With the national elections coming up in November, people are starting to immerse themselves in election season with the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses only two weeks away. However, I’m skeptical about the Democrats winning back the White House, and I’ll explain why.
When business tycoon Donald Trump defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the biggest upset since the 1948 presidential election, many in the media and political establishment were flabbergasted. How could a man with no political experience, a man who defines controversy, beat a political figure like Hillary Clinton?
It was actually quite simple. Putting aside how awful of a campaign Clinton ran, people were angry toward the political establishment.
Former President Barack Obama ran his 2008 presidential campaign on “change” and “hope” only to do nothing of the sort minus the Affordable Care Act. People often defend Obama because of the Republicans refusal to compromise with the Democrats, yet Obama had a two-year period where Democrats had the majority of the House and the Senate. Yet a good amount of that time was spent on the Affordable Care Act and bailing out Wall Street.
Obama assured voters to not give up on him, so those rust belt voters dug their heels and gave him a second term. Of all of the Midwest states, only Indiana didn’t vote for Obama again. Yet, it was all of same: more bickering, more blaming and slow progress.
The political establishment ignored the cries for help in the rust belt. Instead, as Obama once referred to their frustrations with, "They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
Clinton on the campaign trail said, “We're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”
So rust belt voters decided to put their faith in a political outsider, and voted against the Democratic party in 2016. You would think the political establishment would try to appeal to those forgotten voters, right?
For the most part, nope.
Instead, Democrats have been trying to outdo one another on how radical their policies are. Whether it’s giving undocumented immigrants free health care, banning assault weapons, mandating federal funding of abortion or eliminating private health insurance, the Democratic candidates have largely forgotten the voters they need to win back.
Andrew Yang is the only candidate who openly recognizes the struggle of rust belt voters, and while Bernie Sanders does somewhat, he will put policy ahead of those voters.
The current frontrunner for Democratic nomination, former Vice President Joe Biden has persisted that he can win voters over. Yet, his own statements seem to match those made by Clinton, which caused her downfall. It seems the majority of the Democratic candidates aren’t in touch with the struggles of rust belt voters.
It also doesn’t help that many in the media disparage those voters.
In Vanity Fair, writer James Wolcott declares “There’s nothing more to learn from them, and it’s time the doting stopped.”
On MSNBC, television personality Donny Deutsch said of Trump voters, “You can no longer, now as a voter — because it’s not about taxes, it’s not even about some abstract term of immigration or nationalism — if you vote for Trump then you, the voter, you, not Donald Trump, are standing at the border, like Nazis, going ‘you here, you here.”
Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg said about Trump voters, “At best it means looking the other way on racism.”
Democrats are making a grave mistake by largely disregarding rust belt voters, and it’s going to cost them when it’s time to vote.