Racism tends to look a little different on the left side of the political isle. But today I found a pretty good example of how it plays out. That's a link to an article on the front page of Daily Kos. The author pulls up lots of statistics in an attempt to make the point that recent elections demonstrate that Democrats can now appeal to their liberal base and win.
What's interesting is that nowhere in the entire article does the author attempt to define "base." It is taken for granted (as is shown in the comments) that he means those who dominate the discussion on Daily Kos - white highly educated upper income progressives.
People like that always ignore statistics like the one where President Obama only got 39% of the white vote in 2012. Conversely, he got 93% of the African American vote, 71% of the Latino vote and 73% of the Asian vote. You wanna re-think that idea about who represents the "base" of the Democratic Party?
The author points out that more and more voters are embracing the label of "liberal." And that is the sole basis for his belief that Democrats can now run on appealing to the liberal base and eschew their attempts to win over moderate voters.
To demonstrate, he uses statistics from suburban and urban counties in Wisconsin.
Consider the difference in the bases for the Democrats and the GOP. In the "WOW" counties that ring Milwaukee (Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington), turnout increased a total of 6.3 percent. Those three counties, which totalled 378,000 voters in 2012, are the home base for Wisconsin Republicans, and have given the GOP their margin of victory in their occasional statewide wins in the state.What he never mentions is that the demographics of Madison (in Dane County) have gone from 15% to 25% people of color during that same time period, with the majority of those increases coming from African Americans and Asians.
Dane County [which he's already defined as a "base" county], meanwhile, saw its turnout increase a total of 10.9 percent in the past eight years. For the first time in a presidential election this year, Dane County crept over 300,000 votes cast in a presidential election.
Its probably true that more people on the left are getting comfortable with thinking of themselves as "liberals." But to assume that is the major reason for our recent victories without once even mentioning the obviously changing demographics represents more than ignorance. It is white-centric. Even in the thralls of overt racism, the Republicans are recognizing that reality.