Saturday , October 31 2020
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Hispanic votes matter

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You won’t find anyone on the internet who’s a bigger critic of Donald Trump than me. More specifically, I’m disgusted by Trump’s racism and the increasing racism within the GOP. And yet I have trouble understanding what the Democrats are trying to do. Going at least as far back as the Jesse Jackson campaigns, there’s been this “rainbow coalition” idea, a theory that people of color are oppressed by our society and thus are the natural allies of the Democratic Party, which claims to be the anti-racism party.I’m not Hispanic, but I have to wonder how Hispanics are viewing the events of 2020. The “black lives matter” rallying cry is something close to the new religion within the Democratic Party. By itself, that may not be a big problem, but unless I’m missing something

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You won’t find anyone on the internet who’s a bigger critic of Donald Trump than me. More specifically, I’m disgusted by Trump’s racism and the increasing racism within the GOP.

And yet I have trouble understanding what the Democrats are trying to do. Going at least as far back as the Jesse Jackson campaigns, there’s been this “rainbow coalition” idea, a theory that people of color are oppressed by our society and thus are the natural allies of the Democratic Party, which claims to be the anti-racism party.

I’m not Hispanic, but I have to wonder how Hispanics are viewing the events of 2020. The “black lives matter” rallying cry is something close to the new religion within the Democratic Party. By itself, that may not be a big problem, but unless I’m missing something this new anti-racism ideology is increasingly focused on African-Americans, to the exclusion of other people of color. How much discussion have we seen this year about young Hispanic men who are murdered by cops? Or imprisoned for selling pot?

When some uneducated schmuck responds to “black lives matter” with “all lives matter”, he’s told that he’s a racist. How would that make the average Hispanic voter feel? I can’t say, but it’s a question worth considering as polls show increasing Hispanic support for Donald Trump.

The Democratic strategy for future decades seems to hinge on the assumption that working class Hispanics making $43,000/year will continue to have radically different voting patterns from working class whites making $43,000/year. (Even though the two groups often intermarry, and work side by side.) Maybe so, but how likely does that seem in a world where the Democrats increasingly portray blacks as the victims and non-blacks as the oppressor class? What’s the Democratic Party pitch to Hispanics (and Asians?) Recall that the old South Africa had whites, blacks, and “colored”, each treated differently. Is that the plan? No more rainbow coalition?

I’m not saying the Dems are wrong in a moral sense; perhaps this is an incredibly noble and selfless crusade on their part. I have become persuaded that the complaints of the black community are genuine. Rather this post is about strategy—I just don’t see how Dems will win in the long run unless they find some other way to frame the anti-racism issue. A more inclusive framing. A framing describing how we’d all benefit from a color-blind society.

A cynic might say this is all a sort of kabuki theatre by the Democratic establishment. After all, even heavily Democratic California refused to enact some fairly basic policy reforms to get rid of bad cops. What does that tell you about their sincerity?

“To ignore the thousands of voices calling for meaningful police reform is insulting,” Sen. Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, said in a statement early Tuesday morning after his bill to “decertify” officers who commit crimes or serious misconduct failed to get a vote in the final hours Monday. “Today, Californians were once again let down by those who were meant to represent them.”

That’s right; even in 2020, when everyone is falling all over themselves to prove how anti-racist they are, heavily Democratic California legislators refuse to enact a bill that would take away the badges of bad cops. Blue lives matter?


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Scott Sumner
Scott B. Sumner is Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, the Director of the Program on Monetary Policy at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and an economist who teaches at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. His economics blog, The Money Illusion, popularized the idea of nominal GDP targeting, which says that the Fed should target nominal GDP—i.e., real GDP growth plus the rate of inflation—to better "induce the correct level of business investment".

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