did the same (even ANGLO white men at one time felt superior to IRISH white men), because their wealthy overlords brainwashed them; and still do.

Jalapeno asserts that the Democratic party cares ONLY about the minority voter; this is not true, since all the pro-labor and social welfare policies of the last century have helped ALL races. Affirmative action may cause an occasional choice between two equally qualified applicants, and sometimes the minority is favored; but remember that BEFORE the AA movement began, the white male was AUTOMATICALLY favored in case of a tie, and even in case of a substantial deficit of fitness for a job. Do white male workers REALLY want to go back to that "affirmative white action" policy? Or would it be better to build a society where EVERYONE has an even shot, and where there are MORE jobs available for those not born wealthy?

The REAL conflict is between SOME of the wealthy (thankfully, no longer ONLY white) and the not-wealthy. There does not NEED to be a conflict, because when workers of all groups are WELL paid, rather than POORLY paid, and have protections built into society to defend against bad luck, the wealthy will have MORE CUSTOMERS to buy, and will make more profit. The problem is that a short-sighted, selfish portion of the wealthy are brainwashing a large part of the workers into believing that their bad luck is due to OTHER workers! A CEO, a white worker, and a black worker walk into a bar and find a plate with the last ten cookies. The CEO grabs NINE, then says to the white worker, "watch out for that black guy, he wants YOUR cookie!"

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