There’s a new study out from _Jacobin, _YouGov, and the Center for Working-Class Politics about how progressives can win back the working class. The survey, based on the responses of 1,650 voters, found that working-class Republicans support an agenda built around guaranteed jobs (when I was specifically told they voted for Trump because they were racists) and that they prefer candidates, even Democratic ones, who are pink collar or blue collar, with middle-school teachers and construction workers topping the charts. In short, working-class people identify more as working class than they do as Republican or Democrat.
The study also found that class solidarity traversed racial lines: “Black working-class respondents, for instance, enthusiastically favor economic populist rhetoric, while black managers and professionals are averse to it. Working-class white respondents strongly favor non-elite candidates; their middle- and upper-class counterparts do not.” And it found that working-class respondents were less polarized around social issues than professionals. _Jacobin _concluded that progressives seeking working-class votes would do better to talk about jobs than to rail against the cultural agenda of the GOP—a message that many progressives need to hear.
They are not the only ones. The study didn’t just reveal the blind spots of progressive elites. It exposed a problem plaguing both political parties as they try to understand the opaque and mysterious working class. While _Jacobin _asks how progressives can get the working class to vote for them, Republican millionaires gather at private dinners to ask each other how they can get the working class to care about the fight against wokeness.
Notice how neither side is devoting its energies to crafting an agenda that would deliver for labor. The survey doesn’t ask a thousand workers what their needs are to convey to prospective candidates, but rather, what messaging they would most respond to. Instead of using their privilege to advocate for their fellow Americans on whose backbreaking labor delivering our food or building our homes or caring for our elderly we all rely, the elites of both parties try to get workers to take up their issues. The only form of privilege a worker has is his vote; he’s been cut out of the conversation in this country pretty much entirely. Yet instead of trying to earn those votes by representing the interests of workers, the elites of both sides spend billions of dollars in advertising, surveys, focus groups, and consultants trying to bamboozle the working class into representing them.