The Other Swing Voter by Ibram X. Kendi

Susan Adelma with Black Lives Matter holds Black Voters Matter wristbands for midterm elections, at Liberty Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Lawrence Bryant - RC13CA186760

This is an excellent essay that describes a group of voters who swing in a way that is not talked about, except for the purpose of shaming them for not voting. Ibram also finally puts to bed that idiotic notion by a particular set of Clinton die hards that it was somehow Sanders voters who blew the election for her, rather than her own candidacy being the actual problem. Definitely worth the read.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/01/other-swing-voter/604474/

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9 Comments

  1. Great read!!

    I do find it a bit disheartening that the writer fails to mention the fact that 2016 was the 1st election without the Voting Rights Act in place. Voter suppression is as old as time and only getting worse but a giant factor in that 5% decline they mention is that WI, MI & PA all passed laws that would not have been allowed or at least woudl have been fought in court if the Act was still in place.

    I’m a proud 3rd party voter and anticipate I will again in 2020. Michael Moore and I differ in that only because of our residence. If I was still in MI, I too would pull the lever for a D but my single vote in WA state is not likely to be an issue. A Sanders or Warren could get my vote but the Super Delegates are not letting them on the ticket. Not even as a running-mate.

  2. Yeah the VRA factor is definitely something that needs to be taken into consideration, but my guess is that Kendi simply included that in the references to voter suppression/depression without getting into the specifics. But it’s just a guess.

    I’m the type of swing voter who either votes for the Democrat or 3rd party if the Democrat sucks, like in 2016. Clinton took my state by double digits, so ain’t no way am I going to feel bad for voting 3rd party in that instance. If I was still in WI, then I probably would have voted for her, but I would have had to take multiple showers afterward. Besides, my hope was that we’d get at least one of those other parties to cross the 5% threshold so they could have access to federal funds in 2020, but that was not to be.

  3. There was a civil, but somewhat heated argument on GT a few months ago about getting people out to vote. I think a lot of us white, privileged people aren’t aware of just how damaging voter suppression and voter depression can be. But the GOP is and are using it to their advantage. Thanks for the rec on this article.

  4. This is an excellent link – thanks for sharing.

    “White swing voters are largely treated like political free agents who must be persuaded to vote for candidates they like. People of color and young people are treated like political cattle who must be whipped into shape to turn out for candidates they often don’t like.”
    DAYUM

    I know I always have to bring my own shit into everything, but this is also a reason the south is more “in play” (at least for some more Congress members and state level representation) than anyone thinks, if someone (like Stacey Abrams) can do the hard work of unfucking the system that has been fucking over black voters. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the Democratic Party did this fucking work. It’s a form of racism when Democrats and Progressive write off the south.

  5. Oh, sure, but when I make the same arguments ~four years ago I’m a Trump supporting Russian asset misogynist BernieBro.

    Conservative Dems probably still think that way about those conclusions…

    • All those little factors, the small percentage of Bernie or Bust people included, certainly contributed to the outcome. But the big giant structural shit and voter suppression and depression was there, and it shouldn’t have been so close that a tiny number of people could swing the whole thing. If the Democrats were on solid ground in the first place, they could have afforded to lose that fairly typical number of disaffected primary voters.

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