The Democrats Stumble with White Voters

Tony Quinn
Political Analyst

Are Democrats becoming an anti-white people party? One could certainly conclude that watching the Democratic response to President Trump’s immigration plan that provides a very generous path to citizenship to the Dreamers but at the cost of sharply reducing legal immigration.

Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) condemned his plan as an effort to “make America white again”.  Others on the left dismissed the Trump plan as a “white supremacist ransom note.”  One Democrat wrote: “The immigration plan is about one thing: white supremacy. It is about fundamentally changing the makeup of our country by removing people of color and preventing them from coming in the first place”.

What are they so worked up about?  Few Americans probably realize it but the vast majority of legal immigration to this country comes as part of family reunion, providing green cards to family members of people already here legally.  The vast majority of these immigrants are non-white.  Trump and his allies call this “chain migration.”

According to a study by the Cato Institute, the Trump plan to drastically cut back on family migration would reduce legal immigration by 44 percent; of the 1.1 million immigrants eligible for green cards this year 174,000 parents, 67,000 siblings, 76,000 adult children, and 94,000 spouses would lose their right to a green card.  That is what the Democrats decry as “white supremacy.”

As a practical matter, this is never going to happen.  There is little appetite for fighting over legal immigration except among anti-immigration hardliners, and the Trump focus, at least until now, had been real border security in exchange for legalizing the million or so DACA eligible immigrants.  And throughout our history, the ability to immigrate to this country has usually depended on having a relative already here, so “chain migration” really is nothing new.

Nevertheless, the Democratic response, and their general policy toward immigrants, is revealing.  Not only do they demand no change in legal immigration, they want immediate legality for all the DACA eligible immigrants, no local law enforcement assistance to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and no enhanced border security.

Their hysteria over Trump’s border wall overlooks the fact Democrats voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006, signed into law by President George W. Bush.  It mandated 700 miles of “see through” fencing along the Mexican border.  Trump wants about 1,000 miles of wall, but talks about it being “see through” like the 2006 fence.

But the Democrats will have none of this.  There is a sense among the more extreme progressives that once the nation becomes non-white enough, it will turn back to the Democrats.  This belief drives much of the Resistance movement today, which is led, interestingly by the most extreme part of the Democratic coalition, well to do white liberals.

Journalist Pete Spiliakos writing about the problems facing the Democratic Party with white voters, noted two particular problems: “The first thing was the alleged coming of the ‘emerging Democratic majority,’ which was supposed to be brought about by demographic change and a larger nonwhite share of the electorate. This Democratic majority has been a little late in arriving, but that isn’t the only important part of the story.

“Many liberal whites wanted to be rid of the culturally conservative, economically liberal, working-class white voters whom Democrats had courted in the previous decade. Upper-middle-class whites were embarrassed by these people. After all these centuries of white privilege, they never managed to get into a good school—or even a state college—and now they were making demands about trade and immigration.”

Hillary Clinton would be president today except for the fact she lost these very white voters that had voted for President Obama in state after state.  She lost the presidency by losing Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan; and a close look at these three states shows that she did fine among non-white voters but she lost massively among working class white voters, becoming the first Democrat to lose these states in a generation.

Republicans have very little going for them in the 2018 election, but the evidence that Democrats oppose the rule of law when it comes to border security and illegal aliens could create a backlash and save many an endangered Republican.

This is becoming evident in national polling. The 2018 generic ballot lead that the Democrats have enjoyed since last fall has all but disappeared. The respected Monmouth College poll this week showed the Democrats with a tiny 47 percent to 45 percent edge in the generic House ballot. That is down from a 51 percent to 36 percent lead for the Democrats just a month ago.

More bad news for Democrats may be found in a recent NPR poll that showed a majority of white Americans believe whites face discrimination.  “More than half of whites — 55 percent — surveyed say that, generally speaking, they believe there is discrimination against white people in America today,” the pollsters reported.

This feeling is being fed by the anti-white rhetoric found in the Democratic Resistance to Trump.  “Trump is trying to make America white again”, writes liberal Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson.  “Pandering to racists won’t get the Democrats anywhere,” warns The Nation, identifying the racists as those white working class voters who abandoned Clinton.  Others insist that Democrats must be the party of racial identity.  “Identity politics, not Trump voters, will save Democrats,” claims one Resistance leader.

But these Democrats are taking a once large party and making it smaller; apparently totally oblivious to the fact Democrats hold fewer congressional and legislative offices in America than any time in the past 90 years.

Reversing this in 2018 could get tougher.  Republicans are trying to hold onto an open GOP House seat in Pennsylvania by tying the Democrat to Nancy Pelosi, even though he says he will not vote for her for Speaker.  Count on Pelosi’s comments about making America white again showing in mail boxes in every contested congressional race this fall.

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