Why Democrats Fail

By Shlomo Maital

     Liberals, ‘progressives’, question why poor US voters who use public assistance still vote for Republicans who want to cut those very services. And why they support Trump, and will again vote for him in 2024. 

     Blame the Democrats.

     First, a caveat.  Though I have studied and worked in the US, I live and work in Israel. My views are those of an outsider. But sometimes, those outside the ring see it more clearly than those battling within it.  Sometimes.

      Working class people, often with high school education, are hit hard by inflation.  They fear most unemployment, and are the first to be fired.  Long-term, their jobs are threatened by automation. There are 1.53 million truck drivers employed in the US in 2022, at least.  How do they feel when they see autonomous driverless trucks tested on US roads? 

    These people have no wealth, actually negative wealth (debt exceeds assets).  They struggle to afford housing.  They lack health insurance or fear it will disappear when they lose their jobs (US health insurance is provided mostly via employers).  They face arrogance and scorn, or humiliation, on the part of the highly-educated elite.  They feel they are marginalized and without a voice.

     Republicans oppose Democrats.  And Democrats, for this long-suffering group, are the enemy.  So working class Americans will vote Republican, as a vote against the ‘ruling class’ that they see ignores or oppresses them. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. 

     And what about the ‘progressive’ Democrats?  They invest energy in fierce opposition to Israel.  OK, we deserve a lot of it.  But – what have the progressives done, lately, that makes an iota of difference to minimum-wage workers?  By pushing Biden into a fanciful costly piece of legislation, they ensured Biden failed to pass it.  What was passed in the end was greatly watered down.

     I greatly admire the brilliant candidates Democrats choose – educated, articulate, socially conscious.  But I know they are never going to make political inroads into the working poor.  

     There are many Great Divides in US politics.  One of the most painful is the education divide – less educated (mainly Republican) vs. more educated (mainly Democrat).  This is very very dangerous.  I see no evidence the Democrats are doing anything to remedy it or bridge it.