Opinion: Democratic Party leaves voters behind

Dennis Lennox

Expect the presidential candidates participating in the debates to use the backdrop of Detroit as they wax-poetic about Michigan and the mostly white working-class union voters that literally and figuratively made America.

Just think about how much the Democratic Party has changed in the nearly 10 years since then-candidate Barack Obama demeaned white working-class voters — the party’s traditional base — for clinging to their guns and religion.

This June 27, 2019 file photo shows Democratic presidential candidates from left, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Vice-President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., on the second night of the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News in Miami.

You had traditionalist Yooper Bart Stupak, pro-life Dale Kildee, Catholic Andy Dillon and the pro-Second Amendment John Dingell. Talk about unthinkable today.

All those Democrats and the voters they represented are missing from the party. Not because they left the Democratic Party. Rather, the Democratic Party left them.

The woke Democrats with their identity politics and culture wars have aligned these voters with President Donald Trump. Case in point: Only one state legislator from north of Clare is a Democrat. Bay and Saginaw counties, once Democratic bastions, were won by Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

To be a Democrat today means putting the interests of illegal immigrants ahead of Americans who have spent their life working hard and playing by the rules. American greatness must be condemned as a relic of racism and cultural imperialism. It also means renouncing the party’s heretofore commitment to U.S. manufacturing because the hard-left demands resistance to Trump even when his trade and environment policies are good for working-class voters.

I have no doubt some Democrats will pay lip service to the party’s traditional base during the Detroit debates.

But it will be just that: Lip service. The hard-left won’t allow any serious contender to get away with it. They demand conformity.

Dennis Lennox is a political commentator and public affairs consultant.