Consortium News:ㅤThe Specious ‘US Voter Apathy’ Spin

Consortium News:ㅤThe Specious ‘US Voter Apathy’ Spin

03-04-24 10:00:00,

Wilmer J. Leon on the decline in American voters’ interest in the two major parties and their presidential candidates.

Voting booth in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, November 2023. (Lorie Shaull, Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

By Wilmer J. Leon, III
Black Agenda Report

One of the popular narratives that was disseminated in mainstream America media to explain Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign loss to Donald Trump was post-Obama voter apathy in the African American community.  According to The Washington Post, “In 2016, a seven-point drop in black voter turnout was perceived to have cost Clinton the election.

Political commentators often cite black voters’ “enthusiasm gap” as the primary reason for low turnout. This short-sighted perspective fails to consider that Hillary Clinton ran a terrible campaign.  She took the African American vote for granted and failed to craft a message that spoke to the needs and interests of the community.

Blaming the community played into a stereotype that labeled African Americans as uninformed and monolithic in thought, instead of being introspective and recognizing her own short-comings. Her campaign ignored a simple reality … African Americans are as “political” as the rest of the country and there are real and substantive political interests that motivate the community.

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