Hey, maybe we should stop insulting the people we want to vote for us!

Matt Bai has a great op-ed piece in the New York Times analyzing the campaign/party’s motive behind the Biden pick.  I consider Biden a good choice – he’s feisty, globally aware, and can appeal to white working class voters who may fear Obama due to his “otherness”.  My last reason for liking Biden (or understanding why he was chosen) is the focus of Bai’s piece – he compares it to Kerry’s loss in 2004 and Rich Frank’s book explaining that it was the voters’ inability to look beyond partisan issues (abortion, gay marriage, etc.) and vote for Kerry – a supposed vote for an improvement their financial status.  Now, it doesn’t matter whether Frank is right or not, but what matters is that the Democratic party continues, as Bai argues, to accuse voters of racism (i.e., that’s the reason Obama is not slaughtering McCain right now in the polls).  Bai rightly calls this out as simplified – there are many reasons a person may not vote for Obama.  Bai brings up the generational gap, also that we are a politically divided nation and not even Obama can overturn that during a year’s worth of campaigning.

I consider the constant (less so than in the past) meta-fear-mongering by the Democrats as another alienating factor.  To many of us it is obvious the Neoconservative/Rovian ideology is based on scaring the shit out of people, but not everyone can cast off this fear as phony (and some of them, including members of the armed forces and their families, have good reason not to).  When a candidate keeps telling you you shouldn’t be afraid of something you believe to be terrifying, wouldn’t you be a bit pissed off?  Rather than educate, the Democratic party finger points.  I believe Obama has taken steps to bridging this education gap through charisma and strong words.  But if my father is any indication, he’s got a long way to go to convince some of his sincere care for the American people.

Money quote from Bai: “[S]urely caricaturing a large subset of voters as ignorant has made those voters even less inclined to pull the lever for the Democrats this time around.  All this talk about racism isn’t likely to help.”


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