Dave Murray, here's some more to bolster what I've said from Umair.
Can Kamala Harris and Joe Biden Defeat Trump?
Some Boring and Annoying Thoughts About Kamala, Joe, and Donald
Let’s begin with point three. What’s the “secret hate vote”? It’s all those kind and gentle American whites who say in polls that they’re going to vote for decent and civilized things — and then don’t. They turn around and vote for the very opposite. That’s why polls have been confounded for the last few years — the secret hate vote means people say one thing, and then do another, in the heat and pressure of the polling booth.
Why 2016 election polls missed their mark
The results of Tuesday's presidential election came as a surprise to nearly everyone who had been following the…
Last time around, the decisive factor in the secret hate vote, the one which more or less handed the victory to Trump, was white women. Suburban soccer moms, homemakers, exurban single moms, you name it. But as a bloc, white women voted overwhelmingly for Trump — some 53% did. And that handed him a surprise victory, because mostly, they said they wouldn’t.
So to really win the election, Kamala has to accomplish three things for Joe and the Dems. One, mobilize the youth vote. Two, mobilize the black vote. And three, stop the secret hate vote by white women. (I would more accurately characterize this as the adherence to the rules of the hierarchy vote because actual hate isn’t the issue).
How likely is that to happen?
Here’s the part where I spoil the party (don’t read this! Go have happy times!! What are you still doing here?!).
I think those three things are less likely to happen with Kamala as Joe’s running mate than otherwise. Yes, really.
Like I said, I won’t throw polls at you — and now you know why. The secret hate vote renders them notoriously unreliable by now. Instead, what I think is worth considering is qualitative data, aka little snippets of the world around us.
Will Kamala really mobilize the black vote? White people think so — the white liberal, in particular, who’s strutting across Twitter in triumph. But what about…black people? I’m not so sure on that score. Here’s an interview in the Post which points to the issue that Kamala isn’t exactly considered the black community’s best friend. Instead, she’s met with a kind of skepticism, as an “interloper” — not my words, but Dr. Brown’s, a scholar of Black women in politics.
Consider this. “Her message failed to resonate particularly with Black voters…before she dropped, she consistently polled 3rd or 4th among Black voters, behind Biden, Sanders, and Warren.”
That reflects the sentiment amongst my black friends and acquaintances, by the way. Kamala isn’t seen with the weird saviour complex that white people seem to suddenly have developed for her. If you were black, after all, you’d be skeptical of Kamala, too. Apart from her skin color, she has a kind of strangely conflicted, checkered record: she’s for racial justice, but also been a prosecutor in the most racist justice system there is in the rich world. What the? I think we should take it with a grain of salt when white people think the black community is going to be over the moon, but the actual black community…well, that’s a little more cautious and hesitant.
That also raises a strange question. Kamala’s half brown, and I’m brown. Should I vote for her just because of the color of her skin? Overlooking her…politics? You see, this is the kind of thing that seems like a cynical sop to identity politics. But people aren’t nearly as simplistic as that, as the black “enthusiasm gap” for Kamala readily shows.
So will the black community be massively mobilized by Kamala? I don’t know. I have my doubts. I think it’s a lot less likely than white liberals think, that’s for sure.
Now let’s think about young people. My woke friends — well, my kid sis’s friends — had a curious reaction to Kamala. They were like “Hmmm…I don’t know.” And then something remarkable happened, for millennials, anyways. They shut up. Needless to say, they weren’t exactly in a screaming frenzy of excitement. It wasn’t exactly Bon Iver plays Prospect Park.
That’s not just my kid sis’s friends. Go ahead and take a look at social media. Who is in a frenzy of screaming excitement about Kamala? That’s right, middle aged white liberals. Coastal types. Not millennials. Mostly, young people are, well, weirdly silent, for a generation that won’t stop tweeting and texting and whatnot. They’re underwhelmed, is my guess, and it’s not exactly hard to see why.
Kamala’s not exactly what they’ve been looking for.
Young people in America are effectively social democrats who don’t know it yet, because nobody much has really told them (and no, “Democratic Socialist” doesn’t count, because social democrat is something much older and worldwide.) Kamala, on the other hand, is a textbook second-generation neoliberal. She doesn’t believe in building new institutions — like, say, an American Healthcare System, or an American Retirement System, or an American Education Fund — she believes in reforming and patching up old systems.
Can that be done? I’ll come to that, but for now, the point is that young people aren’t exactly leaping with joy, raring to vote. At least not so far as I can see. And without young people actually voting, this election ends up a mess. If Trump doesn’t win outright, Biden’s margin of victory is small enough that Trump contests it from here to Russia."