Most political scientists assign the shocking victory of Donald Trump in 2016 to one primary demographic: working class Americans. That is, average citizens who feel disaffected, disillusioned, and disenchanted by a government of wealthy people who seem obsessed with making rules that apply to us, while exempting themselves. Average citizens who notice that whenever the economy hits hard times, no one in Washington, D.C. ever seems to feel any impact.
The Democrats have talked regularly about wooing back these middle-class Americans, the so-called Rust Belt, all while continuing to pursue an identity politics agenda that turns those very voters off. And even more devastating to their cause, not a single Democrat voted for the massive Republican tax overhaul.
That means as the working class experiences the relief of having the government give them their own money back, as well as the benefits of bonuses and higher wages coming as a result of the tax relief provided to their employers, they will be left asking how and why a single Democrat thought they deserved it.
Of course Democrats will campaign on the idea that the tax overhaul was just a big gift to the rich. That is effective politics when the Republican tax cuts are proposed legislation. It is not effective politics when the Republican tax cuts are policy and having positive effects on people who are not rich. It leaves Democrats and their spokesmen in embarrassing positions where they say things like this:
Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz claimed Thursday that $1,000 bonuses from companies do not go "very far" for middle-class workers… “I'm not sure that $1,000—which is taxed, taxable—goes very far for almost anyone."
First of all, as Aaron Simms points out, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has been among those railing against insurance companies that don't provide birth control - a cost that amounts to roughly $600 a year. She has suggested that if it isn't paid for by the government, average people won't be able to afford it. But now $1,000 is just peanuts?
All this is embarrassing for a party that claims to be for the working man. It shatters the credibility of a party that pretends it is anything but elitist. Consider a working-class American who voted for Trump because he feels Washington is out of touch. He’s somewhat turned off by Trump’s lack of restraint, and he has a history of voting Democrat. Then he gets a $1000 bonus from his job to help pay some family debt, that he knows is the direct result of Trump and the Republican Party. He then hears the former head of the DNC Debbie Wasserman Schultz scoff at it and suggest he would have been better off without it.
Consider a working-class housewife who voted for Trump because she feels her family is being left behind by the corrupt politicians in D.C. She’s frustrated by Trump’s immoral history and his brash demeanor. Then she finds out her husband is getting a raise at work, and she knows that it is the direct result of Trump and the Republican Party. She then hears the woman Democrats want to take control the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, mock the extra $2.50 an hour her husband brings home as mere “crumbs.”
How do you think those Americans are going to vote? Democrats have lost middle America because they are elitists. And for all their talk about getting them back, it’s becoming apparent they’re too disconnected from reality to even know how.