An MSNBC host claimed that anyone concerned with gas prices and inflation is clearly benefiting from white privilege. The reason is simple, explained MSNBC host Zerlina Maxwell, who said that it is “almost a privilege to care about inflation,” because black women are more concerned about getting killed on their way to work.
“Inflation. It’s almost a privilege to care about inflation as your number one issue, uh, the same is true of gas prices, or even the idea that it’s the economy stupid,” Maxwell said.
“As we just discussed, this is not a typical mid-term election season just a few months ago, before, before, remember the before times, the supreme court struck down Roe v. Wade, Republicans seem to hold the edge,” began Maxwell. “And now several recent polls show something a little bit differently, that voters actually want Dems to keep control of the Congress.”
Maxwell, who argues that Democrats are actually poised to win the upcoming November 2022 midterm elections, spoke to DNC advisor Kurt Bardella on how the Roe v. Wade decision matters more than the economy to most Americans.
Maxwell: So joining me now to discuss is Kurt Bardella, an advisor to the DNC and CCC. So, thinking about how the Roe decision will impact the midterm elections is actually an open question because it just so happens, that some of the polling before has changed in the wake of the decision, and there are primaries actually this week in Arizona, Missouri, and Michigan, give us a little bit of an idea an of how voters have reacted to that decision, what is the status of the midterms now that Roe has been struck down. Do Democrats stand a chance of keeping the House or doing well in these upcoming elections?
Bardella: Yeah I think they do. Certainly, before republicans have made the most fatal flaw they can in a campaign, and that is agitate and excited and engage the other party’s base this is the largest constituency of voters we have in the democratic party, and the largest constituency of voters in the country, and here they’ve taken an action that's threatened their very livelihoods, their very lives, and it doesn't get much more personal than trying to tell and instruct the woman what she can and can’t do with her own body.
This is something that isn't an opaque policy idea that needs to be explained and it’s tough to digest or understand, this is incredibly personal, and I think we’re going to see this play out throughout the entire midterms. Republicans have no idea how to talk about this, they’re doing just about everything wrong. Since they overturned Roe v. Wade you see Republicans out there saying they want to get rid of contraception and birth control access. They want to make it so women can’t leave the state if they’re pregnant and they have to somehow get checked on, or monitored. Their entire privacy is under assault, they’re moving even more to the extreme and it's the exact wrong recipe if you want to try win a midterm election.
This might help some of these crazy whack jobs in the primary, but I'm telling you Zerlina when it comes to a general election in November, these people…they're going to lose so many races they should've been competitive in just on this issue alone.
Maxwell: So if you think about what you just explained in terms of how its a liability and playing how in these culture war spaces on issues like LGBTQ+ rights or even abortion, how that could be a liability for Republicans... but one of the conventional, pieces of wisdom I read a lot about is inflation and the cost of things is a liability for democrats
I mean how do you think that balances out? Do you think bodily autonomy in the minds of a voter who's going into that polling booth, do you think that’s more top of mind than the cost of gas?
Bardella: You know I think that in order to care about inflation you have to be alive. And if you’re a woman right now, who has a difficult pregnancy that’s threatening your health. You know what? That’s going to matter a lot more to, I think, than inflation. Elections are about how you start, and how you close.
I said months ago that Republicans were peaking way too early. When everyone wrote Democrats off for then, there’s a lot more of the game to be played here. A lot of field ahead, and Republicans every step of the way keep hitting that self-sabotage button. Just in the last week alone they’ve managed to put themselves on the side of China, on the opposite side of veterans – two constituencies that they’ve been in the wheelhouse for years that they’ve upended. And all the while they continue this extreme war on women. This is the only political party I can think of that uses The Handmaid’s Tale as an instruction manual and it’s gonna backfire big time in November.
Maxwell: That’s a frightening thought. I don’t want anyone to pick up that book and use it as a to-do list. That’s not a good thought, Kurt.
One of the things that you’ve said there that I really think is important is the fact that, you know, inflation. It’s almost a privilege to care about inflation as your number one issue. The same is true for gas prices or even the idea that it’s the economy, stupid. I always found that analysis lacking because as a black person I don’t wanna get killed on the way to my job. So I’m glad I have a job. I’m glad I make a living wage. But if I can’t be alive then what does that other stuff matter? I mean, speak to the idea that some of this stuff is existential in the minds of the Democratic base in a way that is maybe not for the middle of the country. The so-called middle. Or even more conservative-leaning voters.
Bardella: Yeah listen, if you just lost your house because of a flood in Kentucky. Or if you just lost your livelihood because it burned down in a wildfire. If you just lost your life because you are the wrong color and you are pulled over somewhere. Inflation doesn’t really matter to you or to your loved ones.
There are much broader things going on right now in this country that affect so many demographics that the dollars to cents case that has been made time and again about – like it has been said ‘it’s the economy, stupid — there’s a blind spot there. And you’ll notice that the majority of people who make that statement are generally white. There’s a real reckoning going on in America right now and we’re seeing multiple things converge from the threat to climate change that’s upending these peoples’ lives and homes, the struggle with social justice, to still the ongoing struggle with the pandemic. Not to mention again what Republicans have done just advancing the entire war against women.
Those are the things that cut much more personally and directly than the overarching issue of inflation because like you said, it’s almost a luxury to think about that when these other things are threatening your everyday life, or the lives of your kids. We live in a country right now where if you send your kid off to school, you don’t know that that child’s gonna come home safely because Republicans are in the back pocket of gun manufacturers and the NRA.
Those are the things that matter, as much at least as inflation.
Maxwell: It’s so, so important. The personal is very political, especially in this particular moment.