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Your choice is : Party Democrat or Democrat Party

As McAdam, Doug and Karina Kloos remind us in Deeply Divided, since the 1960’s, Afro Americans vote overwhelmingly Democrat, for example in the last election of 2012, 93% vote for Obama At first, we could think that they do so in order to have their vote and their interest heard ; however Paul Frymer in Uneasy Alliance (1999) show us that it is not the case, or at least it was not the case until the XXI century.

Indeed, Frymer show us that that Democrat leaders usually avoid to defend black interest, or don’t defend them openly. They distance themselves from Afro American interests in order to gain the vote of the white electorate. But why the Democrat Party is not afraid of losing the Afro American vote in return ? Because they represent a “captured electorate”, which means they can’t vote for another party to represent themselves because the Democrat Party is the best they got now ; the only other way to show their protest is to abstain. So in both cases, Democrat leaders know they don’t have to convince African Americans for the reason they are well aware that African Americans will not vote for the GOP anyway. This situation creates a vicious circle for African Americans : they are not defended, so they do not vote and so they low turnout discourage Democrat leaders to promote their interest.

Another question is : are African Americans the only “captured electorate” ? Yes according to Frymer ; gay and lesbians also vote overwhelmingly Democrat but never the leaders of the party have ceased to defend their interest. On the other side of the political chessboard, the rightist christians are not a captured electorate neither because they are very powerful in the GOP, both ideologically and financially, plus the Democrat Party has never tried to prevent them to vote Democrat.

African American appear to be a very unlucky group in 1999, nevertheless their situation has now improved on that side with the election of an African American president in 2008, who doesn’t hesitate to appeal for the mobilization of the African American electorate today

Gildas • September 26, 2016

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