Friday, May 26, 2017

How Many Votes Does The Working Class Have?

The thinking on the Left is that the Democratic Party establishment has forgone the notion that the party represents the working class (people who live off paychecks and not investment income or rent) and has made a conscious effort to redefine its base in a way that doesn't include the working class or at least not most of it; namely that the party sees its base as being a multi racial milleau of upper middle class socially liberal professionals (including people who have "made it" and those who hope and expect to "make it") and people who identify with some type of identity politics such as many feminists, Blacks and gays do.

That scenario matches the reality that the Democratic Party has become more business friendly and seeks out and receives more campaign money from "Wall Street" - i.e. big banks, hedge fund managers, corporate CEOs, law firms and the like. I often say today's Democrats are Republicans who are in favor of gay marriage and abortion and ours in New Mexico are prime examples. The never talk about, or put forth legislation to promote, economic equality, better working class pay and benefits, or to remove the formidable barriers to union organizing that have been erected over the years. On economic matters they vote with Republicans and they vote to cut social spending and to hike military spending.

Many radicals and many of the thousands of people flocking to Socialist organizations have sworn off the Democratic Party and will not vote for a Democrat, and there are those whom you might call Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren Democrats, i.e., the party's left wing, who only vote Democratic because they fear Republicans more and would vote for a viable alternative if there was one.

All this raises questions like how many actual votes are in the working class., and would a class based Democratic Party attract many working class Republicans? What if it campaigned on economic issues and let people make up their own minds about abortion, gay marriage, women's rights and civil rights?

Look at the top right pie chart that shows that almost everyone makes $60k or less. These graphics say families that take in $50 to $60,000 per year and less, are, by a wide margin the majority in America.

But what about civil rights, women's rights, gay rights? Those peoples lives matter certainly. They vote, and if you removed them from the graphs above the $50K and under families would probably no longer be a majority by itself.

That's the kind of calculation that has led the Democrats, their consultants and polling firms to where they are, beholden to big business and with living standards for the majority in decline, and unable to win elections like the one last night in Montana and the one Donald Trump won in November.


  1. I still think the Democratic Party's stands against racial, sexual, religious, and other forms of discrimination are less off-putting to most working class citizens than that party's 35-year-long embrace of the economic elite. Working class people don't hate egalitarianism, tolerance, and inclusiveness nearly as much as they hate elitism.

    1. Thanks, Bob, and I added a graphic I'd meant to lead with.

  2. You know, I think part of the problem is the terms we use. Poor, working poor, lower middle class, middle class, upper middle class, rich and super rich.... etc. Most Americans are loathe to admit they are not middle class, it does not matter if they scratch along with 2-3 kids, both parents working, some multiple jobs and making $25,000.00 to $30,000.00. They still WANT to be considered middle class, they still IDENTIFY as middle class. The Republicans have used this mentality, this mindset to manipulate the American electorate for years and the Democrats jumped on the bandwagon.

    This phenomena is particular during elections... You hear it all of the time. I have worked local, state and national election polls and listen as folks make known why they vote the way they do. On top of this all a good percentage of the voters are dumb as a rock. I was working a city election a year ago March and about 20 folks came in expecting to vote for Trump or Hillary. In a city election mind you, and you would be surprised at who they were. This is a small town, so I knew who they were. I was really surprised.