Nevada Democrats are apparently very upset that the February debate in Las Vegas will be devoid of any candidates of color. This is a state and a party that prides itself on “diversity” and to see only shiny white faces looking out into the audience at the debate is demoralizing.
The lack of diversity in the remaining primary field is offering the chance for campaigns to reset in Nevada, the effects of which are only now settling in.
“People are incredibly demoralized about that,” said Bob Fulkerson, a Warren supporter who co-founded the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada. “It’s definitely the biggest failure of the campaign so far … the all-white crowd that we’re left with, and what forces institutionally have led to that.”
He said, “The whole field is diminished, and the whole process is diminished.”
“Institutional forces”? Really? That would mean the Democratic Party is made up of a bunch of racists who don’t give money or lend their support to candidates of color because they’re not white.
Or could it mean no one has ever heard of a former minor cabinet secretary of a federal agency (Castro), an obscure senator from New Jersey (Booker), and found a black woman (Harris) to be less than inspiring?
The town hall meetings served as a preview of the presidential debate next week in Los Angeles in which only one non-white candidate, Andrew Yang, has qualified. Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.), said she feared that as the primary loses candidates of color, it will also see issues of particular concern to non-white voters — such as voter suppression and immigration — begin to fade.
On the same day that Sanders addressed Culinary, Castro, the only Latino in the race, was in Iowa, lamenting that because Nevada and other diverse states come later in the primary schedule, some candidates will never make it there.
The problem with race being the end all and be all of one’s worldview is that it leads to a myopic outlook that dismisses logical and obvious alternatives to sinister “institutional forces.” Hence, the very obscurity of some candidates is due to racism. And the 50 million voters who will cast ballots in the Democratic primaries are stupid and wrong. They don’t care about some issues enough. How dare they care more about their economic fortunes than letting in more illegal aliens?
At the beginning of the campaign, said Grace Vergara-Mactal, executive director of Service Employees International Union Nevada Local 1107, “we had the most representative primary candidates in history, so that was very exciting, at least to me and my members.”
Now, she said, “At least in my mind, the excitement in the beginning of having a diverse candidate is fading … I think we’ve got to ask the question: what kind of message is the Democratic Party sending to voters of color?”
The message is that most Democratic voters want someone familiar. They want a known quantity — just like Republican voters. Trump had an incredible advantage in 2016 due to his TV show and the hours of free media coverage that were given to his outrageous personae. In politics, there is absolutely no substitute for being known.
And it’s especially true of presidential candidates.