I have tests to write and papers to grade, and I can’t think about anything except what happened yesterday. I had always believed that if you can’t convince other people you’re right, you may as well be wrong–which makes it less pleasant to explain how two-thirds of voters thought Trump was unfit to be president, yet the majority of voters selected him anyway.
Van Jones may be correct about Trump winning because of “white-lash.” When I look at people in my demographic in Mississippi, it’s hard to find many that vote blue for anything. If Jones is on point, then the Democratic Party has to make a difficult choice: move closer to the middle to court white moderates at the risk of alienating its minority base, or wait for the minority to become the majority.
Elections have been won and lost on racial lines in Mississippi since I moved here in 1992. There are very, very few white Democrats; as a result, state leaders within the party push agendas favorable to the sensibilities of African-American legislators. This is legitimate, on the one hand, because those legislators serve minority districts that have particular needs. But in the bigger picture, Democrats suffer statewide because of the perception that the party has ignored the concerns of working class whites, who do not believe that what’s good for African-American voters is also good for them. The last Democratic challenger for governor was an African-American truck driver who didn’t even vote in the primary because he thought he couldn’t win. (He beat a white, female lawyer who actively campaigned in the primary, but wasn’t embraced by African-Americans.) Ballots cast in the state during that general election fell almost exclusively down racial lines; even though Mississippi has a large percentage of African Americans, it wasn’t enough to overcome the white vote.
If Mississippi is an example, then it seems to me that Democrats have to do a better job of appealing to white moderates–or play a long, risky waiting game.