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Can Democrats Win Back the White Working Class?

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KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE​

— One of the defining features of American politics is the realignment of white, college-educated voters toward Democrats and that of white voters without a degree toward Republicans.

— There are competing views on how or whether Democrats can perform better among white non-college voters.

— Appealing to the economic interests of white non-college voters may not be enough for Democrats to win back their support.

What is driving the realignment among white voters​

The past 30 years have witnessed a dramatic inversion of the class foundations of the American party system. White voters without college degrees, once the cornerstone of the Democratic electoral coalition, have swung sharply toward the Republican Party. Meanwhile, college-educated white voters, once a solidly Republican voting bloc, have been shifting toward the Democrats. The result is a party system in which, among white voters at least, education has become one of the main dividing lines.

Growing support among white working class (non-college) voters for the Republican Party has sparked a debate among political analysts and Democratic strategists about the underlying causes of Democratic decline within this shrinking but still very important voting bloc and what, if anything, party leaders can do to regain some of the lost ground.

There appear to be two major explanations for the political realignment of the white working class, and they have different implications for Democrats’ chances of a political comeback with this group. One school of thought, perhaps best represented by progressive scholar Ruy Teixeira, blames Democratic decline largely on the party’s prioritization of cultural and racial justice issues over traditional bread-and-butter economic issues. According to this theory, Democrats have failed to address economic problems such as the decline of manufacturing jobs and unfair trade competition that have led to growing economic insecurity among white working class voters. At the same time, many of these voters have been turned off by the Democrats’ increasingly liberal positions on issues such as gay rights, affirmative action, and immigration.

A second school of thought, represented by scholars such as Michael Tesler of the University of California, Irvine and John Sides of Vanderbilt University, argues that economic discontent has little to do with the flight of white working class voters from the Democrats. In their view, the main factor behind the shifting party allegiance of these voters is the success of Republican leaders like Donald Trump in appealing to the racial resentments and grievances of non-college white voters.

These two schools of thought have different implications for the ability of Democratic candidates to win back support from white working class voters. If economic discontent is the main driver of the shift to the GOP, Democrats could potentially win a larger share of the white working class vote by emphasizing concrete actions and policies to address these concerns while perhaps playing down liberal positions on cultural and racial issues. On the other hand, if racial resentment and grievances are the main drivers of white working class flight from the Democrats, paying more attention to the economic concerns of these voters might not be very effective. Moreover, downplaying or abandoning liberal positions on cultural and racial issues would potentially risk alienating voting blocs that make up key components of the party’s current electoral coalition including Blacks, Latinos, and college-educated whites.

 

Phys251

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KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE​

— One of the defining features of American politics is the realignment of white, college-educated voters toward Democrats and that of white voters without a degree toward Republicans.

— There are competing views on how or whether Democrats can perform better among white non-college voters.

— Appealing to the economic interests of white non-college voters may not be enough for Democrats to win back their support.

What is driving the realignment among white voters​

The past 30 years have witnessed a dramatic inversion of the class foundations of the American party system. White voters without college degrees, once the cornerstone of the Democratic electoral coalition, have swung sharply toward the Republican Party. Meanwhile, college-educated white voters, once a solidly Republican voting bloc, have been shifting toward the Democrats. The result is a party system in which, among white voters at least, education has become one of the main dividing lines.

Growing support among white working class (non-college) voters for the Republican Party has sparked a debate among political analysts and Democratic strategists about the underlying causes of Democratic decline within this shrinking but still very important voting bloc and what, if anything, party leaders can do to regain some of the lost ground.

There appear to be two major explanations for the political realignment of the white working class, and they have different implications for Democrats’ chances of a political comeback with this group. One school of thought, perhaps best represented by progressive scholar Ruy Teixeira, blames Democratic decline largely on the party’s prioritization of cultural and racial justice issues over traditional bread-and-butter economic issues. According to this theory, Democrats have failed to address economic problems such as the decline of manufacturing jobs and unfair trade competition that have led to growing economic insecurity among white working class voters. At the same time, many of these voters have been turned off by the Democrats’ increasingly liberal positions on issues such as gay rights, affirmative action, and immigration.

A second school of thought, represented by scholars such as Michael Tesler of the University of California, Irvine and John Sides of Vanderbilt University, argues that economic discontent has little to do with the flight of white working class voters from the Democrats. In their view, the main factor behind the shifting party allegiance of these voters is the success of Republican leaders like Donald Trump in appealing to the racial resentments and grievances of non-college white voters.

These two schools of thought have different implications for the ability of Democratic candidates to win back support from white working class voters. If economic discontent is the main driver of the shift to the GOP, Democrats could potentially win a larger share of the white working class vote by emphasizing concrete actions and policies to address these concerns while perhaps playing down liberal positions on cultural and racial issues. On the other hand, if racial resentment and grievances are the main drivers of white working class flight from the Democrats, paying more attention to the economic concerns of these voters might not be very effective. Moreover, downplaying or abandoning liberal positions on cultural and racial issues would potentially risk alienating voting blocs that make up key components of the party’s current electoral coalition including Blacks, Latinos, and college-educated whites.


No chance as long as a huge chunk of the WWC is addicted to right-wing propaganda. THAT is the real problem.
 

ttwtt78640

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No chance as long as a huge chunk of the WWC is addicted to right-wing propaganda. THAT is the real problem.

Yep, propaganda such as defunding the police and dropping gang/gun sentencing enhancements increases crime is a problem. ;)
 

Phys251

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Yep, propaganda such as defunding the police and dropping gang/gun sentencing enhancements increases crime is a problem. ;)

^ This is an example of the short, quippy, and misleading soundbites from the Right. No doubt a product of the right-wing media machine.

Contrary to what righties are told, there is no equivalent on the left. None.
 

Jkca1

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One topic not frequently mentioned enough is the GOP stand on SSI/Medicare. More often than not it is negative. Unless the GOP can find a substitute that gives those already retired and those within 20 years of retiring similar benefits that is always going to be a big plus for the democrats. And that is a significant voter count. The second the GOP talks about changing/ ending SSI medicare they lose votes. Martha McSally's stand in AZ on those issue cost her greatly over her much more liberal opponent;


Second. those under 30 are voting more than ever;

A national poll of 18-to-29 year olds released this week by the Harvard Institute of Politics found that 63 percent of respondents said they will “definitely be voting” in November’s (2020) election. The number is a significant increase from the 47 percent who said the same thing before the 2016 presidential election."

How do those younger voters vote?

"Younger voters more likely to identify as ‘liberal’ on economic and social issues"

https://thehill.com/hilltv/what-ame...oters-more-likely-to-identify-as-economically
 

Mina

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KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE​

— One of the defining features of American politics is the realignment of white, college-educated voters toward Democrats and that of white voters without a degree toward Republicans.

— There are competing views on how or whether Democrats can perform better among white non-college voters.

— Appealing to the economic interests of white non-college voters may not be enough for Democrats to win back their support.

What is driving the realignment among white voters​

The past 30 years have witnessed a dramatic inversion of the class foundations of the American party system. White voters without college degrees, once the cornerstone of the Democratic electoral coalition, have swung sharply toward the Republican Party. Meanwhile, college-educated white voters, once a solidly Republican voting bloc, have been shifting toward the Democrats. The result is a party system in which, among white voters at least, education has become one of the main dividing lines.

Growing support among white working class (non-college) voters for the Republican Party has sparked a debate among political analysts and Democratic strategists about the underlying causes of Democratic decline within this shrinking but still very important voting bloc and what, if anything, party leaders can do to regain some of the lost ground.

There appear to be two major explanations for the political realignment of the white working class, and they have different implications for Democrats’ chances of a political comeback with this group. One school of thought, perhaps best represented by progressive scholar Ruy Teixeira, blames Democratic decline largely on the party’s prioritization of cultural and racial justice issues over traditional bread-and-butter economic issues. According to this theory, Democrats have failed to address economic problems such as the decline of manufacturing jobs and unfair trade competition that have led to growing economic insecurity among white working class voters. At the same time, many of these voters have been turned off by the Democrats’ increasingly liberal positions on issues such as gay rights, affirmative action, and immigration.

A second school of thought, represented by scholars such as Michael Tesler of the University of California, Irvine and John Sides of Vanderbilt University, argues that economic discontent has little to do with the flight of white working class voters from the Democrats. In their view, the main factor behind the shifting party allegiance of these voters is the success of Republican leaders like Donald Trump in appealing to the racial resentments and grievances of non-college white voters.

These two schools of thought have different implications for the ability of Democratic candidates to win back support from white working class voters. If economic discontent is the main driver of the shift to the GOP, Democrats could potentially win a larger share of the white working class vote by emphasizing concrete actions and policies to address these concerns while perhaps playing down liberal positions on cultural and racial issues. On the other hand, if racial resentment and grievances are the main drivers of white working class flight from the Democrats, paying more attention to the economic concerns of these voters might not be very effective. Moreover, downplaying or abandoning liberal positions on cultural and racial issues would potentially risk alienating voting blocs that make up key components of the party’s current electoral coalition including Blacks, Latinos, and college-educated whites.

I suspect that what will keep Democrats politically viable (they've won the majority in seven out of eight recent presidential elections) isn't winning back undereducated white people, but instead just the fading of that demographic. Whites make up a smaller and smaller share of the population, and people without college degrees make up a smaller and smaller share of whites. I expect ignorant white people will continue to vote Republican in larger numbers, and there probably isn't a whole lot the Dems can do about that, short of going all George Wallace again.
 

Bok_Tukalo

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The Left in this nation was effectively defeated in the 1980s. Probably in the 70s but Reagan/Thatcher put the nail in the coffin at the very least. And the Left has always been the political expression of the Working Class in this nation. The conservative movement, neoliberalism, won the political argument. Abatis at the border that blocked the free movement of capital, goods, and services, were swept away. Labor though, remains captive. Capital moves to where it is serviced more easily which meant the Western Anglosphere Working Class was stripped of its power. Unions were gone. Manufacturing was shipped over seas and productivity improvements went into the pockets of shareholders.

That left the working class (white or otherwise) without a party. I believe they still have no party with the exception of the Democratic Party fighting a rearguard action to preserve legacy leftist entitlement programs like Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid.

So if neither party will look out for your interests, why not support the one that tells you that you are a victim, conveniently points out your oppressors (which do not include themselves), and validates your anger as righteous?
 
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mrjurrs

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KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE​

— One of the defining features of American politics is the realignment of white, college-educated voters toward Democrats and that of white voters without a degree toward Republicans.

— There are competing views on how or whether Democrats can perform better among white non-college voters.

— Appealing to the economic interests of white non-college voters may not be enough for Democrats to win back their support.

What is driving the realignment among white voters​

The past 30 years have witnessed a dramatic inversion of the class foundations of the American party system. White voters without college degrees, once the cornerstone of the Democratic electoral coalition, have swung sharply toward the Republican Party. Meanwhile, college-educated white voters, once a solidly Republican voting bloc, have been shifting toward the Democrats. The result is a party system in which, among white voters at least, education has become one of the main dividing lines.

Growing support among white working class (non-college) voters for the Republican Party has sparked a debate among political analysts and Democratic strategists about the underlying causes of Democratic decline within this shrinking but still very important voting bloc and what, if anything, party leaders can do to regain some of the lost ground.

There appear to be two major explanations for the political realignment of the white working class, and they have different implications for Democrats’ chances of a political comeback with this group. One school of thought, perhaps best represented by progressive scholar Ruy Teixeira, blames Democratic decline largely on the party’s prioritization of cultural and racial justice issues over traditional bread-and-butter economic issues. According to this theory, Democrats have failed to address economic problems such as the decline of manufacturing jobs and unfair trade competition that have led to growing economic insecurity among white working class voters. At the same time, many of these voters have been turned off by the Democrats’ increasingly liberal positions on issues such as gay rights, affirmative action, and immigration.

A second school of thought, represented by scholars such as Michael Tesler of the University of California, Irvine and John Sides of Vanderbilt University, argues that economic discontent has little to do with the flight of white working class voters from the Democrats. In their view, the main factor behind the shifting party allegiance of these voters is the success of Republican leaders like Donald Trump in appealing to the racial resentments and grievances of non-college white voters.

These two schools of thought have different implications for the ability of Democratic candidates to win back support from white working class voters. If economic discontent is the main driver of the shift to the GOP, Democrats could potentially win a larger share of the white working class vote by emphasizing concrete actions and policies to address these concerns while perhaps playing down liberal positions on cultural and racial issues. On the other hand, if racial resentment and grievances are the main drivers of white working class flight from the Democrats, paying more attention to the economic concerns of these voters might not be very effective. Moreover, downplaying or abandoning liberal positions on cultural and racial issues would potentially risk alienating voting blocs that make up key components of the party’s current electoral coalition including Blacks, Latinos, and college-educated whites.

Yes. But when voters refuse to vote in their own self interest, it is way more difficult. How many poor families will vote for R's when they are the ones that prevented the child tax credit to be extended while the D's were the ones responsible for delivering it?
 
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What can dems do? They actually fight for working white class and for policies that would benefit the the most. WTF do republicans do for them? ABsolutely nothing.

So if these stupid people want to continue to buy into Republicans lies, fearmongering, and blame their lot in life on people of color,immigrants, and democrats, instead of looking in the mirror of the crooks and liars and conmen they continue to elect, screw them. I don't think we even need their vote, just need to stop voter suppression and get good turnout. Maybe if we could actually get democrats power enough to not be blocked by republicans, then they will see the benefits if democrats policies on their lives

If they aren't won over by demands of better working conditions, better wages and min wage increases, increased taxes on the people who have all the wealth, bettr education, affordable healthcare and infrastructure to improve this country, I have no idea what could possibly work.
 
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^ This is an example of the short, quippy, and misleading soundbites from the Right. No doubt a product of the right-wing media machine.

Contrary to what righties are told, there is no equivalent on the left. None.
And even most liberals call Defund the Police a stupid slogan, yet these people just have to hold on to all their moronic talking points and embarrass themselves, because they have no actual argument
 

Phys251

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What can dems do? They actually fight for working white class and for policies that would benefit the the most. WTF do republicans do for them? ABsolutely nothing.

So if these stupid people want to continue to buy into Republicans lies, fearmongering, and blame their lot in life on people of color,immigrants, and democrats, instead of looking in the mirror of the crooks and liars and conmen they continue to elect, screw them. I don't think we even need their vote, just need to stop voter suppression and get good turnout. Maybe if we could actually get democrats power enough to not be blocked by republicans, then they will see the benefits if democrats policies on their lives

If they aren't won over by demands of better working conditions, better wages and min wage increases, increased taxes on the people who have all the wealth, bettr education, affordable healthcare and infrastructure to improve this country, I have no idea what could possibly work.

One has to wonder if it's even worth the effort. Particularly over the last decade, conservative WWC voters have gone out of their way to bite the hand that is trying to feed them. So why waste time with them? Why not shore up the Democrats' lagging approval ratings with nonwhite voters, who represent a big core of the Democratic base? That's where the votes are. That's how we keep Georgia, Arizona, and the Upper Midwest blue.

And even most liberals call Defund the Police a stupid slogan, yet these people just have to hold on to all their moronic talking points and embarrass themselves, because they have no actual argument

Excellent example. All but the most left-wing of progressives have abandoned "defund the police," yet righties hold onto it just like you say.
 

Atreus21

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I don't think they want to. Democrats want a narrative where they get to leave hateful, spiteful idiots behind to wither and die in racism and irrelevance while they and the enlightened move into the Star Trek universe.

It's utter fantasy, but they believe it.
 

ttwtt78640

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And even most liberals call Defund the Police a stupid slogan, yet these people just have to hold on to all their moronic talking points and embarrass themselves, because they have no actual argument

OK, but was ”defund the police” acted on? If so, why is that not an “actual argument”?



 

LetsGoBrandon

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A second school of thought, represented by scholars such as Michael Tesler of the University of California, Irvine and John Sides of Vanderbilt University, argues that economic discontent has little to do with the flight of white working class voters from the Democrats. In their view, the main factor behind the shifting party allegiance of these voters is the success of Republican leaders like Donald Trump in appealing to the racial resentments and grievances of non-college white voters.
This one is just left wing desperation. They can no longer appeal to the working class so they resort to race baiting If the democrats truly want to regain support of working class American voters, all they have to do is return to morals and values they held in the JFK era before the left wing started going off the rails.
 

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It's not about issues and policies. It's about the huge power of the right-wing propaganda machine manipulating public opinion. It appears a majority of the country can be fooled into supporting the well-funded side of the propaganda machine sometimes. So far a third of the country all the time, and a majority sometimes, at least a majority after the Republican vote-theft measures are taken into account.

Democrats are wasting their time thinking the voters are basing votes on policy and messaging outside the propaganda bubble. What Democrats can do is try to 'get out the vote' of the voters who support them to get around the Republican cult.
 

Craig234

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And even most liberals call Defund the Police a stupid slogan, yet these people just have to hold on to all their moronic talking points and embarrass themselves, because they have no actual argument
It would be pretty simple for Democrats to instead have a slogan like 're-fund' the police meaning to add funding for things like non-violent response teams as well, or 'improve the police' to strengthen training and accountability and reduce problems.
 

Grandpappy

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You Democrats just don't get it. The Democratic party is long gone. I'm not sure who they represent- liberal elites?
They give lip service to minorites, but nothing really changes for them.
I guarantee you they've lost the Blue collar vote, and I doubt they'll ever win them back.
Maybe if the nominated Joe Manchin for prez and showed a little more common sense and less idealistic rainbows and unicorns garbage.
That'll never happen.
 

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You Democrats just don't get it. The Democratic party is long gone. I'm not sure who they represent- liberal elites?
They give lip service to minorites, but nothing really changes for them.
I guarantee you they've lost the Blue collar vote, and I doubt they'll ever win them back.
Maybe if the nominated Joe Manchin for prez and showed a little more common sense and less idealistic rainbows and unicorns garbage.
That'll never happen.
Manchin is too conservative for the Democratic base.
 

HangLow

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One topic not frequently mentioned enough is the GOP stand on SSI/Medicare. More often than not it is negative. Unless the GOP can find a substitute that gives those already retired and those within 20 years of retiring similar benefits that is always going to be a big plus for the democrats. And that is a significant voter count. The second the GOP talks about changing/ ending SSI medicare they lose votes.
Second. those under 30 are voting more than ever;
A national poll of 18-to-29 year olds released this week by the Harvard Institute of Politics found that 63 percent of respondents said they will “definitely be voting” in November’s (2020) election. The number is a significant increase from the 47 percent who said the same thing before the 2016 presidential election."
How do those younger voters vote?
"Younger voters more likely to identify as ‘liberal’ on economic and social issues"
https://thehill.com/hilltv/what-ame...oters-more-likely-to-identify-as-economically
It is thanks to Democrats that those working-class bozos will be getting Social Security and Medicare.
Maybe you weren't aware of this, but Republicans want to take all that away.

After 2010, Obama's "policies of neoliberal austerity" were FORCED on him by a Republican Congress. Total federal spending actually FELL from 2011 to 2012, and then FELL again, from 2012 to 2013.

Mitch McConnell was BRAGGING about that and pointed out that it was the first time that had happened since the Korean War years. So those austerity policies were Republican policies.

We could have had a stronger/faster recovery from the Great Recession if the federal government had been pursuing a more normal fiscal policy in 2011/2012/2013/2014.

Austerity has never prospered a nation or its people...
and certainly not the advancements within its civil and civic systems.

quote:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austerity#cite_note-Austerity_–_Pros_and_Cons-4

In most macroeconomic models, austerity policies that reduce government spending lead to increased unemployment in the short term. These reductions in employment usually occur directly in the public sector and indirectly in the private sector. Where austerity policies are enacted using tax increases, these can reduce consumption by cutting household disposable income. This also tends to reduce employment in the short term. Reduced government spending can reduce GDP growth in the short term as government expenditure is itself a component of GDP. In the longer term, reduced government spending can reduce GDP growth if, for example, cuts to education spending leave a country's workforce less able to do high-skilled jobs or if cuts to infrastructure investment impose greater costs on business than they saved through lower taxes. In both cases, if reduced government spending leads to reduced GDP growth, austerity may lead to a higher debt-to-GDP ratio than the alternative of the government running a higher budget deficit.

end quote

Population growth and Innovation in an ever-changing world are
foundational to society and the nation; and Austerity is not conducive to the benefits of either.

1650757818211.png
 

HangLow

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This one is just left wing desperation. They can no longer appeal to the working class so they resort to race baiting If the democrats truly want to regain support of working class American voters, all they have to do is return to morals and values they held in the JFK era before the left wing started going off the rails.
Another rePukelican Bull Shit Talking Point... weak...
-peace

1650758662471.png
 
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ataraxia

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You Democrats just don't get it. The Democratic party is long gone. I'm not sure who they represent- liberal elites?
They give lip service to minorites, but nothing really changes for them.
I guarantee you they've lost the Blue collar vote, and I doubt they'll ever win them back.
Maybe if the nominated Joe Manchin for prez and showed a little more common sense and less idealistic rainbows and unicorns garbage.
That'll never happen.

Even Trump voters know the Dems are fighting for them.




They have just been too brainwashed, or they are still too racist, to vote for them. They would rather die themselves.
 

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No chance as long as a huge chunk of the WWC is addicted to right-wing propaganda. THAT is the real problem.

I think there's a chance but - and this is where I disagree with fellow liberals - the strategy ought to be to fight about 'woke' issues without all the virtue signaling. Democrats used to be good at this. Bill Clinton was really good at it. Barack Obama was good at it as well - actually really good when you consider all the traps that Republicans tried to lay down for him.

I don't think the Democrats need to focus on the white working class; they just need to focus on the middle class, period. And they need to do that by focusing on class issues more, talking more about the kitchen table issues. They also need to find their 'everyman' qualities and communicate in ways that resonate with Billy Beergut, and less with coastal intellectuals. Mind you, when it comes to actually making policies, by all means, make sure the Ivy Leaguers are in the room with them writing out the legislation, but the marketing pitch needs to have a little less Robert Reich and a little more Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson.
 

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^ This is an example of the short, quippy, and misleading soundbites from the Right. No doubt a product of the right-wing media machine.

Contrary to what righties are told, there is no equivalent on the left. None.
You're ironically correct. What @ttwtt78640 said is correct, and there is no equivalent of actually being correct on the left. None.
 
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