As Fox News host Tucker Carlson argued in a recent segment, the Democratic Party’s “call everyone racist” playbook may not hold up in the 2020 presidential election.
“Four years ago, Democrats came up with a new and untested political theory: They could win the White House, their strategist promised, if only they called enough people racist,” Carlson said Thursday on his show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” according to a transcript adapted from the segment and posted to the Fox News website.
“That was the plan. Hillary Clinton, for one, thought it was brilliant. By Election Day, she had denounced fully half the country as bigots.”
“Maybe not surprisingly, it turns out that when you tell people you hate them, they don’t care for it,” he added. “What voters strongly prefer, actually, is when you try to improve their lives. It’s not complicated.”
But Carlson made a distinction between improving people and improving people’s lives.
It’s not just semantic hair-splitting.
The difference is between telling people what they need to do versus allowing them to do what they want.
Looking ahead to 2020, Democrats haven’t learned all that much from their failed strategy of calling people “racist.”
Democratic presidential hopefuls have come down hard on the American electorate for being “ignorant” and “irresponsible” — or, to borrow a phrase, for being a “basket of deplorables.”
“That message was on florid display Wednesday night at the candidates’ debate,” Carlson said.
The Fox host cited examples from several different candidates.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, whose signature (only) campaign issue is climate change, reprimanded Americans for their coal consumption.
“We cannot work it out. We cannot work this out. The time is up. Our house is on fire. We have to stop using coal in 10 years. And we need a president to do it or it won’t get done. Get off coal,” Inslee said during the debate.
Telling people to “get off coal” may be rhetorically effective in front of a panel of CNN moderators, but when it comes to appealing to moderate swing voters, the rebuke is alienating and arrogant.
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, also a one-issue candidate who brands herself as a champion for women, wants to tell white women about their “privilege.”
“I think as a white woman of privilege, who is a U.S. senator running for president of the United States, it is also my responsibility to lift up those voices that aren’t being listened to,” Gillibrand said.
“And I can talk to those white women in the suburbs that voted for Trump and explain to them what white privilege actually is. So my responsibility is to not only lift up those stories but explain to communities across America, like I did in Youngstown, Ohio.”
According to The Vindicator, an Ohio newspaper, Youngstown has a poverty rate of 40.2 percent in 2014 — sixth in the nation among cities with populations over 65,000.
White privilege is the least of the city’s problems.
Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro called on people to ignore Republican “talking points” and decriminalize illegal border crossings.
“Open borders is a right-wing talking point. And frankly, I’m disappointed that some folks including some folks on this stage have taken the bait,” Castro said.
These candidates remarks are eerily similar: They’re all aimed at telling American voters what they’re doing wrong.
Americans use too much carbon and thus need to be told about the world’s coming demise.
Americans are too privileged and thus need to be reminded about how well-off they are.
Americans peddle fear about immigration and need to realize that illegal border crossings actually enrich America.
As the Democratic presidential candidates displayed in the second round of debates, their party is one of commanding, not listening.
Improving people. Not improving their lives.
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