Here are my proposals for some myths that may have held weight in your past political convos but should be buried before we move into 2023.
The post-2020 ‘racial reckoning’
Much of the anti-racist progress that people claimed to have witnessed in the wake of George Floyd’s killing by police in 2020 seems to have evaporated.
To be clear, the evaporation seemed evident in 2020. Polls in September of that year showed that white people’s support for the Black Lives Matter movement regressed after a brief uptick during the public demonstrations for Floyd. Polling since then has shown that a majority of white people oppose the movement.
But there’s more evidence that the desire of some white people to be seen as true allies to the anti-racist movement has faded away.
I’ve been unsurprised as I’ve read stories from Black people across the social spectrum — from video game creators to educators to criminal justice activists to entertainment experts — speaking about a lack of progress, including some parties’ reneging on commitments to invest in racial justice.
It’s a reminder that support for such an idea isn’t measured by social media posts or corporate news releases — it’s measured by the quantifiable moves made to stem racism and offer reparations to those harmed by it.
The GOP has pull among young voters
This is one of my favorite myths to mock. I’ve taken pleasure in seeing right-wing purported youth whisperers — like the folks at Turning Point USA — fall flat on their faces in their quest to lure young people into the Republican Party. As it turns out, dialing back millions of young people’s rights to levels unseen since their grandparents and great-grandparents were kids is a poor strategy for attracting the youth vote.
Eagerly working to keep many of them saddled with crippling student loan debt hasn’t done the GOP any favors either. Young voters were ultimately key in helping Democrats defy the predicted “red wave” in the midterms.
And it sure seems like conservatives have severely overestimated their potential appeal among young voters — or, put another away, they underestimated the disgust many young people have for the Republican Party.
Black men will save the Republican Party
Some people, even some media figures, suggested Republicans were primed for a sweeping victory in the House in November, and that this would be thanks in large part to Black voters. Nope.
In Georgia’s midterms, for example, the unfounded claims about Black men potentially spurning Democrats seemed to be the loudest. But as The Grio’s Michael Harriot noted, Black men in Georgia overwhelmingly backed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, as well as the incumbent Democratic senator, Raphael Warnock.
Earlier this year, I wrote on how the GOP hoped appeals to misogyny and homophobia would attract Black men to the party. It was ultimately a fool’s mission. While some Black men may espouse certain ideas that technically qualify as conservative — like rigid gender roles — that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re willing to vote for Republicans in significant numbers. And the GOP doesn’t have a clue how to change that trend.