For the last couple of decades, we have seen an unusual trend in politics. The largest demographic in the country has been largely ignored. And when there was notice take of this demographic, it was portrayed in a negative light. White men have been the whipping boy of the Democrats and the closet skeleton of the Republicans.
If you listen to most politicians, white men are the wicked oppressor or the unspoken taboo. The reason is that for most pundits, white men make little difference in political campaigns. They see that it is the minorities and special interest groups that tip the balance. Yet, this is a fools understanding of politics and races. The largest group of voters are white males.
One Democratic possibility for the primaries is seeking to win over this majority. His name is Jim Webb, former Senator from Virginia. Webb is not your run of the mill liberal Democrat. Webb has spoken out against affirmative action and has advocated for poor and working class whites, particularly those in the south. Webb says that these men have been largely overlooked and ignored in policy making.
This is a break from the party line and could win him support from independents and the more conservative branch of the party. His centrist populist views have some wondering if he could give Hillary a run. It is unlikely, but many said the same in 2008. And we must not forget Clinton’s Achilles heel.
Clinton, whether it is because she is female or just her personality, does not maintain the male vote very well. She looses more men as time passes, and this is what failed her in ’08. Here is a candidate who is actually campaigning for that male vote. This combination could be deadly.
There is also the factor that Webb is the opposite of Obama as well. He is not a candidate who is going to seek the advantage through division. Obama polarizes and then seeks to identify with this group or that group. Webb is more of a “we are in this ship together” kind of guy. And has been quick to point out the Presidents exclusion of white-males.
Webb is one of the first politicians in my lifetime to recognize that not all white working class males are the same. He wrote an article for The Wall Street Journal in 2010 which points to the one size fits all attitude and policy making perpetrated against white males in American politics. There he write:
Contrary to assumptions in the law, white America is hardly a monolith. And the journey of white American cultures is so diverse (yes) that one strains to find the logic that could lump them together for the purpose of public policy.
It is good to see that there might be a candidate running against Hillary who is not seeking to emulate her and her politics. Webb may not have a snowball’s chance of winning, but it might be that he pushes the rest of the field to be honest. Would it not be nice to see the Democrats actually address concerns of the working white man?
Maybe this will be a step in the right direction. What if laws and policies were made according to the standard of justice and not according to ethnicity or sex? What would it be like to live where we will find that we are just working men and women? Where our politicians see that we will best be served when we are seen as Americans and not a special demographic.