Sean Trende has, for the last couple of months, has tried to tell the national Republican Party’s establishment that they can oppose comprehensive immigration reform and still win future presidential elections by promoting his “missing white voters” strategy.
As a progressive-minded Democrat who supports comprehensive immigration reform, I’ve long dismissed Trende’s analysis as bunk. However, when I re-read the first part of Trende’s four-part series of articles on Real Clear Politics, I noticed that Trende described the “missing white voters” that, according to Trende, Mitt Romney failed to win over in the 2012 presidential election as “largely downscale, Northern, rural whites” who were Ross Perot’s base during his 1992 independent presidential campaign that received 18.9% of the national popular vote and 21.5% of the Wisconsin popular vote.
Believe it or not, Sean Trende accidentally described the group of voters that the Democratic nominee for Governor of Wisconsin would have to win over in order to defeat Scott Walker in 2014. The “missing white voters” that Trende described aren’t as conservative or bigoted as Trende would want you to think they are. In fact, they can be won over by a Democratic candidate for public office if he or she runs a left-wing populist campaign. Most of these “missing white voters” are actually people who are disaffected with the way that government operates and think that most politicians don’t care about them.
If the Democratic nominee for Governor of Wisconsin runs as a “business moderate” or an “overeducated liberal”, Scott Walker will probably win re-election unless 2014 happens to be an unusually strong year for Democrats on a national scale. If the Democratic nominee for Governor of Wisconsin were to point out the various ways that Scott Walker’s extreme, right-wing agenda has hurt Wisconsinites, especially rural Wisconsinites, and brings a progressive agenda that appeals to a broad coalition of Wisconsinites, including rural Wisconsinites, Scott Walker could very well lose re-election in 2014.
Progressivism is a political ideology that is based on four principles:
- Supporting ideas to create jobs and economic growth in a responsible manner, providing for a social safety net, and supporting quality public education
- Supporting reproductive rights, equal rights, workers’ rights, and the rights of the accused
- Supporting efforts to make government less corrupt and more transparent, providing for a system of free and fair elections, and supporting efforts to remove the undue influence of money from the political system
- Supporting the principles of justice, liberty, and fairness.
In short, progressivism is based on the concept of building a more perfect civilization.
When running for a seat in the Maine State Senate in 2012, Progressive Democrat Colleen Lachowicz was attacked by the Maine Republican Party for having made a series of vile comments under her alter ego Santiaga, which she uses when playing the video game World of Warcraft.
Lachowicz, using a political maneuver that I had never seen before, used her own baggage to attack the Maine GOP for attacking her for playing video games:
I think it’s weird that I’m being targeted for playing online games. Apparently I’m in good company since there are 183 million other Americans who also enjoy online games. What’s next? Will I be ostracized for playing Angry Birds or Words with Friends? If so, guilty as charged!
Lachowicz then went on to defeat incumbent Republican Maine State Senator Tom Martin by 939 votes, and I was absolutely shocked to find out that Lachowicz won.
Lachowicz used her own baggage to paint the Maine GOP as out of touch, and it worked!
In “strongly Democratic states”, such as Illinois, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, California, and Hawaii, as well as in “swing states”, such as Wisconsin, Ohio, Nevada, Iowa, and Florida, there is a coalition of voters, compromising at least 50%+1 of general election electorate, and an even larger percentage of the Democratic primary electorate, that is willing to vote for a progressive Democrat.
The “progressive coalition”, as I like to call it, is the core principle of any progressive Democrat’s strategy to get elected. If a state or other constituency has a majority of voters who are willing to vote for a progressive Democrat, that state or constituency can be won by a progressive Democrat.
Labor unions are only a small part of the progressive coalition, but they’re an important part of it. Progressive activists are, again, a small part of the progressive coalition, but they’re also an important part of it.
The rest of the progressive coalition consists of voters who come from all walks of life, are of different ethnic backgrounds, are both male and female, are of different sexual orientations, are of different economic classes, are of varying ages, and hold jobs in virtually every economic sector. The political views of those who are open to the idea of voting for a progressive Democrat vary from far-left to center-right.
The progressive coalition doesn’t automatically rally around a progressive Democrat. It is the responsibility of the progressive Democrat who is running for public office to build the progressive coalition by winning over the coalition of voters that he or she needs in order to win the election.
I’m Aaron Camp, and I’d like to welcome you to my new project, Operation Bull Moose!
This is where I will propose various political strategies that I believe will help progressive-minded candidates get elected to public office all across this great country. After all, this country needs a Second Progressive Era, but we need to fight for it.