Told Them So...i.e., the Democrats; But They Didn't Listen

Slurping up explanations for Tuesday's election results, I was reading John Judis in the Washington Post. "Why Identity Politics Couldn't Clinch a Clinton Win." As I'm nodding along in agreement with Judis, it sounded familiar!

Indeed as I rummaged around in the over-full memory bank, up bubbled a column I wrote after the 2014 election, Commonweal published it in the January 9, 2014 issue, "Real Politics, Anyone."

I advised: "Give up on slicing and dicing the electorate with demographic profiles. Get back to politics—actually trying to persuade voters—and campaign on broad, fundamental issues instead of niche appeals." Those would be "jobs and wages, inequality and education, income insecurity and the social safety net." Donald Trump chose jobs, wages, and income insecruity.

That's why Donald Trump won and Hillary Clinton lost. 

John Judis sums it up: ""Why did the Democrats’ strategy fail so miserably? Ultimately, because they overestimated the strength of a coalition based on identity politics."

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages.

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