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Selling Black and Brown Voters Down the River, One Fox News Town Hall at a Time

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When reached for comment about the Democratic Party’s self-defeating quest to recapture the white Trump voter, Captain Ahab said: “Believe me, chasing white blowhards all over the map could cost the Democrats everything.”

Look, I get the obsession. I understand that it is difficult for Democrats, white Democrats especially, to believe that over 60 million Americans voted for an openly bigoted, misogynist lunatic because he was an openly bigoted, misogynist lunatic. They want to believe that these people were “tricked” or “misinformed” or “reacting to economic grievances.” Some of these people are in their families. Like Frodo talking to Gollum, they need to believe that these Trump voters can be educated, redeemed, or saved.

And they believe it’s smart electoral politics. If you could win back just a small percentage of these white Trump voters, you can maybe win back Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. You can put Ohio, Iowa, and Indiana back in play. If you could just get maybe 5 percent of these Trump people to be a little less racist this time, and nonwhites continue to dutifully vote for Democrats because they have no better options, then you’re looking at an electoral landslide.

The rewards of appealing to white Trump voters are so tantalizing that, evidently, some Democrats are willing to trample black and brown voters in order to chase them. These Democrats are willing to show up to the dance with minorities but will leave us at the bar if Becky is out on the floor looking lonely.

The Democratic Party rejected a debate to be televised on Fox News, but some Democratic candidates have decided to fill the void by holding town halls on the network. Bernie Sanders already has. Pete Buttigieg announced that he will. I won’t be surprised if Joe Biden shows up there at some point. I’m sure all the other 2020 candidates are considering it. The ones who do will say that they are trying to reach out to Trump voters on the only network they watch. Those candidates will talk about bridge building and big tents and other platitudes meant to disguise their desperate chase of the mythical racist with a heart of gold.

The problem is that Fox News is white-supremacist television. I know some people will have a problem with me putting it that way, probably because that’s what your dad watches all the time. But I challenge you to take the Black Turing Test: If I’m listening to Fox News from the last two or three years in one ear and modern white-supremacist propaganda in the other ear, how would I know the difference? What would be the tell to let me know I was listening to Tucker Carlson and not David Duke? If a reasonable black person can’t reliably distinguish between the two, then what’s the operative difference between them? One side really means it while the other is just saying it for ratings? Let me tell you, if the lynch mob comes for me, I won’t really care who’s just there for the ratio.

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