FERRARO AND RACE...

FERRARO AND RACE...

Geraldine Ferraro wrote a horrible op-ed in the Boston Globe. She says a number of things about the effects of sexism on the Clinton campaign, which I do not propose to consider here. But she also claims that the concerns of Reagan Democrats have not been heard:

"As for Reagan Democrats, how Clinton was treated is not their issue. They are more concerned with how they have been treated. Since March, when I was accused of being racist for a statement I made about the influence of blacks on Obama's historic campaign, people have been stopping me to express a common sentiment: If you're white you can't open your mouth without being accused of being racist. They see Obama's playing the race card throughout the campaign and no one calling him for it as frightening. They're not upset with Obama because he's black; they're upset because they don't expect to be treated fairly because they're white. It's not racism that is driving them, it's racial resentment. And that is enforced because they don't believe he understands them and their problems. That when he said in South Carolina after his victory "Our Time Has Come" they believe he is telling them that their time has passed.

Whom he chooses for his vice president makes no difference to them. That he is pro-choice means little. Learning more about his bio doesn't do it. They don't identify with someone who has gone to Columbia and Harvard Law School and is married to a Princeton-Harvard Law graduate. His experience with an educated single mother and being raised by middle class grandparents is not something they can empathize with. They may lack a formal higher education, but they're not stupid. What they're waiting for is assurance that an Obama administration won't leave them behind."

I'm going to accept Ferraro's claims about Reagan Democrats for the purposes of this post, not because I believe them to be true, but because I'm interested in the state of mind that would lead her to write this. I'm sure that some such people exist -- when Ferraro says that they have stopped her on the street, I have no reason to doubt her. I am also sure that her all Reagan Democrats are not as she describes them, both because no such simple picture could cover such a diverse group of people, and because hers seems to me slanted in some specific ways. But leaving aside the accuracy of her sociology, and focussing on Reagan Democrats as she imagines them: