The party of ‘Karens’: The new Democratic Party alienates nonwhite voters
After Barack Obama’s 2008 White House victory, Democrats believed they had created an unbreakable “coalition of the ascendant” voters, driven by increasing participation of minority groups and college-educated women. But recent left-wing economic and policy woes have brought about a demographic realignment that threatens to sink Democrats’ chances not just for 2022, but for the next several decades.
As President Biden’s approval ratings have tanked with nonwhite voters, the Democratic Party increasingly has become dominated by liberal white women who virtue-signal with suburban lawn signs and then henpeck people in supermarkets to pull their face masks up over their noses. Or, put more simply, the Democratic Party is at risk of becoming a party of “Karens.” Recent polling suggests that Hispanic and Black voters are abandoning the party — many of these individuals are being harmed by the surging inflation, anti-business COVID measures, and exploding crime rates in urban areas brought about by a year of left-wing measures.
For more than a decade, Democrats worked to build a voting base composed of minorities and unmarried women. After Donald Trump’s 2020 loss, it would appear the mission was being accomplished. White voters dropped from 81 percent of the electorate in 2000 to just 67 percent two decades later. Meanwhile, Biden carried a whopping 63 percent of single women in 2020.
However, poor public policy over the past year is already casting the idea of a continuing Democratic majority in doubt. Recent polling suggests that Hispanic and Black Americans are more likely to vote as individuals than as aggrieved racial blocs.
In February, nearly 70 percent of Hispanic voters supported Biden — by November, that number had crashed to below 50 percent. In early polling for the 2022 midterms, Hispanic voters split 37-37 percent between the two major parties in their congressional preferences. There are many fingers that could be pointed at why, but two factors seem most significant. First, to borrow a phrase from James Carville, “It’s the economy, stupid.” Record high stock prices and artificially low unemployment rates can’t paper up rampant inflation, supply shortages and decreasing numbers of employees in the workforce. Among a population that owns their own businesses at parity rates with whites and whose average incomes are catching up with the majority population, the wider economy is more than an abstract concept. Second, the cancer of wokeness is downright anathema to Hispanic Americans. Forty percent find the phrase “Latinx” offensive and just 2 percent of the group actually uses the phrase.
The panic must be real for Democrats. Not only are émigrés from socialism among Venezuelan and Cuban Americans increasingly voting Republican, so are Mexican Americans — especially in South Texas. The disapproval rate for Biden among the group is higher than that among whites.
Among Black voters, Biden’s approval had fallen from 85 percent to 67 percent by September and has continued to slide. The increasingly vapid demands of the urbane upper-middle class often harm the communities that liberals claim to help. NIMBYism drives up housing prices for minority residents. “Defund the police” rhetoric has led to major cuts in law enforcement in some cities, as violent crime soars and quality of life declines. Families in cities such as Chicago, which has experienced more murders in 2021 than any year since 1996, are forced to live with shootings that occur routinely in public areas — in some cases, young children have been killed by flying bullets. Black Democrats are 20 percent more likely to support more police funding than their white counterparts.
Large looting gangs rove San Francisco and Chicago. Poor policy and rampant handouts have created tent cities in former tourist areas such as Venice Beach, Calif. Homeless people and drug addicts fill subway cars in New York City. Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood is known for being a large, open-air drug market. Now, COVID-19 vaccine mandates have helped to destroy immigrant-owned businesses and may disproportionately affect Black residents. The issues most crucial to the new kingmakers of the Democratic Party are not only counter to the popular will of many nonwhite voters but may actively harm them.
If the Democratic Party no longer has Hispanic and Black voters as electoral locks, it is left with a diminishing constituency of its most consistent members: single, college-educated white women, who dominated last year’s social media slacktivism and protests. It is possible that this liberal woman demographic would be able to hold enough sway to choose Democrat nominees for the foreseeable future. And yet, party bigwigs must understand that as offensive as much of the electorate considered Donald Trump, morphing into the party of “Karens” who are more concerned about your carbon footprint than keeping your community safe, likely will further alienate Hispanic and Black voters.
The coming “Second Great Awokening” not only threatens the fabric of America’s history and future, but also threatens to rip apart the Democratic Party coalition. Voters of all races who support public safety, economic opportunity and a dose of sanity in politics may find a home in the Republican Party. For many, such a choice will be natural. For others, it will be because the new Democratic Party simply left them behind.
Kristin Tate is a libertarian writer whose latest book is “How Do I Tax Thee? A Field Guide to the Great American Rip-Off.” Follow her on Twitter @KristinBTate.
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