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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Discussion panel

Understanding voters’ angst in the 2016 election

On September 20, E.J. Dionne hosted two of the nation’s leading pollsters from both sides of the aisle—Stanley Greenberg and Whit Ayres—and Markle Foundation CEO and President Zoë Baird for an illuminating and frank discussion on the conflicting state of American politics. What are the roots of pessimism regarding America’s economic and democratic future, how are demographics influencing this election, and is there a potential path toward unity in its aftermath?

Watch the video.

Stan Greenberg

Stan Greenberg Speaks

“The core problem is the stagnation of incomes over a long period of time… almost permanent. [People are] angry at leaders who have not addressed the problem.”

Watch the Video.

E. J. Dionne

A Non-Partisan Discussion

E. J. Dionne moderates—with sponsorship from from the Markle Foundation—a serious discussion of  voters and their concerns coming into the 2016 presidential election.

Watch the Video.

The Daily Strategist

October 1, 2016

Tomasky: Dems Must Question Policies of Johnson and Stein

Some polls show that Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson may be losing some support in the wake of his “Where is Aleppo?” and other gaffes. But what matters most for Democrats is how much support he and Green Party nominee Jill Stein draw from potential Clinton supporters in key swing states, like FL or NC. There have been some good articles revealing Johnson’s right-wing positions on environmental and economic issues recently (see here, here and here, for example).

Michael Tomasky adds to the critique of third party candidacies in his recent Dail Beast post, “Why No One Should Vote for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein,” in which he observes:

Libertarianism in recent years has developed a kind of hipster cred. It seems to be against the man. Libertarians are anti-war, usually (the cred narrative started with Ron Paul’s scathing attacks on the Bush/Cheney crowd). They support abortion rights and gay rights. Live and let live. And most of all, libertarians want to legalize pot. I think that’s the big one, for young people especially. I readily concede it would have seemed pretty appealing to the me of 30 years ago.

But here’s the catch. The libertarian live-and-let-live credo doesn’t apply just to young people who’d like to blow a doob in a public park (that’s how we put it back in my day, sonny, and I’m not going to make any phony attempt to be hip). It applies to polluting corporations. It applies to corporations and individuals who want to make unlimited dark money contributions to political campaigns. It applies to the forces pushing free trade. It applies to employers who don’t want to be nickel-and-dimed over paying their workers a minimum wage. It applies to gun manufacturers, and to the National Rifle Association. Still hip?

…He supports the Citizens United decision and thinks donors should be able to spend “as much money as they want.” He backs the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which I would think most young people oppose strongly, after listening to Bernie Sanders inveigh against it for a year. Speaking of Bernie, Johnson opposes tuition-free college. He’s against a federal minimum wage—that’s right, any federal minimum wage (although sometimes his answers are so wandering and circumlocutory that it can be hard to tell). And as for guns, he told Slate in 2011: “I don’t believe there should be any restrictions when it comes to firearms. None.”

On Green party candidate Jill Stein, Tomasky adds:

..The weirdest thing about Stein is her apparent affinity for Vladimir Putin. You read that right. She went to Moscow and met with Putin, and was even seated at his table. Russian Green Party activists rebuked her for not even mentioning human rights and LGBT rights when she met with Putin.

I don’t know Stein, so I can’t say why, but I can tell you that in general terms, there is within the far left of Stein’s generation (she’s 66) an idea inherited from the Cold War that holds that to be too critical of Russia is on some level to endorse the presumptions and priorities of the American war machine. It’s for reasons related to this that you see a fair amount of quasi-apologetics for Putin on the American far left. Her own website boasts—actually boasts—that after Putin listened to her speech in Moscow, he responded: “What I would like to say, something really unexpected, when I was watching this material. When I was listening to your comments, politicians from other countries, you know what I caught myself thinking about? I agree with them, on many issues.”

Imagine the oily smile that lit across her face as Putin spoke these words, and please give some thought to the question of this being your progressive alternative.

You can read more about Stein’s Putin-coddling right here. But I would worry more About Johnson drawing potential voters from Democrats, since he is polling a lot better than Stein.

It’s quite possible that Johnson and Stein will take very few votes away from Clinton when all of the results are tallied. But Democrats would be guilty of political negligence, if they didn’t alert voters to the largely hidden agendas of these two third party candidates.


National Service a Clinton Family Tradition

In what was universally described as a bid for millennial support, Hillary Clinton went to Florida today and unveiled a full-fledged national service proposal. For us old-timers, it was a nostalgic moment, as I explained at New York:

Millennials themselves won’t remember this, but Bill Clinton made national service a major theme in his 1992 presidential campaign, and managed to create a full-time national-service program, known as AmeriCorps, before Republicans took over Congress and began a guerrilla campaign to kill or at least starve the initiative.

What’s interesting about Hillary Clinton’s current proposal is that she seeks to significantly expand AmeriCorps — tripling its size and doubling the post-service education benefit — while directly connecting it to the kind of part-time, uncompensated voluntarism Republicans tend to prefer as an alternative to national service. Her proposed National Service Reserve would mobilize for emergencies or other urgent public priorities up to 5 million Americans, with the expanded AmeriCorps membership deployed to “recruit, train and lead” them. This hybrid approach of full-time and occasional service was endorsed by George W. Bush, who made it the centerpiece of one of his State of the Union addresses, and has won over several other prominent Republicans, notably Colin Powell and John McCain.

This proposal and the themes it allows Clinton to invoke are clearly a twofer in her efforts to drive up her support levels among millennials. The ethic of service is valued highly by young Americans, and a robust post-service educational grant nicely complements Clinton’s other proposals to make college more affordable.

Lord only knows if or how Trump may respond. He has a generation’s worth of conservative smears against AmeriCorps to draw upon, up to and including comparisons to the Hitler Youth (a particularly common if psychotic characterization made when Obama proposed an AmeriCorps expansion). If her proposal becomes a significant moment in the campaign, and she wins, it could either be the basis of a rare bipartisan opportunity in 2017, or another idea for Republicans to demonize because of its doubled-down connection to the Clintons. Any way you look at it, fighting for national service has become something of a family tradition.

TAGS:POLITICSHILLARY CLINTON


Trump’s Flip-Floppage Perfectly Captured in Video

‘Weathervane’-style political spots depicting candidate flip-flops on various issues have been among the most frequently deployed ad motifs in presidential and down-ballot campaigns since the 1960s. But it has never been done as well as the video below, owing in large part to Trump’s unique tendency to rant incessantly with no regard for anything he said before. This video should do nicely for your crazy uncle/friend, who insists that “at least Trump is a straight shooter”:


Creamer: Why Progressives Should Vote Democratic, Not Third Party — Especially in 2016

The following article by Democratic strategist Robert Creamer, author of Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win, is cross-posted from HuffPo:

A small but significant group of Americans is considering casting their vote this fall for a third- party “protest” candidate. Some are thinking they may not vote at all. They say they don’t like any candidate enough to vote so they will “sit this election out.”

I realize many of the Americans considering a third-party vote — or sitting out the election — have sincere, deeply-held feelings that are driving their actions. Some are just disgusted by what they think is a vitriolic tone of the campaign.

Unfortunately the media encourages that kind of cynicism and disgust by presenting the attacks mounted by each side in the campaign as equally credible.

But while it is easy to understand the reasons that some people might be inclined to choose a “protest” vote — or decide to sit on their hands — the fact is that either of these actions will have one and only one result: putting Donald Trump into the White House.


Clinton’s Millennial Challenge

As we continue to sort through the implications of the first presidential candidates debate, there is a particular area of the electorate Hillary Clinton’s campaign is surely focusing on, as I discussed at New York:

According to Jeff Stein at Vox, there is some (admittedly limited) evidence her performance in the first candidate debate helped her among millennials.

It’s not that she took millennial votes away from Donald Trump. He doesn’t have many. As Harvard’s John Della Volpe, who conducted a debate-night focus group of young voters, told Stein: “The millennial vote isn’t Hillary versus Trump … It’s Hillary versus Gary Johnson versus sitting on the couch on Election Day.”

So Clinton’s appeal to these voters needs to be multidimensional: She must reduce the antipathy toward her from young Sanders supporters and those whose knowledge of her is limited to media characterizations, while convincing them this is a close contest whose outcome will have a big impact on the world millennials will soon inherit.

It seems she made some headway on the first challenge.

“’She wasn’t the caricature her foes and the media had created of her,’Della Volpe says, summarizing what his interview subjects told him about their reactions to the debate. ‘I think in the eyes of millennials, she comported herself well in tone and substance. My sense was that they are beginning to take a fresh look at her.'”

Still, only 20 percent of Della Volpe’s focus-group participants said the debate made them more likely to vote for Clinton (10 percent said it made them more likely to vote for Trump). And it’s unclear how many of them were sufficiently horrified by Trump to develop the sense that voting against him is worth the effort. As I noted immediately after the debate, there’s even the perverse possibility that all the talk about Clinton “crushing” or “destroying” Trump at Hofstra could enhance the belief that she’s already won the election, making a “protest vote” for Johnson or Stein or nonparticipation a consequences-free action in the eyes of millennials who have meh feelings about Clinton.

Some targeted messaging to millennials stressing some of Trump’s more horrific positions — his climate-change denialism, for example, or his support for torture, or his casual attitude about nuclear weaponry — and hinting that he’s within reach of total power, might be advisable. And she does have an emergency fall-back option in the fight for millennial votes: coming out squarely for marijuana legalization.

She could also perhaps find ways to remind people that Gary Johnson’s Libertarians would be perfectly happy with privatizing not just prisons, but pretty much every government function short of raising an army. Indeed, some of Clinton’s allies are already on the job:

“NextGen Climate, the group run by liberal billionaire and environmental activist Tom Steyer, is on the ground in eight battleground states with a message that is almost exclusively aimed at reaching the millennial voters who are energized by the issue of climate change.

“Last week, the group threw six figures behind digital ads mocking Johnson as a climate change denier and warning millennials that climate change will cost them trillions of dollars.”

Beyond those messaging tweaks, it would be smart for Team Clinton to systematically tamp down the triumphalism as Election Day approaches, and instead create and sustain a sense of urgency, even anxiety. The contest is clearly turning into a mobilization battle, and anything the Clinton campaign can do to maintain a healthy fear of the opposition will make minor-party candidacies, or the couch, a less tempting option for millennials.


Political Strategy Notes

At PostPartisan James Downie ruminates on “How Clinton’s debate win could change the race” and notes, “The cringe-worthy moments piled up for Trump, such as saying that he rooted for the housing collapse because “that’s called business” and interrupting moderator Lester Holt’s question about “what do you say to . . . people of color . . .” with “I say nothing.” When Clinton suggested he might be hiding his tax returns because he doesn’t pay any federal income tax, Trump interjected, “That makes me smart,” seeming to imply that Clinton’s charge was correct. He also perpetuated the birther issue by repeating the debunked claim that Clinton’s campaign started it.  The tax returns and birther responses were easily some of Trump’s least popular answers with the dial group voters across the board. (Republican consultant Frank Luntz found similar results.)

My read of the polls and focus group comments following the first debate is that Trump’s strongest card is his ability to articulate the rage many working-class voters feel about jobs being exported to other countries. Clinton may be wasting her efforts defending her track record on the issue — too complicated  to explain for soundbite-focused media. Better she should hit Trump a lot harder on his outrageous hypocrisy on the topic — the way he has exploited cheap foreign labor in his business, his shady international operations, his hidden tax returns masking his offshore operations, to name a few. She should also remind white workers of Trump’s shameful record of stiffing subcontractors. Clinton did a  good job in calling out his two faces on the issue in the first debate. But she and her campaign should double-down on the topic and blast him on it at every opportunity.

Steven A. Holmes explores “The truth about the white working class: A mosaic of their own” at CNN Politics, and notes “While support for Trump is relatively strong across the board among working-class whites, there are significant differences among different groups…Men over the age of 50 are among the Republican nominee’s strongest backers with 68% of voters in this group saying they would consider voting for him, compared to 51% of women who are 50 years or older…Rural (68%), suburban (66%) and Southern (70%) working-class white voters voice support for Trump in larger numbers than urban dwellers (49%) and those living in the West (54%) and Midwest (53%). And 78% of working-class white voters surveyed who say immigrants are a burden on the country say they would consider voting for him, compared to 38% who of those who believe immigrants strengthen the country.”

Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and FLOTUS Michelle Obama are campaigning hard for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in an effort to improve her share of young voters, reports Byron Tau at The Wall St. Journal. It would be hard to pick three better youth ambassadors for HRC. All three are highly-popular among younger voters. Some good ads featuring popular musicians, actors and athletes targeting media favored by college students and young blue collar workers might also  help. What value endorsements may have likely results from their influence on generating peer persuasion, which seems to be lacking in the Clinton campaign at the moment.

At PowerPost Stuart Rothenberg explains why “Media hype aside, Clinton still has the edge in this race.”

Democrats take note: Noam N. Levey reports at The L.A. Times that A new Kaiser Family Foundation finds that 78% of respondents want “new restrictions on how much pharmaceutical companies can charge for high-cost drugs for illnesses such as hepatitis or cancer…More than eight in 10 Americans favor allowing the federal government to negotiate with drug makers to get lower prices on medications for people on Medicare, a move that the pharmaceutical industry and its supporters in Congress have blocked for years….And 86% of Americans support new requirements on drug companies to release information on how they set prices.”

Google reports a “huge spike,” particularly in Florida, in searches for “registrarse para votar,” which translates into “how to vote,” reports Philip Bump at The Fix. There is no data, however, revealing whether the uptick was concentrated more in the Cuban-American or Puerto Rican communities.

Again at The Fix, in his post, “Democrats are coming into November in a familiar position: Urgently needing to push turnout,” Philip Bump probes the voting propensities of pro-Democratic constituencies, and finds that data from the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll shows African American and young voters a little behind the 2012 pace in their stated intentions to vote, while Latino voters are showing more interest in voting. Also “Those who support Clinton are more likely to say they plan to vote this year than those backing Obama said at this point in 2012.”

Another “Aleppo moment” for Gary Johnson adds to his “not ready for prime time” image.


DCorps: Debate Dial Meter Test Reveals New Trend for Clinton

The following article by Stan Greenberg of Democracy Corps and Page Gardner of Women’s Voices and Women Vote Action Fund is cross-posted from Democracy Corps:

Hillary Clinton won the first debate against Donald Trump and likely produced electoral shifts, according to participants in a live dial meter focus group organized by Democracy Corps and commissioned by Women’s Voices. Women Vote Action Fund. These participants, comprised of voter blocs critical to the outcome of this election, watched a Democratic candidate lay out a broad economic vision that spoke to their lives, show strength that reassured on security, speak to our nation’s racial divisions in a way that engaged voters and most of all, reassure them on trust and honesty.

View Dial Presentation.
Read Dial Report.

Trump’s performance, with some exceptional moments, lacked the bombast of previous efforts, but did little to reassure voters about the prospect of a Trump presidency, particularly when it comes to security. Dials showed that Trump really struggled with both his tax plan and his own taxes, his contempt for women and above all, when he talked about his favorite subject: himself. The only area where he made gains was on having the right approach to trade agreements.

Clinton produced impressive gains in the vote, squeezing the third party candidates and raising intensity of support with white unmarried women and white working class voters.That alone would be a big night. But just as important, she shifted these voters’ perceptions of her as a person on such key attributes as trustworthiness, having good plans for the economy, jobs, and looking out for the middle class. There was also a huge shift in her overall favorability (+33 points).

The white working class story is almost as impressive. Their lines spiked all through the debate and their favorability towards Clinton also shifted 33 points. The 2-way vote margin shifted 16 points as the 3rd party vote got squeezed. And at the end of the debate she won her biggest gains with these working class voters on the economy, keeping America strong and having the right approach to taxes. Clinton could not have hoped for better.

Millennials also responded very positively to key parts of Clinton’s performance, though their favorability shift was not as great as other groups and Clinton lost a little ground on the vote. We will watch what happens in the real world.

Overall, this was a very good night for Hillary Clinton.

Trumped-up trickle down economics 

Some of the Secretary’s strongest moments, particularly among unmarried women, came at the inception of the debate when the two candidates laid out their economic vision. Clinton’s narrative of an “economy that works for everyone,” and her new criticism of Reaganomics (“Trumped up trickle down”) struck a chord with these voters, including non-college white voters who have moved away from Clinton and Democrats in recent elections.



The biggest increase in Clinton’s attributes (+18 points) concerned whether she “looks out for the middle class.” In the post-debate breakout groups among those who shifted over the course of the evening, people talked about how she would help the middle class and cared about them.

  • She was positive in pledging to lead each American and build the middle class. (Shifter, towards Clinton)
  • She really seemed to care about middle class Americans and African Americans. (Shifter, towards Clinton)

Trump’s focus on trade moved the dials up sharply but not far north of 50 percent at this point. Later, his attacks on trade did get one of his strongest responses, and he was considered to have the better approach on trade at the end of the night. That did not translate, though, to any gains in whether he has good plans for the economy.


The exchanges around trickle-down economics got their strongest response from the white working class voters, and their lines soared above all others in the groups. At the end, they shifted 22 points on who has the better approach to taxes.

At the 30 minute mark, the moderator opened a dialog about Trump’s failure to release his taxes, leading to the worst moments from the Republican. When Trump crowed about the $694 million dollars he made last year, among other boasts, he quickly lost the people in our focus group. Clinton seized the opportunity to successfully highlight Trump’s history of stiffing workers and baited Trump into bragging about his business. Trump did not disappoint, further undermining his standing among participants. It reinforced the impression that he was only about making the economy work for him.

  • Trump seemed to think it was fine that he didn’t pay taxes because they would just be wasted. (Shifter, towards Clinton)
  • [He would be a president] that would destroy the middle class so he and [is]e friends can get wealthier. (Shifter, towards Clinton)
  • I realize that he is proud of his business accomplishments, but not everything can be related back to that… he relies on his one area of expertise, and I’m not convinced he runs that with integrity. (Shifter, towards Clinton)
  • He also is pompous and arrogant. He is rich and only wants the rich to get richer. (Shifter, towards Clinton)

Race and crime 
Trump did not commit any racial gaffes in this debate, but neither did he reassure voters.  And he needed too.  Moreover, his commitment to “Stop and Frisk” and his repeated lying about New York’s crime rate did not convince voters in a country increasingly divided over race to embrace him as a figure of national unity.  His insistence on “law and order” did not impress these voters.


Hillary Clinton’s strongest moments among millennial voters—a group that has so far failed to embrace her candidacy with much enthusiasm came during the discussion of race and criminal justice reform.  Her strongest moment among these voters came during her condemnation of Trump’s racist “birther” attack on President Obama.


Clinton also scored points with voters of all stripes, including non-college whites, when embracing common-sense policies to reduce gun violence, producing one of the sharpest dial spikes in the evening. Trump wisely did not walk off the cliff with the gun lobby on the “no-buy, no fly” list but these voters seemed otherwise unimpressed with his NRA endorsement.

Making our country safe
Donald Trump came into this debate needing to reassure a fretful nation that he could be trusted to be Commander in Chief.   While Trump avoided comments about “loving war,” his argument that we need a “businessman” failed to convince these voters.  Participants conferred a huge 60 to 40 percent Clinton advantage over Trump before the debate on who would keep America safe and Trump was not able to do anything to chip in to her lead, with Clinton still holding a 60 to 40 percent lead after the debate.

But she also demonstrated strength throughout the debate.  Despite some cheap and poorly received “stamina” shots from Trump, a 66 percent majority of participants described Clinton as a “strong leader” at the conclusion of the groups

Two big wins and losers
Clinton accomplished some important things, most notably in terms of positive improvement on personal favorability, on trust, on being for the middle class and on the economy and jobs. That cannot help but shift the vote.

The first of the biggest wins was the consolidation of unmarried women.  It was as if Clinton had rehearsed with unmarried women as her audience.  Their dials responded as if she was speaking to them directly. This debate shifted their vote, their excitement and their intensity of support.  They are poised to help Clinton reach a victory.

The second win was the shocking response of white working class persuadable voters.  They responded as if they too were the main target.  They warmed to her dramatically, responding strongly to her on the economy, jobs and taxes. This debate may have shaken up the voters that were to give Donald Trump his path to competitiveness.

The losers are Donald Trump, for obvious reasons, but perhaps also Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. Among the 50 swing persuadable voters, the 3rd party vote and number of undecideds dropped 12 points – that is, by almost 50 percent. Among the white unmarried women, that bloc dropped 12 points and 6 points among the white working class. Obviously, the debate is an artificial environment, but it is also the way this election will look to most voters in the weeks ahead. This debate shows them too to be among the big losers.

The implications for the vote will become apparent pretty quickly, and we expect there to be an increase in Clinton’s margin.

Democracy Corps conducted online dial meter research among 100 likely voters nationally: 50 persuadable voters, 25 white unmarried women, and 25 millennials during the presidential debate. Surveys were administered before and after the live dial meter session. An online breakout focus group among those who changed their vote or become more certain of the vote was conducted after the debate. This research is qualitative in nature and involves 100 total participants.  Results are not statistically projectable onto a larger population. 
____________________
Democracy Corps is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to making the government of the United States more responsive to the American people. It was founded in 1999 by James Carville and Stanley Greenberg. Democracy Corps provides public opinion research and strategic advice to those dedicated to a more responsive Congress and Presidency. Learn more at www.democracycorps.com
Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund (WVWVAF) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501 (c)(4) organization founded in 2005 and dedicated to increasing the voting participation and issue advocacy of unmarried women. Learn more at www.wvwvaf.org.

More Polls Show ‘Clinton Trounced Trump’

At Rolling Stone, Tim Dickinson’s “The (Real) Polls Prove It: Clinton Trounced Trump in the Debate” includes an update on some of the latest polling:

…We now have the results of five scientific polls, and each shows Clinton scoring a commanding victory over Trump on the debate stage.

Clinton got her highest marks in a CNN poll that showed her beating Trump 66 to 27 percent. Trump’s best showing came in a PPP poll – in which Clinton still beat him by 11 points, 51 to 40. Polls by YouGov (57/30) Politico/Morning Consult (49/26) and Echelon Insights (48/22) complete the picture of a debate dominated by the woman in the red suit.

…The YouGov poll did not measure electoral leaning, but Clinton walloped Trump among independents, 33 to 17, and even bested him among men, 27 to 24.

How bad was Trump’s night? Even a poll commissioned by the GOP nominee’s favorite propaganda outlet, Breitbart, had him losing to Clinton by five points, 48 to 43.

So how much of a game-changer was the debate? Dickinson adds:

…In the CNN poll, 34 percent of respondents said the debate made them more likely to vote for Clinton. In PPP’s survey, that number was 40 percent, with 39 percent saying they were less likely to vote for Trump. Forty-one percent of Eschelon respondents said they are now more likely to cast a ballot for Clinton.

Each of the polls asked slightly different questions. In the Politico/Morning Consult poll, 23 percent came away with a “much more favorable” view of Clinton, while 26 percent emerged with a “much less favorable” view of Trump.

Dickinson concludes by noting that Trump claimed he won in a CBS News post-debate poll. But CBS responded that “we did not conduct a post-debate poll.” As Dickinson adds, “Despite his crushing defeat, Trump did score one huge debate poll win – in his mind.”


Russo and Linkon: Clinton Can Win in Ohio with Emphasis on Jobs, Wages and Support for Working Families

The following article by John Russo and Sherry Linkon (their bio notes at end of article) is cross-posted from Moyers & Company.

Because of its potential for producing crossover Democratic votes for him in this year’s presidential race, Republican nominee Donald Trump has been paying a lot of attention to Youngstown, Ohio this year. This week, the old mill town gave him the kind of attention he didn’t want.

The quick resignation of local Trump campaign chair Kathy Miller, after a series of jawdropping remarks in an interview with The Guardian — including her opinion that racism did not exist until President Barack Obama took office — and the Trump campaign’s immediate decision to replace her with a Youngstown African-American talk show host suggest that maybe the blunt-spoken billionaire isn’t as enthusiastic about political incorrectness as he purports to be.

Trump’s campaign has encouraged people like Miller to claim their racism openly and defiantly. We’ve seen evidence repeatedly, such as in a Plain Dealer reporter’s summary of the racist comments he’s received from Trump supporters or a widely-circulated New York Times video of comments from supporters at Trump rallies. And while Trump certainly fueled the birther movement, it grew legs at tea party rallies with laments about the loss of the “real” America. The horrifyingly repetitious pattern of police officers shooting unarmed black men has made the underlying racism in American culture not only visible but deadly, while pushback against the Black Lives Matter movement makes clear that many white people firmly believe, like Miller, that people of color face no significant barriers.