December 29, 2015

If you ask anyone in the pundit class why Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are gaining traction, it always comes back to this idea that there's a bloc of frustrated voters who feel as though their voices aren't being heard, as though they're not represented in government.

That argument is always offered with a straight face and no apology. It's as if we are supposed to have some empathy for people who align with the right wing because...silent majority.

Here are a couple of those "frustrated voters" at a Ted Cruz rally in Mechanicsville, Virginia.

"I don't like Obama no more," says the unnamed woman. "He's ruined our country, he's ruined Christmas, he's let the Muslims in which you can't say that word without being ashamed of it!"

Voice rising, she continued, "We're not ashamed people, we're a proud people. I want to take our country back! Watch out Obama, we're coming!"

When asked how President Obama has ruined Christmas, she answered, "He scared the little children. They're not allowed to have Santa Claus in the schools where it might offend the Muslims."

"What about us?"

These are the "frustrated voters." And these are voters Bernie Sanders will not reach with his message of economic populism because economic populism isn't their primary concern.

Race is. Race and religion. That's what they're afraid of, and they're frustrated that a Black President Obama has asked them to make room in this big country for peaceful, law-abiding Muslims.

We know how this plays. We've seen it before, over and over again. Nixon, Buchanan, Reagan, Trump and most of the current Republican field are playing this game. But in the Village, these are just "frustrated voters who feel unrepresented."

There are some people who should feel unrepresented. Those who choose to declare supremacy on the basis of skin color or religion.

There are some things which shouldn't be said. And there are some frustrations which should not receive empathy. This woman sounded like a two-year old who had her toy taken away from her.

That's not worthy of empathy. It needs discipline. It would be great if media would quit enabling people like this with their vague references to "frustrated voters" and call them what they are.


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