Five Election Takeaways for White Middle Class Third Party Progressives
In fact one can grab at random any of the instant analysis pundit pastries available from the wide world of infotainment to illustrate this point. Simply substitute “third party Progressives” or “Green Party” for “conservatives” or “Republicans” and the analysis remains just as true either way. Example:
M-A: What can the [Green] (Republican) Party do in response to turn this around?
Barreto: They need to find new candidates that are willing to build coalitions. They need to do significant outreach to Hispanics, but also to blacks. I mean, they can’t concede 98 percent of the black vote. They need to get that back up into the high teens.
And they need to make major inroads with Asian Americans, as Asian Americans as a percentage are the fastest-growing. They can’t concede those votes. If you have these groups that get into that 70 percent-plus range consistently, it will mathematically not be possible for them to win again. They need to bring the Latino and Asian numbers down into the low 60s, and they need to bring the black numbers down into the 80s.
Every year they will have to win more minorities, because the electorate gets more minority every year. So you can’t create a static number, like that you’ve got to win 38 percent of the Latino vote or something, because every year that number goes up for (Greens) Republicans. At some point, when Latinos are 51 percent of the electorate, you’ve got to win more votes.
2. Let’s have a little straight talk here, as John “Crash Corrigan” McCain might say. The Green Party is in reality the “Fourth Party.” The Libertarian Party occupies third place.
Gary Johnson’s vote was more than 300% of Jill Stein’s vote. And let’s face some more inconvenient truth.
Had Ron Paul done the unthinkable, capsizing his son’s own uber comfortable GOP career prospects by running at the head of the Libertarian Party, he might easily, probably would have scored the 5% national vote necessary to achieve the mythical “matching funds” status for 2016.
The trends are even more striking: while Johnson’s tally was the highest Libertarian presidential vote total ever, Stein’s .33% is a free fall from Ralph Nader’s astonishing 2.73% in 2000, and ten percent less even than the unknown Libertarian Candidate’s 2000 percentage of .36%.
3. The growing relevance of the progressive latino vote is underscored by the fact that just the marginal increase alone of hispanic votes for Obama above his already significant 2008 totals dwarfed the entire Green Party vote for Jill Stein.
If white middle class third party progressives were truly trying to build a viable political coalition they would be genuflecting hard in the direction of the emerging Democratic majority today, not continuing to think of new reasons to self-justify their irrelevance.
The Green Party USA has not demonstrated any ability to grow a sustainably energised political identity for itself in the US. Its only national significance ever came through co-opting Ralph Nader’s celebrity status. Everyone remembers Nader 2000 as his achievement and his alone. It is way past time for a new strategy and a new branding for the Green Party.
How about calling it “The Brown Party?”
“Ask not what Brown can do for Green, ask what Green can do for Brown.”
And as suggested in takeaway #1 above, the WMCP’s recalcitrant evil twin cell mate, the GOP, might also put to good use my JFK/UPS mashup. Maybe they will recognise the inherent aisle crossing power in paraphrasing JFK as much as they will of course embrace a corporate jingle lifted from a UPS commercial.
4. Women and gays and weed, OH MY!
And young people.
Profound, society-altering changes occurred this week. The pundits call it a “watershed” election. That sounds about right. Taken together with Obama’s 2008 achievement, it fits on the mantle indeed with Nixon’s wins of 1968-1972. Nixon was a harbinger of things to come. While not a dyed in the wool conservative himself, he marked the change of direction from postwar liberalism to the Southern Strategy fueled sunbelt conservative era dominated by the GOP since 1980.
I have often remarked that Obama’s first term is much like Nixon’s first term with ideology reversed. Nixon was a pragmatic center-right politician presiding over a very liberal Congress, while Obama is a pragmatic center-left politician presiding over a very conservative Congress. Nixon discovered the Southern Strategy. Obama has discovered a new coalition that fully recognises the changing demographics. For me, the most astounding number in this stats-filled silly season is the change in percentage of white votes:
1992 – 87%
2012 – 72%
Wow, just wow. Are you reading the stats today, Mssrs. Gallup and Rasmussen? Mr. Fox News Channel?
5. Marco Rubio has already landed the GOP nomination for 2016.
Say what you will about Republicans, but even they know when they are beaten (at least by the second thumping), and they will change on a dime to stay au courant. This doesn’t imply that the farthest right of them won’t split off and form a
third fifth party of their own.
But the GOP won’t be ready to hand the party reins over to a black woman, no matter how accomplished and articulate, named “Condoleeza.”
If I were a betting man, and I’m not, I would advise the Democrats to be looking for a relatively youthful female candidate for 2016 who has the requisite charisma, looks (sorry, that’s just the way it is, don’t shoot the piano player) and political skills necessary to inhabit and successfully re-energise Obama’s winning coalition of women, minorities, gays and youth.
And if you reflexively use any combination of the terms “Jill Stein, Green Party” in your response as 2016 POTUS candidates, go to your room.
And don’t come out until after dinner.