A new book offers a challenge even to liberals about centering white and male agendas in our political discourse.
July 7, 2020

If you're gonna boo Zerlina Maxwell, be aware she'll open her book with you.

A faction of people at Politicon (yeah) decided to boo Zerlina Maxwell for not being liberal enough or something. The experience led her to write "The End of White Politics." One reviewer put it very well:

It’s unfortunate that the people who most need to read this book will be the ones who won’t, and the people most likely to read the book already are the ones convinced of its main points. The author’s main premise is that whites will be a minority of the population by 2045, and the party representing progressives needs to begin acknowledging this fact *now* rather than waiting until that date.

She points to the coalitions formed by President Obama in his 2008 and 2012 campaigns as models for the Democrats to follow if they hope to regain or retain power, and black women are a significant part of this coalition. She denies that the lesson of the 2018 midterm elections was that Democratic candidates need to fall back to more moderate political positions in order to win elections. Democrats lost the presidential election in 2016 because Trump successfully appealed to white voters, while Clinton failed to generate sufficient enthusiasm among black voters. The author supports this conclusion by noting that the millions of black voters who turned out for Obama but stayed home in 2016 far exceeded the 77,000 votes that led to Clinton’s loss.

The author stresses the importance of candidates identifying and addressing the needs of their constituents. She asserts that this is how candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other members of “The Squad” as well as candidates such as Katie Porter were able to unseat long-term incumbents and proceed to electoral victory. She denies that candidates will win by appealing to white Obama voters who switched to Trump in 2016. The era of the white majority vote is coming to a close, the author declares. She emphasizes intersectionality, the connection of gender and race, for example.

Much of what the author has to say will be familiar to viewers of MSNBC and readers of progressive media. For this audience, there is little new to be found here. The benefits of the book are the marshaling of all of the arguments supporting her position, and speaking from a place of experience as a former campaign worker for President Obama and Secretary Clinton.

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