This is an interesting article because it hints of the tectonic shifts going on in the electorate. Some shifts, like Pennsylvania going Republican are obvious. Others are much more subtle, the result of quiet movements in political magma bubbling under the surface.
In the attached article, Politico (being Politico) makes sure to trot out the already tired memes of Tumptist racism. The article also perpetuates the “Steve Bannon is a ‘white nationalist'” bit. (Which for the record, and I am speaking particularly to our “progressive” readers out there, is a straight up politically motivated slur likely tested with focus groups prior to the #oldmedia spreading the slur.) But if one can get beyond the obvious and obligatory anti-Trump tone one sees something quite intriguing.
The woman profiled, Kim McKinney Cohen is an African American “progressive” Dem activist. But she was so disgusted by Hillary Clinton that she actually voted for Trump. She saw what Hillary did to Bernie Sanders in the primaries (which was just blatant rigging) and couldn’t ignore it. In fact she felt she had to fight Hillary.
But even more interesting than her Trump vote I think is the quote I highlighted in the headline. That this African-American, “progressive, female, Democratic Party activist” was put out by Clinton’s use of the word “deplorables” which was meant to marginalize supposedly racist, backward, working class white people. That is potentially important (if hers is not a completely isolated sentiment and I don’t think that it was) and cause for hope regardless of one’s political disposition.
Cohen’s passion for justice comes from an early life of hard knocks. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Cohen was 7 when her mother abandoned her and her siblings, on the same day John F. Kennedy was assassinated. She moved to Los Angeles at 13, had a child at 15, married four years later and had a son. Her husband lost his job, turned to drugs and committed suicide on Memorial Day 1980. A little over a decade later, after marrying and divorcing a truck driver, Kim met her current husband, a Jewish artist and liberal activist named Robert “Bob” Carl Cohen, who made a series of films sympathetic to Communist regimes in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including “Inside Red China” and “Inside East Germany,” as well as an exposé on the anti-Communist witch hunts by the House Un-American Activities Committee. (He also made the low-budget film, “Mondo Hollywood,” which became a cult classic in the 1970s.)
Last summer, Bob, 86, wasn’t pleased that Kim’s live-in son, Dale, who suffers from malignant hypertension, had begun watching Fox News regularly. (Dale also wound up voting for Trump.) One night before bed he asked his wife, who shared his aversion to the conservative news network, to put a stop to it.
“I went out there, I said, ‘Dale, Bob says you’re watching right-wing media.’”
She said Dale shushed her and said, “Come on, sit down.” When Trump famously asked black voters, “What the hell do you have to lose?” Kim Cohen thought to herself, “Yeah, what the hell do I have to lose?”