The Democratic Party is in trouble politically, socially, and culturally.
Politically, they currently face a major wave against them in 2022. Joe Biden’s numbers aren’t great. The economic issues and COVID-19 still persist. Multiple high-ranking Democrats are opting out of running again. The party can’t decide whether it wants to keep Biden, go with Kamala Harris, or Pete Buttigieg. It’s all basically chaos for them at this point, and there’s no relief in sight.
Socially, this is playing out on various fronts. Hispanic/Latino voters are trending toward the Republican Party as education, abortion, and other family issues take up all the national dialogue. Couple that with the Democratic elite and progressives using “Latinx,” a term that turns out to be offensive to about 40% of those voters. There is a noticeable trend of black families looking for educational alternatives for their children, and that could make the Republican brand more appealing.
There is a noticeable change coming up in the Democratic base, though, that can fundamentally change things even more. This morning, Axios is pointing out that the Democratic Party base has a hate problem.
Nearly a quarter of college students wouldn’t be friends with someone who voted for the other presidential candidate — with Democrats far more likely to dismiss people than Republicans — according to new Generation Lab/Axios polling.
Why it matters: Partisan divides — as each side inhabits parallel political, cultural and media universes —make a future of discord and distrust in the U.S. all the more likely.
By the numbers: 5% of Republicans said they wouldn’t be friends with someone from the opposite party, compared to 37% of Democrats.
- 71% of Democrats wouldn’t go on a date with someone with opposing views, versus 31% of Republicans.
- 30% of Democrats — and 7% of Republicans — wouldn’t work for someone who voted differently from them.
The Democrats will argue that this is a result of Republicans being hateful, racist bigots who are way outside the mainstream. However, that doesn’t quite line up with reality. Take abortion, for example.
All one needs to know is the name Ed Stezler. He is a State Representative and authored the fetal heartbeat law in Georgia. His district had trended Democrat. Stacey Abrams won it in 2018 and he barely hung. In 2020, after the Georgia legislature passed Ed’s bill, he became the most highly targeted state house Republican in America. Democrats from across the nation poured money into beating Ed. They made their entire campaign about abortion. They targeted voters. They sent door knockers. They had phone banks. They had celebrities. They outspent Ed Setzler and the Republicans.
Biden beat Trump in his district. The Democrats picked up both Senate seats in his district. Ed won with 50.5% of the vote. Making the race against him about abortion failed.
In Texas, Abortion Barbie a/k/a Wendy Davis, ran for both Governor and Congress. She tried to run on other issues, but had defined herself on abortion as the abortion candidate. Both times, the abortion candidate lost.
In Virginia, Terry McAuliffe ran hard on the issue of abortion and what the GOP might do. But exit polling showed voters who cared about the issue more than any other wound up leaning Youngkin.
Adding to that Virginia bit, there was some data after McAuliffe’s race against Cuccinelli that a last-ditch robocall on McAuliffe’s pro-abortion position actually helped keep that race close. Without that robocall going out, it’s very likely the McAuliffe victory would have been well over the roughly 48-45 victory it was.
The Democrats routinely call Republicans and their activists “culture warriors,” but when it comes to pushing the country in a particular direction away from where it currently is, it’s always the Democrats who have been at the forefront. On abortion, they have been pushing to open up the definition to make it as widely available and as routine as any other form of birth control. With social spending, they have moved to make it more and more available while lowering the requirements further and further, creating programs that are impossible to pay for.
On issues like education, they are tightening their control as much as possible and shutting families out, even going so far as to label concerned parents as “terrorists.”
They are pushing to fundamentally change the country and its values, and anyone who doesn’t see eye to eye with them is treated as human filth. When someone supports a Republican candidate, they are labeled racists and bigots. When someone says they voted for Trump, they’re called an enemy of America and democracy.
Partisanship is bad on both sides, but when you won’t even contemplate sharing space with someone who believes differently than you, Republican or Democrat, that’s a sign of an incredibly unhealthy mental state. We grow and become better as people when we are open to hearing new ideas, and when we learn to argue them sensibly rather than hatefully.
For Democrats, their young voters are unable to even be in the same room as a Republican. That is ultimately going to make the party’s future bleak. Democrats scream for bipartisanship now, but if that’s how Republicans are going to be treated, Democrats will never get it.
And why should Republicans give them any ground?