Dems Ignore White Men at their Peril
By: Carey Roberts
Representing 38% of all voters, white men represent the second largest block in the American electorate, after white females. It is these 97 million white males to whom the Republican Party owes it electoral success in five out of the last seven presidential campaigns.
The reason is simple: White males have abandoned the Democratic Party in droves. While the liberal media consistently depict the gender gap as a Republican liability, in fact, the gap has long worked to the advantage of the G.O.P. This media misportrayal is the subject of David Paul Kuhnâ€™s recent book, The Neglected Voter: White Men and the Democratic Dilemma.
For years, the Democratic Party was stitched together by an unlikely amalgam of Catholics, blue-collar workers, and southerners. But in 1968 the Party imposed racial and sex quotas on its national convention delegations. It took only four years for the new-found coalition of feminists, Blacks, and ideological radicals to displace the union bosses and party hacks.
In the 1972 election the Dems pinned their presidential hopes on anti-war candidate George McGovern. But he was soon caricatured as the â€œcandidate of the three As: acid, abortion, and amnesty.â€ Needless to say, Richard Nixon won in a historic landslide.
In 1976 Jimmy Carter campaigned on the basis of his military experience, religious faith, and business acumen. But on Inauguration Day the newly-elected Leader of the Free World nearly groveled in front of his audience: â€œyour strength can compensate for my weakness, and your wisdom can help to minimize my mistakes.â€
Seen as timid and ineffective, he was routed from office four years later by the ebullient Ronald Reagan, the former cowboy actor.
In 1984 the Democrats fielded Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro. By then working-class men viewed the Dems as effete mother hens. No surprise, Reagan won 525 electoral votes to Mondaleâ€™s 13.
The most hilarious moment of the 1988 campaign belonged to Michael Dukakis â€“ thatâ€™s the day he donned a combat helmet and popped his head from the turret of an M-1 battle tank. And when a debate question failed to evoke even a hint of outrage about his wife Kitty being raped, his defeat was assured.
These Democratic candidates failed to exemplify the virtues of chivalry, strength, and grit. But it was president Bill Clinton who, embracing the radical feminist agenda, openly stiffed the male electorate.
During the first two years of his hen-pecked presidency, Bill handed over domestic policy to wife Hillary. In short order she installed Donna Shalala at Health and Human Services, Norma Cantu at the Department of Education, and Janet Reno at Justice. Soon thousands of poor fathers were being jailed for non-payment of child support, college men found their athletic teams disbanded, and the Violence Against Women Act was signed into law.
And while middle-class White Men were struggling to cope by stagflation and the extinction of millions of blue-collar jobs, the liberal-left lampooned them as hopelessly out of step with the gender liberation crusade.
No surprise that in the 1994 elections the â€œangry white maleâ€ came out of the woodwork and handed control of both houses of Congress to the Republicans. Steven Stark would later write in the Atlantic that â€œBill Clintonâ€™s Administration has, fairly or not, come to symbolize an attack on men and masculinity as â€˜problemsâ€™ to be overcome.â€
When New Age Sensitive Guy Al Gore launched his campaign, it didnâ€™t help that he had to hire feminist Naomi Wolf to advise him how to become a â€œBeta male.â€ After Gore came out against gun ownership, George Bush won the white male vote by an astonishing 27% margin.
Author Kuhn reveals the outcome of elections hinges on whether the candidate projects an inward strength of character, conveys a rugged sense of self-sufficiency, and is strong on national security. With the Democrats widely viewed as the â€œmommy party,â€ the Republicans have a decided edge in this department.
And referring to an antipathy that modern liberals still refuse to acknowledge, Kuhn notes, â€œFor some 40 years, phases like â€˜the Man,â€™ â€˜male chauvinist pig,â€™ â€˜white male privilege,â€™ â€˜dead white males,â€™ â€˜angry white male,â€™ and the actions behind them have led to an entire vocabulary of blaming white men for the nationâ€™s worst ills.â€
Sizing up the current crop of Democratic candidates, Kuhn sees little hope. â€œThe irony of the 2008 election is that Democrats have candidates who can win, but the party remains stuck in its passions rather than its pragmatism,â€ Kuhn concedes.
So as the 2008 presidential campaign comes into focus, will the Democrats stage an abrupt about-face and embrace the lessons of the past? Or will the Republicans continue to dominate in presidential politics?
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Carey Roberts is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.