There are times when it’s good you don’t happen to be sipping coffee as you scroll through the morning news, because occasionally you come across a headline that would cause a spit-take of Krakatoan proportions. Today it comes courtesy of the Washington Post, which—in all seriousness, apparently—tweeted this out:
Talk about clickbait! I haven’t seen a headline that beguiling since, “He showed up at the campaign rally dressed as a sheep. You won’t believe what happens next.” Oh, WaPo. I wish I knew how to quit you.
Anyway, in the article Paul Waldman makes the argument that while Democrats are out there making an effort to talk to voters of a different persuasion, Republicans only stick to red states where they can go and preach to the choir. For example:
In this time of deep polarization and identity-driven politics, there is a profound difference in how the two parties approach the “other” America.
Democratic presidential candidates are spending a great deal of time in Iowa, demonstrating to farmers that they understand their concerns. They hold forums where they talk about soybean prices and the marketing practices of seed suppliers; they propose plans on issues from agricultural monopolies to rural broadband. They’re “reaching out” so hard, their arms are about to pop out of their shoulder sockets.
By the way, in the case of Beto O’Rourke, that shoulder popping thing is literally true. Moving on…
If you missed all the times Republican presidential candidates held forums in urban areas to show Americans who usually vote for Democrats that they get where they’re coming from and would like their votes, that’s because it never happened. That’s just not how Republicans operate, particularly President Trump. From the moment he began his 2016 campaign, his message to people in areas that wouldn’t be voting for him was essentially that they could all go straight to hell. And right after the election was over, he went on a “victory tour,” visiting only the states he won.
Well, if you’re gonna take a victory tour, it doesn’t make much sense to go to a bunch of places that hate your guts—as California and New York have made abundantly clear about Donald Trump—but that’s not important right now. No, what really matters is that Democrats actually care about everybody, whereas Republicans only care about the mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, Chef Boyardee-eating rubes they con into voting for them every couple of years.
Before you double over in fits of hysterical laughter, though, it might be worth considering that Waldman does make one good point. Further on in the article, he states, “If you missed all the times Republican presidential candidates held forums in urban areas to show Americans who usually vote for Democrats that they get where they’re coming from and would like their votes, that’s because it never happened.” In this, he is actually correct. GOP efforts in urban areas are indeed sorely lacking, as the conservative movement has largely taken the same tack as it did with the news media, Hollywood and academia—pretty much just surrendering that territory to the liberals without a fight.
On the other hand, there’s a also reason that Democrats dominate the urban landscape, and that’s because they’ve spent decades building the political machinery they need to essentially lock out any GOP challengers, while at the same time fostering cultures of dependency that hook large swaths of the public on government largesse. Going into places like that and talking about the virtues of self-sufficiency is going to be a tough sell in any case—and any GOP candidate who attempts to do so will likely be met by massive protests organized by the very same machine that keeps Democrats in power.
Care to guess how the media would cover something like that?
Waldman also forgets to mention that Hillary Clinton kinda sorta forgot all about Wisconsin and Michigan after she had wrapped up the nomination in 2016, which highlights a real weakness among Democrats: the tendency to take their own voters for granted. After all, when you reliably get a huge percentage of whatever demographic votes Democrat, why even bother to try anymore? Hillary, of course, found out the perils of complacency the hard way, when her Blue Wall crumbled and Trump cruised into the Oval Office with a comfortable Electoral College margin.
Still, I would be remiss if I didn’t give props to Waldman for tackling a touchy subject—even if he did neglect to bring up a few of the finest examples of Democrat outreach. For instance, here’s a Democrat reaching out to a Trump supporter enjoying his coffee at a Starbuck’s in Palo Alto just recently:
Oh, and here’s a Democrat activist reaching out to a conservative college student on the campus of Berkeley:
Talk about popping your shoulder sockets. Speaking of which, how about that Nathan Phillips beating the skins with a little bit of outreach to the Covington kids?
And what about that time when passionate Democrats reached out to Ted Cruz while he was trying to have a nice, quiet dinner at Fiola in Washington, DC?
Fox News’s Tucker Carlson was also on the receiving end of some Democrat outreach when their “Smash Racism” friends decided to pay a visit to his home one evening.
Come to think of it, maybe Waldman is right. Democrats really are more enthusiastic with their outreach efforts than Republicans!
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