The consensus of the expert political pundits is that Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election because she was a terrible candidate and that she didn’t campaign in Wisconsin. She did not appeal to the “white working class”.

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The Republican Party, which has no moderates, and moderate Democrats agree that progressives don’t win elections because they play “identity politics”. Progressives focus too much on issues that are unique to different groups of people, rather than focusing on what is important to most Americans, who are moderates, whether they are Democrats or Republicans. Conservatives and moderates promote the notion that politicians should focus more on the “white working class”. Excuse me? Why isn’t the “white working class” identity politics? Are these politicians saying that what is good for the white working class, is good for everyone? If that is what they are saying, I completely agree that it SHOULD be the case. In a perfect world, what is good for one American SHOULD be good for ALL Americans. The problem is we don’t live in a perfect world.

White Americans, whether they are in the working class or the wealthy class, have always separated themselves from other Americans. Contrary to popular belief, Africans who came to the Western Hemisphere in the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries did not come here seeking employment, and they did not choose to not learn to read or own land and to live in harmony with other people who migrated to the new world. Neither did Native Americans choose to give up there land in exchange for a cushy life on reservations. Identity politics go way back and come way forward, related to the “white working class” as well as all white people.

I could go into explaining why when I grew up in rural East Texas in the 1950s and 1960s, I had to be in the NFA (New or Negro Farmers of America) as opposed to the FFA (Future Famers of America). Or I could explain why even to this day, Christians of the Baptist doctrine in the USA are divided into the Southern Baptist Convention for white churches, and The National Baptist Convention for black churches. But let’s not get into that. Let us just focus on how Americans are divided in 2019.

In 2019 black Americans have the highest rate of unemployment, the lowest level of income and wealth, the highest rate of incarceration of all ethnicities. Is that because black people are lazier than others? Less able to manage their money than others? More criminal than others? Given the state of affairs among black Americans, wouldn’t it be safe to say that black Americans have some issues that are unique to black Americans? Likewise, aren’t there some issues that are unique to Hispanic Americans, LGBTQ Americans, female Americans, Muslim Americans, Native Americans and yes, working class Americans (not just the white working class, but ALL working class Americans)? Progressives don’t exclude any of these groups, nor do they exclude the white working class or even the wealthy for that matter. What progressives attempt to do is to include ALL Americans by addressing issues that are unique to some groups as well as issues that are common to all groups. With progressives, there are no big “I’s” and little “you’s”. We are ALL in this together.

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I’m baffled. We don’t encourage members to give a thumbs down to another member just because they have a differing opinion. This site is here for discussions and debates about those differing opinions. I know because I read every comment on this site.

Yes, the thumbs down is available for comments that break our rules and are egregious, but I can count on one hand the number of times it has been used by anyone in the 10 years we have been operating planetpov.

Thank you for your cooperation.

I believe that TOCB’s post was about the white working class and identity politics.


A little more on the debate:

“Despite calls to start over, US health system covers 90%”


One either believes that the Russkies attacked, meddled and influenced the 2016 general election to swing it to tRump, or one doesn’t.

On a regular day, during a normal election where all votes are counted correctly and hostile foreign governments are minding their own business, sure, we can stop to analyze, criticize and dissect the American voter all day long.

Until then, I really don’t see the point in it.


I’ve always thought it was a silly argument to accuse Democrats of playing “identity politics.” So what? As you say, they can talk about individual groups and their problems and issues while also addressing things that affect all Americans. And actually, the only reason this is even an issue is because it pisses off Republicans when Democrats talk about the solutions they propose since Republicans have no solutions for anything. The only people they care about are the über-rich. Then they expect all the aspiring rich white people who belong to their party to think they’re talking about them. ?

Opie Cat
Opie Cat

Yes. We are most definitely all in this together. Divisiveness doesn’t work, but diversity does!


As we’ve seen over the past few days, it is indeed Identity Politics to single out a class of white voters as more desireable than minority voters. And that, sadly, is a subtle kind of racism that is written off as “pragmatic” by many in the Dem Establishment.

The reality too is that this “Repub-Lite” approach usually fails for Dems. I remember Murph mentioning that this was Claire McKaskill’s approach in her Senate race in 2018. She did not bother to build up the vote from minorities but tried instead to appeal to Trump voters instead. She lost in an election year that was a record sweep for Dems, the Trump Repubs she pandered to didn’t come out for her at all.

It’s one thing for a Dem in a red district or state to run more moderate or conservative but at the same time, they should be trying to maximize turnout from those most likely to support them.

We are indeed all in this together and a majority of Americans are not racists and do not support Trump. I hope the eventual Dem nominee (better not be Biden), will recognize this obvious truth and push the Dems to generate turnout and enthusiasm from Dem and indie voters who can easily hand the election to the Dem if they go out and vote.

Chasing after people so unprincipled and undiscerning to have voted for Trump, is foolish and dangerous.