I’m old enough to remember when the Democrats’ primary talking point was, “It’s the economy, stupid.” Thirty years ago, Democrats campaigned heavily on pocketbook issues, and that emphasis put Bill Clinton in the White House and allowed the Democrats to retain control of both houses of Congress.
Earlier this week we learned about Max Boot, the Republican-turned-Democrat who wrote a Washington Post column stating that anyone who cares about “democracy” and Ukraine should vote Democrat in November. Now another former Republican is jumping on the bandwagon of accusing people who will vote for economic issues of being enemies of democracy.
Matthew Dowd went on Joy Reid’s MSNBC show and went even further, hinting that voting for the benefit of your pocketbook or 401(k) is akin to paving the way for Nazism.
“I’m not gonna say that, you know, the GOP are Nazis at this point,” Dowd began.
“But it certainly sounds very familiar to what happened in Germany, which is a bunch of citizens [unintelligible] Adolf Hitler gets a third of the vote,” he continued. “Nobody thought it could happen there. They kind of went along because they said he was going to solve the economy and fix inflation.”
“That’s right,” Reid agreed.
“You can make those sorts of things, and then, oh, lo and behold, a few years later, they lost their democracy and they’re all like, ‘How’d that happen here?'” Dowd continued, misinterpreting history. “That’s my worry. That is my worry — obviously, the price of a hamburger, the price of milk, the price of gas is concerning. But that is a short-term problem; the loss of a democracy will decimate everyone’s freedom.”
That’s some terrible historical analysis. The truth is that what happened in Germany was far more complex than “people voted for their economic interests and all of a sudden the Nazis took over.” Matthew Dowd should know better, although I have my doubts that Joy “Amen Corner” Reid would. But he gets even more bizarre.
“I think we shouldn’t try to be saying, ‘You need to adopt our culture, or whatever it happens to be’; that is the white nationalists,” Down inexplicably blathered on. “It should be, ‘We stand for democracy. We stand for the Constitution and the dignity of all. That’s what we stand for. And if you’re with us, join us.'”
News flash to Dowd and Reid: the GOP candidates aren’t breaking out the white hoods or putting together a “final solution.” It’s precious that Dowd went straight to Nazism and white supremacy in his new twist on “keep the Dems in power or America gets it.”
Dowd is simply shouting into the MSNBC echo chamber and preaching to the choir. This type of rhetoric isn’t going to convince many voters who are on the fence to jump over to the left — if it convinces any voters at all. At this point, the Democrats deserve to lose when they rely on this sort of rhetoric.
It’s not about ending “democracy.” It’s not about white supremacy. It’s the economy, stupid Democrats.