The Left’s Elusive Voters: The Anglo – American Case

  • ORIENTUL EXTINS
  • 0
  • 116 Views
  • 3 September 2017

Anyone paying attention to the US Senate race in 2018 will know the Democrats have a huge problem on their hands; most seats up for reelection are not just held by Democrat incumbents, they are in states that Donald Trump carried by large margins.

Across the pond this summer, those paying attention (who are not die hard Jeremy Corbyn fans) can also point to why Labour lost; they didn’t talk to the middle classes or what I sentimentally refer to as ‘pub dads’.

In 2015, Labour suffered its worst loss since the 1980s, with one of the main reasons cited its failure to connect with working class voters. Many switched over to UKIP or the Conservatives feeling that Labour was no longer on their side.

The uncomfortable truth for Labour (and the Democrats) is at any given time, a third of working class voters are socially conservative. The kind who might put up an England flag for sports games and leave it there. They talk about values and think they are the only people who do any work. What’s more, is that that work is being exploited meanwhile those in the city are getting all the benefits. Even those who cannot afford to rent a tiny room in Hackney.

As horrible as it may seem, the so-called fly over states and postindustrial parts of Britain live lives that center around not very much at all. You will catch them in the pub or working men’s clubs of a weekend pouring their wages into a fruit machine and explaining why West Ham’s manager should be them and how they almost went professional. Labour doesn’t seem all that interested in such people. In the televised debates in Britain’s last election, two ‘pub dads’ asked Corbyn about nuclear weapons and immigration. All they needed to hear him say was yes, I feel your crazy, of course I would bomb the hell out of that country you cannot find on a map and wouldn’t let their refugees in afterwards. He couldn’t even do that.

But read Labour’s manifesto, and it offered nothing to the middle classes either. Whether Corbyn fans like it or not, Labour won’t win again without them. Seats in rural England mean more than those in Scotland and Wales. Another election may happen again soon and though Corbyn sits ahead in the polls, Labour wouldn’t win these votes back if this election were tomorrow.

The answer to getting and keeping such voters actually lies in Trump country. Red-state Democrats are all mindful of their tight Senate races, and their game plan is quite simple; this isn’t a national election, it is a local one. Joe Manchin of West Virginia (where Trump won by a 46% margin) is sticking to coal and guns. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota is a folksie prairie gal, Jon Tester of Montana has been taking steaks to DC whereas Claire McCaskill is, as a recent radio ad stated, “a daughter of rural Missourah.”

This is a different kind of identity politics that the DNC would rather not touch, yet their unenviable position in 2018 means it cannot but allow such candidates to distance themselves from the party; Obamacare and climate change won’t get them re-elected here.

The most ambitious race for the Democrats and certainly the one to watch would be Texas. The Democrats haven’t won a statewide election here since 1994. Who is the Democrat opponent to ultra conservative gun, oil and Jesus loving Ted Cruz? A three term liberal progressive congressional representative from El Paso who is presentable, charismatic and fluent in Spanish, named Beto O’Rourke.

What could a liberal running in deep red Texas possibly have to offer? In his own word, bi-partisanship. Working with Republicans across the aisle to get things done for Texas in Washington. He isn’t using a PAC, is getting no backing from the DNC and Texas Democrats are extremely unorganised. His answer is to do a Bernie Sanders; travel, listen, rally, raise money, repeat. He hasn’t specifically attacked Cruz yet either.

Cruz certainly cannot claim success in bi-partisanship and most of the GOP dislike him. His fellow Texas Senator, John Cornyn, won’t even endorse him. Cruz is also quite unpopular in Texas for a variety of reasons. While not a suicide mission, O’Rourke is certainly in an uphill battle, but one that should be taken seriously and one the left across the pond ought tolook into.

If Labour wants to get back middle class voters and pub dads, it too should localise elections more to suit the constituency. That means not being ashamed to fly the English flag occasionally or go to a farmer’s market for kale and cheese. Listening to constituents might be old fashioned, but it works better than any rhetoric could.

These constituents need to be beyond likely voters, as well. That’s why Red state Democrats aren’t pursuing a liberal message; they’ve already won those voters and that battle. As Missouri’s McCaskill told Politico, winning isn’t just travelling from St. Louis to Kansas City with stops in Columbia, nor is it solely talking to Fox News or MSNBC viewers; it means talking to Dancing with the Stars viewers.

People may not, in principle, be opposed to re-nationalisation, and raising the minimum wage is the right thing to do. The problem is nobody wants to earn the minimum wage. What happens when truck drivers eventually lose their jobs to driverless vehicles? More to the point, Labour’s manifesto, however left wing it was, did not really talk about ‘kitchen table problems’.The left both sides of the Atlantic needs to be mindful of the future and those issues discussed at the kitchen table so that the majority feel included.

The message can be as ideologically pure as you like and the campaign extremely hard fought. If it fails to hit home, it makes no difference.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

O istorie a relațiilor României cu URSS-ul dezvăluite într-o nouă carte

  • 0
  • 133 Views
  • 8 August 2017

Mi-am permis să abordez o carte ce dezvăluie relațiile româno – ruse și în fapt ne supune la o recuperare a memoriei recente a relațiilor româno-ruse. Este vorba despre cartea Mirunei Mădălina Iancu, care tratează „Relațiile României cu Uniunea Sovietică în perioada anilor 1990-1991”.

Ceea ce ne propune Miruna Mădălina Iancu este o abordare prin care ne transmite că relațiile româno – ruse au fost la un nivel în care j

citește mai mult

Importanța percepțiilor reciproce pentru o strategie pragmatică în relațiile româno‑ruse

  • 0
  • 325 Views
  • 27 May 2017

Relațiile oficiale dintre București și Moscova au ajuns spre finalul anului trecut la cel mai scăzut nivel din istoria post-revoluționară a României. Acest lucru este amplu ilustrat de declarațiile oficialilor ruși, care adesea adoptă un ton amenințător la adresa României, dar și de atitudinea demnitarilor români, care nu par capabili sau interesați să promoveze o agendă bilaterală pragmatică. Această relație „rece” intre cele două state se reflectă de asemenea fo

citește mai mult

Sankt Petersburg, imigranții și pericolul terorist din propria „debara”

  • 0
  • 377 Views
  • 6 April 2017

Nici nu-și terminaseră intervenția echipele de salvatori în situații de urgență iar FSB-ul încă nu se dezmeticise complet pentru a da raportul cerut de președintele Putin, când atacul terorist de la Sankt Petersburg se afla deja în headline-ul principalelor agenții de știri din lume. Au urmat, previzibil, numeroase speculații – iar mass media autohtonă nu a făcut excepție – din partea unor experți mai mult sau mai puțin avizați, care și-au expus opinii

citește mai mult

Azerbaidjanul, petrolul și românii

  • 0
  • 705 Views
  • 7 October 2016

Întotdeauna, statele sunt nevoite să își apere poziția pe marea tablă a geopoliticii, uitându-se cu grijă la vecini, dar și la puterile regionale. Această regulă presupune nu doar poziția ofensivă, ci și valorificare atuurilor, astfel încât să devină piese care contează pe „câmpul de analiză”, iar nu elemente neglijabile, care sunt măturate dintr-o dată de cei ce au suficientă putere să mânuiască piesele.

Caucazul, ca regiune geopolitică, nu face nici ea excepție

citește mai mult

1025 de ani de ortodoxie la Nipru și Volga

  • 0
  • 798 Views
  • 7 October 2016

De curând s-a sărbătorit un eveniment istoric, care a avut anumite consecințe pe scena politicii regionale: 1025 de la momentul în care prințul Vladimir al Kievului a dat ordin ca întreaga populație a statului pe care îl conducea să se boteze în rit ortodox.

Operațiunea a reușit cumva, deși o lungă perioadă au coexistat și credințele păgâne în anumiți zei ai pădurii, ceea ce nu este surprinzător, deoarece nu se poate realiza în

citește mai mult

Ucraina și Rusia, despărțire veșnică?

  • 0
  • 868 Views
  • 7 October 2016

De câteva zile, s-au încheiat întrecerile sportive de la Soci, care au prilejuit o confruntare largă sub aspect imagologic între „unii” și „alții”, cu fotografii, filmulețe, glume și știri mai mult sau mai puțin inventate, dar care au atras atenția unui fapt: 2014 nu este un an calm și în mod cert va crea multe probleme.

Motivele reale sunt legate, în principal, de istoria ultimelor două secole, dar și de realitățile anului 201

citește mai mult

Coreea: calcule și efecte

  • 1
  • 145 Views
  • 17 September 2017

Pe 9 martie 2017 scriam despre criza din peninsula Coreea câteva opinii  http://adevarul.ro/international/in-lume/coreea-nord-ecuatia-geopolitica-scurt-issim-1_58c122ad5ab6550cb82913f9/index.html , iar ultimul paragraf era acesta: „Contextul personal al liderului nord-coreean face să fie astăzi mai probabilă o criză acută aici, d

citește mai mult

The Left’s Elusive Message: Old hats are still old, the Anglo-American case (part II)

  • 0
  • 126 Views
  • 12 September 2017

The phrase ‘old hat’, as one would expect, means something that is tediously familiar or outdated. Yet, walking through Shoreditch or Brooklyn, old hats seem stylish. What the owners of such hats probably aren’t willing to admit is that they paid around five times what the original owner did. This could be a metaphor for the political climate in the US and UK today.

Last week I wrote about who the left in British and American p

citește mai mult

The Left’s Elusive Voters: The Anglo – American Case

  • 0
  • 116 Views
  • 3 September 2017

Anyone paying attention to the US Senate race in 2018 will know the Democrats have a huge problem on their hands; most seats up for reelection are not just held by Democrat incumbents, they are in states that Donald Trump carried by large margins.

Across the pond this summer, those paying attention (who are not die hard Jeremy Corbyn fans) can also point to why Labour lost; they didn’t talk to the middle classes or what I senti

citește mai mult