Is Bernie’s old-fashioned, class-based socialism driving away black voters?

South Carolina was a blowout for Joe Biden. This reverses the trend in Iowa, Nevada, and New Hampshire, all of which gave the cold shoulder to Biden and went all in for Bernie. Looking at South Carolina, a state with a sizeable black population one has to wonder if the conventional wisdom is correct – that blacks are supporting Biden because of Obama nostalgia -- or if there’s something deeper going on here.

Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada all have significant white majorities, especially compared to their black populations. In Iowa, 90% of the citizens are white and only 3.5% of them are black. In ­New Hampshire, 93% of the population is and only 1.53% is black. And in Nevada, whites constitute 66% of the population, with blacks comprising just shy of 9%. Significantly, Hispanics in Nevada make up more than 26% of the population, 53% of whom supported Bernie.

South Carolina has very different demographics. Only 67% of its citizens are white and 27% are black. While blacks are nowhere close to a majority, they constitute a significant portion of the population compared to their representation in the two states that went for Bernie.

Those black voters made the difference in Biden’s South Carolina victory. According to the AP:

Biden won about 60% of the votes cast by non-white voters, dominating a crowded Democratic field among a group that made up more than half of the electorate. 

The AP posits that blacks supported Biden because they associate him with Obama:

Forty-five percent of voters in South Carolina wanted to return to the politics of the past, compared to about a third in Iowa and New Hampshire. That includes the roughly 50% of African American voters who said they want a Democratic presidential nominee who would emulate Obama's presidency. Overall, Biden won 63% of voters who preferred a return to politics before Trump.

The way the AP phrases the issue, it sounds as if black voters see Biden basking in the penumbra of Obama’s blackness. That’s a very simplistic view and implies that black voters don’t see Biden on his own terms. Here’s a slightly different theory:

Bernie Sanders is a Marxist. In other words, his politics are grounded in class warfare. He’s willing to play the identity politics game if he thinks it will give him an advantage, but his heart isn’t in it. His totalitarian goals are about a true socialist revolution that sees private property abolished and the state in charge of all things, all of which he believes will result in perfect economic equality. (The fact that it doesn’t actually work this way doesn’t disturb Bernie.)

Obama, though, came from the newer, progressive branch of leftism. This approach is grounded in gaining political power through identity politics. We saw this in the frantic pandering to black voters that the Democrat candidates displayed in the South Carolina debate this past Tuesday. They don’t have a grand vision of a socialist state. Instead, they have a vision of an endless parade of identity groups, all of whom can be persuaded that the Democrats will protect them best. These Democrats are statists, but they’re not classic Marxists.

In 2020, black voters within the Democrat Party are in a surprisingly precarious position and they know it. The Democrat party needs their votes to win, but they’re falling out of favor of as the Democrats’ preferred “identity politics” group.

The black population has grown slowly relative to the total U.S. population (perhaps in part because Democrat policies encourage them to abort their children at an exceptionally high rate). The real growth is with Hispanics, as demonstrated by the Democrats’ passionate devotion to open borders. For blacks, though, open borders mean increased job competition and depressed wages.

Bernie represents another threat to blacks within the Democrat Party. As noted, Bernie isn’t about identity politics and victimhood. In his own way, he’s as colorblind as Donald Trump. It’s just that, while Trump wants to raise up all Americans through economic opportunity and prosperity, Bernie wants to equalize everyone into the flat despair of a stagnant Marxist economy.

Blacks, therefore, are presented with three choices: Trump, whom they’ve been taught to fear; Bernie, who doesn’t believe they’re anything special; and the other Democrats, who are still practicing race-based politics.

Regarding the generic Democrats, blacks that the younger generation of race-based Democrats is focusing on Hispanic voters. From their perspective, Biden represents the last gasp of politicians who didn’t just use blacks to get votes but actually promoted politics that, at least superficially, benefitted blacks. (Again, the reality is that they didn’t benefit blacks because they created geographic and economic ghettoes that trapped black families for generations, but the sales pitches always sounded so good.)

Thus, it’s entirely possible that blacks aren’t running to Biden; they’re running from Bernie and Biden seems like the safest haven.

South Carolina was a blowout for Joe Biden. This reverses the trend in Iowa, Nevada, and New Hampshire, all of which gave the cold shoulder to Biden and went all in for Bernie. Looking at South Carolina, a state with a sizeable black population one has to wonder if the conventional wisdom is correct – that blacks are supporting Biden because of Obama nostalgia -- or if there’s something deeper going on here.

Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada all have significant white majorities, especially compared to their black populations. In Iowa, 90% of the citizens are white and only 3.5% of them are black. In ­New Hampshire, 93% of the population is and only 1.53% is black. And in Nevada, whites constitute 66% of the population, with blacks comprising just shy of 9%. Significantly, Hispanics in Nevada make up more than 26% of the population, 53% of whom supported Bernie.

South Carolina has very different demographics. Only 67% of its citizens are white and 27% are black. While blacks are nowhere close to a majority, they constitute a significant portion of the population compared to their representation in the two states that went for Bernie.

Those black voters made the difference in Biden’s South Carolina victory. According to the AP:

Biden won about 60% of the votes cast by non-white voters, dominating a crowded Democratic field among a group that made up more than half of the electorate. 

The AP posits that blacks supported Biden because they associate him with Obama:

Forty-five percent of voters in South Carolina wanted to return to the politics of the past, compared to about a third in Iowa and New Hampshire. That includes the roughly 50% of African American voters who said they want a Democratic presidential nominee who would emulate Obama's presidency. Overall, Biden won 63% of voters who preferred a return to politics before Trump.

The way the AP phrases the issue, it sounds as if black voters see Biden basking in the penumbra of Obama’s blackness. That’s a very simplistic view and implies that black voters don’t see Biden on his own terms. Here’s a slightly different theory:

Bernie Sanders is a Marxist. In other words, his politics are grounded in class warfare. He’s willing to play the identity politics game if he thinks it will give him an advantage, but his heart isn’t in it. His totalitarian goals are about a true socialist revolution that sees private property abolished and the state in charge of all things, all of which he believes will result in perfect economic equality. (The fact that it doesn’t actually work this way doesn’t disturb Bernie.)

Obama, though, came from the newer, progressive branch of leftism. This approach is grounded in gaining political power through identity politics. We saw this in the frantic pandering to black voters that the Democrat candidates displayed in the South Carolina debate this past Tuesday. They don’t have a grand vision of a socialist state. Instead, they have a vision of an endless parade of identity groups, all of whom can be persuaded that the Democrats will protect them best. These Democrats are statists, but they’re not classic Marxists.

In 2020, black voters within the Democrat Party are in a surprisingly precarious position and they know it. The Democrat party needs their votes to win, but they’re falling out of favor of as the Democrats’ preferred “identity politics” group.

The black population has grown slowly relative to the total U.S. population (perhaps in part because Democrat policies encourage them to abort their children at an exceptionally high rate). The real growth is with Hispanics, as demonstrated by the Democrats’ passionate devotion to open borders. For blacks, though, open borders mean increased job competition and depressed wages.

Bernie represents another threat to blacks within the Democrat Party. As noted, Bernie isn’t about identity politics and victimhood. In his own way, he’s as colorblind as Donald Trump. It’s just that, while Trump wants to raise up all Americans through economic opportunity and prosperity, Bernie wants to equalize everyone into the flat despair of a stagnant Marxist economy.

Blacks, therefore, are presented with three choices: Trump, whom they’ve been taught to fear; Bernie, who doesn’t believe they’re anything special; and the other Democrats, who are still practicing race-based politics.

Regarding the generic Democrats, blacks that the younger generation of race-based Democrats is focusing on Hispanic voters. From their perspective, Biden represents the last gasp of politicians who didn’t just use blacks to get votes but actually promoted politics that, at least superficially, benefitted blacks. (Again, the reality is that they didn’t benefit blacks because they created geographic and economic ghettoes that trapped black families for generations, but the sales pitches always sounded so good.)

Thus, it’s entirely possible that blacks aren’t running to Biden; they’re running from Bernie and Biden seems like the safest haven.