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A One-Way Ratchet

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Great point by Paul Waldman about how the media demands that Democrats reach out to largely unpersuadable Republican voters, but never vice versa:

The presidential campaign has begun, which means that Democrats are being asked again and again why they aren’t doing more to “reach out” to Republicans. But there’s something important missing from this discussion: any acknowledgement that we treat this subject with an absolutely ridiculous double standard.

As you may have heard, the Democratic candidates have a disagreement about whether it’s a good idea to appear on Fox News, a discussion that stands in — inaccurately, I’d argue — for a larger question of how they should address Americans whose chances of voting for a Democrat in 2020 are somewhere between slim and none. As South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg said in his recent Fox News town hall, “There are a lot of Americans who my party can’t blame if they are ignoring our message, because they will never hear it if we don’t go on and talk about it.”

The only problem with that as a reason for appearing on a network that is a propaganda organ for the White House is that it implicitly assumes that there’s just no other way to talk to conservatives besides going on Fox.

This also manifests itself in periodic demands that Democratic politicians show knowledge or interest about some very marginal niche interest that is somehow more Authentically American because it is disproportionately liked by white guys who fly Confederate flags. (WHY DOES ELITIST DEMOCRATIC POLITICIAN X, LIKE THE VAST MAJORITY OF AMERICANS, HAVE NO INTEREST IN NASCAR!?!?!?!?!?!?!?)

Relatedly, a handy guide for the next Cletus Safari to Youngstown:

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