Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Thursday, April 7, 2016

These Are Not The Parties You Are Looking For

Here's an interesting study about how people tend NOT to understand who actually makes up the political parties.  This is an exploration of the power of prejudice and stereotypes.  (It is also interesting that the Republican stereotype - Bible thumping Southerners - isn't that far off the mark.)  The stereotype of the Democratic party as a party of lesbian, atheist, black, union members is wildly off the mark.  At least in part, this is because there just aren't a lot of lesbians, atheists, blacks or union members out there to constitute a viable political party.

This is a fundamental problem with the Left of the Democratic party.  They assume that there are a bunch of leftists out there - gay, atheist, minority union members - who can constitute a winning coalition.  In fact, you HAVE to have stolid, boring old white middle class voters to win.  You don't need a majority, but you need a fair amount.

This is the heart of the problem with purity politics.  If you think Sanders can unleash a new coalition from the Left, you're kidding yourself.  There just aren't enough votes there.  The GOP is already in thrall to its purity wing, but that has lost them two presidential elections and will likely cost them a third.

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