He Saved their Jobs, but Won’t Get Their Vote

On my Saturday door-to-door canvassing of neighborhoods, I hand a brochure to the voters or affix it to the door which touts President Obama’s ‘saving the auto industry.’ Not only that, but it also states that over 800,000 Ohio jobs have been saved  through that action because one in eight jobs in Ohio are related to the production of automobiles.

The other evening at a meeting of Obama volunteers I overheard a disturbing statement made by one of them. ‘Although he saved their jobs, many auto workers won’t vote for him [Obama] because he’s black.’ I have no doubt about this fact and I’ve suspected as much for many years. Those are the so-called Reagan Democrats.  These are blue collar workers, generally with only a high school diploma, who often view the Democratic Party as “working primarily for the benefit of others: the very poor, feminists, the unemployed, African Americans, Latinos, and other groups,” according to Stan Greenberg, Democratic pollster. That’s exactly the ‘message’ that right-wing media hopes that these Reagan Democrats believe about today’s Democratic Party and Mr. Obama himself.

In his book, Middle Class Dreams: The Politics and Power of the New American Majority, Greenberg examined this set of voters, especially in a northern suburb of Detroit: Macomb County. Although they were swayed away from their party in both 1980, 1984 and 1988 they abandoned George H. W. Bush in 1992 and voted for Bill Clinton. Greenberg noted their disaffection with Bush’s ‘trickle down economics’ plan- the same plan that Mitt Romney is hawking this election year.

Yet, that was 1992, 20 years ago. Has this group of voters changed their mind? In 2008, they voted for Obama/Biden 53% to 45 for McCain/Palin, but four years earlier, they narrowly voted for George W. Bush after narrowly voting for Gore in 2000. What makes this group of voters tick? And what are they thinking here in 2012?

On Labor Day, President Obama will be speaking in Toledo at the behest of local labor unions which gave away 3000 tickets to its members and families. Who are those people who will stand in line for 2 hours waiting to get in? Latinos? African Americans? Blue collar whites? It will be interesting to see. I’ll let you know.


8 thoughts on “He Saved their Jobs, but Won’t Get Their Vote

  1. The local news interviewed people picking up tickets. Every person they interviewed appeared to be of African decent.

    Mr. Mud, if you remember the movie that came out when you were just a kid*, Birth of a Nation, dealt with integration of unions. When I took Black American History at U.T. (they changed the name from T.U. after you were there*), I was taught that the labor unions played a huge part in integrating northern factories. It would be a terrible shame to see all that go out the window. The Romney camp constantly accuses Obama of starting class & race wars, but Romney is the one running the FALSE welfare without working commercials.

    * Just kidding and having a little fun with someone BARELY older than me. For those of you interested in a little history, Birth of a Nation came out in 1915 and is still considered the most racist movie of all time. And the University in Toledo changed it’s name from Toledo University (T.U.) to University of Toledo (U.T.) in 1967 when the state took it over. You can usually tell who’s been here a while because we slip and still refer to it as T.U.

  2. I went to U.T. in the early 70’s and even then, after the name change, nobody got it right. I still say T.U.
    I am trying to retain a positive perspective on American politics. I just got my confirmation that I am an officially registered overseas voter. Up to now, I had been an absentee voter from New York City, but with all of the shenanigans regarding disenfranchising voters over arbitrary rule changes, I decided to register through the American Embassy in Bordeaux. Ca marche!
    Racism still seems a constant theme. We saw a hint of it in the 2008 campaign, but it seems endemic of the greater problem of denial and ignorance. When you talk about racism to a person who is obviously influenced by racism, he will deny it in a pavlovian fashion. Then the outrage starts….why sir, how dare you accuse me of racism…some of my best friends……I published a picture of Romney/Ryan election team…and I have to say, I was blinded by the white.

    1. I was blinded by the white. Me too, Microdot. In fact, we had to turn on more lights in our house to cut down on the glare from the TV during the GOP Convention.

  3. ” These are blue collar workers, generally with only a high school diploma, who often view the Democratic Party as “working primarily for the benefit of others: the very poor, feminists, the unemployed, African Americans, Latinos, and other groups,”

    Many with GEDs! And many without graduating at all!

    We had a syunday brunch for my grandson who was home on a three day good behavior leave hor the holiday. My son-in-law starts in on thwith he wants him in the military as that is the only way to go because it gives training, discipline, and gives him the education and housing bills when he comes out. My wife speaks up, so unusual, and says the UTFs are not
    a military family. He gets visably upset. So I say, not only are we for cutting
    the Pentagon budget, but we are voting for Obama. In the course of the
    discussion, nah, that’s too nice of a word, argument in better, I asked him and who runs the military, who is providing housing and educational
    assistance when they come out. I said dont tell me the governemnt doesnt
    do anything. Of course, “they” earned it! And, I asked who payed the bill and the bills for all that. It’s better than giving the money away in food
    stamps, his response. His father just had triple by-pass, and again I asked where would your father, and where would we be with our stents, if not for
    the government. So, he jumps up and says come on its time for us to go.
    He wanted no more….I am sure there is some racism in this bible thumping
    christian, but he keeps it hidden…..

    1. UTF, I’ve got a personal question for you. I have been in very similar “discussions” that ended in the same way. What bothers you the most, the fact they don’t know better or the fact they refuse to learn better?

    2. Right, UTF. He said all he could without going that one-step further: racism. I was in the Presidential motorcade today [the President visited Toledo] and drove with a black policeman. He believes that all of this ‘hatred’ for Obama is nothing but racism. So do I. Like your son-in-law, these Obama-haters throw out lots of ‘stuff’ to hide their racism.They use up all of the right-wing talking points that they hear on right-wing media as excuses when, deep in their nasty souls, it’s all about that black man in the White House.

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