Democrats have done a very good job at one thing since the 2016 presidential election: forgetting about the voters they lost.
Less than 100 days after Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s crushing defeat and Republican capture of the White House, Democrats are hammering the identity politics that lost them the presidency in the first place.
Voters that swung from left to right in staunchly blue states like Michigan and Wisconsin are receiving no reassurance from Democrats that they are seen, heard or cared about.
The Democratic Party rallied around and offered support for the hundreds of thousands of people that came to Washington, D.C. for the Women’s March on Washington.
Illegal immigrants from the southern border and migrants from across the sea were embraced as the future of the country. They push the narrative of a civil rights battle that places the priority on non-Americans over Americans.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called President Donald Trump’s executive order barring immigrants from certain Middle Eastern countries “un-American,” and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer described immigrant families as the “promise of America.”
These are all good and fine battles for the left, but which one of them addresses their millions of constituents who feel the new Democrats aren’t focused on them? On their issues?
Blue-collar workers were negatively impacted by then-President Barack Obama’s war on coal and his administration’s oppressive regulatory burdens for eight years. Over 10,000 coal miners lost their jobs just between April 2015 and April 2016. Regulations cost American businesses and taxpayers tens of billions of dollars. Companies cut back on staff to ease the strain, and those that lost their jobs faced a government that was responsible for this, and offered them federal welfare grants as an apology.
The result of these burdens was a fatal Democratic gubernatorial, House, Senate and White House bleed. Republicans control the most state legislatures since the Civil War. Thirty-three of 50 governorships are Republican. The right holds 240 seats in the House of Representatives and 52 in the Senate.
The hundreds of millions of dollars — and $1.2 billion, in Clinton’s case — the left spent on these races produced monstrous losses for the party.
Now, instead of reflecting on the party’s core problems (like Republicans did after their wallop in 2008), Democrats are hunkering down and latching on to the policy anchors they keep mistaking for life vests.
Democratic leaders did nothing to stem the violent attacks against Trump supporters in the days and weeks after the election, and now they’re focusing all of their energy on topics that blue-collar workers either don’t care about or are negatively impacted by.
Working-class Democrats are staring through the window at a party they are no longer invited to.
The economy is not a sexy topic, and does not ignite the passions like social justice issues do, but it’s a vital one. It impacts the livelihood and well-being of American families. Those families need to know their party is looking out for them; when they don’t hear that anymore, they will start to look for someone who’s listening.
President Donald Trump is fulfilling his campaign promises. He killed the Trans-Pacific Partnership; ordered the building of a U.S.-Mexico border wall; stopped immigration from certain countries in the Middle East and Africa; began dismantling the Affordable Care Act; reinstated the ban on American tax dollars paying for abortions overseas, and convinced companies to keep jobs in the U.S.
Even if you don’t agree with him, at least Trump is keeping his promises and paying attention to the Middle America Democrats so quickly forgot.
Democrats stopped putting regular Americans first. It’s not surprising that Americans stopped putting the Democratic Party first.
The longer they choose to ignore the oldest part of their base, the higher the likelihood those voters won’t be there when Democrats realize their mistake.