WikiLeaks Reveal How Progressives Ignored White Working-Class Voters
Documents made public by anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks help explain President-elect Donald Trump’s shocking victory in Tuesday’s presidential election.
In their haste to corner the market on millennial and minority voters, documents show, the Left appears to have ignored the demographic that once provided the base of the Democratic party but ultimately carried Trump to victory: white, working-class voters.
Former President Bill Clinton was acutely aware of this strategic misstep and privately tried to sound the alarm during the Democratic primary, documents reveal. But it was too little too late.
Clinton campaign chair John Podesta played a central role in Democrats’ oversight of the white working class.
Progressives prioritized outreach to the highly-educated, minorities and millennials at the expense of the white, working-class
In November 2007, Podesta and two union executives co-authored a memo to a who’s-who of the Democratic party’s bankrollers, including Clinton mega-donors like George Soros.
The memo layed out the plan for a “progressive majority” that consisted of voters that were either: highly-educated — “elites” in Trump jargon, racial minorities, women and young voters, popularly known as “millennials.”
“An ’emerging progressive majority’ is a realistic possibility in terms of demographic and voting patterns. But it is incomplete in terms of organizing and political work. Women, communities of color, and highly educated professionals are core parts of the progressive coalition. Nationally, and in key battleground states, their influence is growing,” the memo said. “Latinos and young voters are quickly solidifying in this coalition as well.”
The plan: “Ensure demographics is destiny.”
Progressives’ path to victory, the memo said, was to ramp up their appeal to: women, especially “single, working, and highly-educated women”; professionals — a portion of the electorate described as “growing in influence”; African-Americans; Latinos and young voters.
Seemingly left out of that vision: the white working class.
Identity politics in the Obama administration
Progressives didn’t just target minorities for voter outreach — they gave them a leg up over whites for influential government positions.
Documents released by WikiLeaks show the administration prioritized Muslims, African-Americans and Latinos — referred to as “Hispanic names” — when choosing top government officials.
Both in public and behind closed-doors, progressives made white, working-class Americans a low priority.
After Tuesday’s shocking result, Reason columnist Robby Soave wrote, “The left sorted everyone into identity groups and then told the people in the poorly-educated-white-male identity group that that’s the only bad one. It mocked the members of this group mercilessly.”
Democrats left themselves vulnerable — and Bill Clinton knew it
During the Democratic primary, Bill Clinton privately worried to donors that Democrats had, in prioritizing outreach to minority communities, overlooked lower-income white Americans, who had yet to see any of the economic relief that should have come with Obama’s promises of “change.”
“We have incredible debates all over America that shouldn’t exist between people in different racial groups because they don’t trust law enforcement anymore,” he continued. (RELATED: Leaked Bill Clinton Speech: Obama Years Left No Hope For White Working Class)
“And in the middle of all this we learned, breathtakingly, that middle-aged, non-college-educated white Americans’ life expectancy is going down and is now lower than Hispanics, even though they make less money.”
White, working-class Americans, he said, “don’t have anything to look forward to when they get up in the morning. Because their lives are sort of stuck in neutral.”
To another group of donors, Clinton said he “saw a chart the other day that said that since the crash, after inflation, 84 percent of the American people have had literally not one dollar increase in income.”
“I was appalled that no one asked and no reporter wrote about the fact that a week before that debate a national report was published which said that the life expectancy of working-class, non-college- educated, white Americans, men and women, was dropping and was now less than Hispanics,” he said.
Heroin pouring across the Mexican border, Clinton said, was wreaking havoc in lower-income communities.
“Eight- and nine-year- old kids are paid by the drug dealers to take care of the plants, squeeze them out, and begin the process of producing heroin. That’s why heroin is so much cheaper now than cocaine,” Clinton told donors at a fundraiser in suburban northern Virginia. “And it is flooding in the small towns in rural America where the economy has collapsed and where young people think there is no hope.”
White, working-class voters, Clinton tried to explain to Democratic elites, felt left behind. (RELATED: When Speaking To Donors, Bill Clinton Sounds A Lot Like Donald Trump)
“They think the political system is rigged against them, which it is to some extent, and they think it doesn’t make any difference anyway, so they want to vote for whoever they think will raise the most hell.”