Tuesday, May 21, 2019


Paul Waldman is right:
We may discuss the demographic challenges the GOP faces as the party of white people in an increasingly diverse America, and what effect it might have on the next election.

But what mainstream journalists and commentators almost never do is suggest that Republicans have a moral obligation to reach out to liberals, to assure them that the party understands them, cares about them and wants what’s best for them.

We talk about Democrats that way all the time. Reaching out to those “heartland” voters, those salt-of-the-earth Middle Americans, those working-class whites — in short, anyone who hasn’t voted for Democrats in a while — is framed as both strategically vital and just the right thing to do.

... when was the last time you heard a sage pundit opine that Trump is making a terrible mistake by not speaking more directly to the needs and desires of African American women or people who live in large cities or college students or any other group whose members are more likely to vote for Democrats?

You’ve never heard it. Yet it’s a lecture given constantly to Democratic politicians and the voters who support them.
Why the double standard? Waldman has some thoughts:
One explanation: Republicans don’t even bother to pretend that they care about the votes of liberal Americans, or even about their fate. Democrats try to get health insurance for people in red states and write environmental plans that include help for coal communities, but Republicans don’t ask how their policy choices might hurt people who don’t vote for them — unless it’s to figure out how they screw those voters even more. They don’t try to show “respect” for liberals, and they don’t publicly agonize about their inability to “connect” with them.

After a while, it stops even occurring to people in the media to ask whether Republicans need to do more “reaching out,” and they don’t chastise those Republicans for not doing it. Democrats, on the other hand, act like they have a responsibility to represent all Americans, so they're constantly told that they're falling short in fulfilling that responsibility.
What he says is correct -- but it's not the reason Republicans aren't told to do outreach. They aren't because they've been "working the refs" for decades, persuading mainstream journalists that they have a liberal bias simply because they're not ordinary heartlanders. They've sold the members of the mainstream press on the notion that they're not real Americans -- and that the liberal or non-white or coastal citizens in their audience aren't real Americans either.

Journalists have, to a large extent, internalized that worldview. They don't expect Republicans to reach out to people like us because they believe that we're not Americans -- and that they themselves aren't, either.

It's induced self-hate. And it's working.

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