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Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:17 AM

Joan Walsh, Salon: America: Love it or be left behind


Great column from Walsh, starting with lots of paragraphs about GOP excuses for their loss, and then moving on to why they really lost:

ďA broad mandate this is not.Ē

Really? Letís review. Obama won 93 percent of African Americans, 71 percent of Latinos and an astonishing 75 percent of Asian Americans, a group that used to split between parties. He won a majority of Catholics, Jews and Muslims as well as the religiously non-affiliated (he only lost white Protestants.) He won women and young people. The only group he lost was white people, and particularly older white people and extremely particularly older white men.

Does Obama have really have a problem attracting broad support? Or would the problem belong to the stubborn minority bloc that wonít vote for him, no matter what he does? Do the math, lads.


Analysts concerned about the depressed, disappearing or increasingly Republican white vote Ė and Iím sometimes one of them Ė arenít necessarily wrong. We should always care about those who are left out. But looking at the election results, Iíve reached some limit in my capacity to offer advice about how to win over the white voters who continue to reject Obama. The uber-rich and the Galtian weirdos donít worry me; there arenít many of them. I care more about the economically marginal who are for some reason anxious about racial change, but Iím not sure much can be done for them.

When I reviewed Pat Buchananís last book a year ago, ďSuicide of a Superpower,Ē I marveled that Nixonís best strategist of the white working class, who went on to work with Ronald Reagan and do some of the same things for him, was reaching the end of his life feeling like a failure, because despite his best efforts to advance the interests of white people, theyíd be a minority in the not too distant future. I felt bad for Buchanan, a little, I really did. I canít really imagine deciding that the America I love is dying if its traditions and its heartbeat pulse within people who maybe look different from me. But thatís how Buchanan feels.

I think whites like Buchanan are a small minority, but there are more of them than I thought. The Next America Project does a lot of great polling on racial issues and found that whites who fear racial change favored Romney 2-1; whites who welcomed it went for Obama 3-2. And for those who think the GOP can solve its demographic issues with a little immigration reform: a later poll found that whites who fear immigrants went for Romney 9-1. (So good luck making a little nip and tuck to your immigration policies, GOP.)

These are the people who back in the 1960s became the self-appointed guardians of American identity, the definers of American exceptionalism, whose tribalism was captured by the old snarl: ďAmerica: Love it or Leave It,Ē one of the signs carried by the Hard Hat Rioters of 1970 as they beat up anti-war activists (which I write about it my book.) But maybe itís time to say to them: ďAmerica: Love it or be left behind.Ē

I love this country, but would never say ďlove it or leave it.Ē Itís not in the liberal nature to issue ultimatums like that, or to define American identity unilaterally. But I think the people who are so angry about the Obama years, who want to take their country back (as if it belonged only to them) do have to face reality: if they donít love the America thatís being born, thatís reflected in the Obama coalition, theyíre going to be left behind. They donít have to get out, but theyíll be increasingly unhappy living here. Thatís their choice. Iíll go on looking for ways to reach out to people who seem genuinely not to understand that thereís a place for them here, to help shepherd them to our common future. The hundreds of Ole Miss kids who burned Obama-Biden signs and spewed racial epithets election night? Theyíre on their own.


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Reply Joan Walsh, Salon: America: Love it or be left behind (Original post)
highplainsdem Nov 2012 OP
Iggy Nov 2012 #1
highplainsdem Nov 2012 #3
marmar Nov 2012 #4
LineLineNew Reply -
IDemo Nov 2012 #5
Manifestor_of_Light Nov 2012 #2
highplainsdem Nov 2012 #6

Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:59 AM

1. Mehhh


NOT interested in what Walsh has to say now.

he need to focus on PAYING his child support and being some sort of sane father to his kids

anything else is irrelevant, IMHO

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Response to Iggy (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:16 AM

3. Iggy, see reply 2 below, which is really intended as a reply to your post and not my OP.

This column is by Salon editor JOAN Walsh, whom you've seen on TV a lot if you watch MSNBC at all. She's one of the best progressives around.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:11 AM

2. This is JOAN Walsh, a woman, NOT deadbeat dad Joe Walsh.

And NOT Joe Walsh of the Eagles.

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