Florida Democratic Party President: Poor people don’t care about “issues” and vote based on “emotions”

As part of the continued effort by leaders in the Democratic Party to malign and marginalize poor white voters, Florida Democratic Party (FDP) President Sally Boynton Brown has waded into this world as Miami New Times reports.   The FDP President according to the New Times addressed the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Broward County on Thursday night and the following occurred (quoting from the article):

Later in the meeting, she then said that people who are struggling to make ends meet — and often decline to vote because they say it doesn’t matter — do not vote based on “issues” they care about and instead vote because they are “emotional beings.” She added that people apparently skip voting because they’ve somehow forgotten about the “power of democracy,” whatever that means.

She also said that taking money from large corporations such as Florida Power & Light could somehow be a good thing — and that the “relationship” created when gigantic corporations give thousands of dollars to political candidates can somehow make it easier for politicians to push back against corporations when they are “raping our country.”

I’d never count on principle when it comes to fundraising from the FDP, so the FPL comment while disturbing isn’t surprising. After all this past session, Speaker Richard Corcoran was needed to kill an FPL driven measure to charge Floridians for fracking out of state – the proposal had the backing of several leaders in Senate Democratic Caucus. The new party President (essentially the Executive Director) seems to have already been brought up to speed about the importance FPL alignment for many Democrats in the legislature as well as 2016 US Senate nominee Patrick Murphy.

But the continued maligning of poor voters (presumably poor white voters) as “emotional beings,” and that do not vote based on “issues,” is more of the same condescending and elitist talk from the Democrats. When I was growing up you could count on Republicans to say such insulting and patronizing things, while the Democrats would be the ones to stand tall for working people But not anymore.

We’ve editorialized time and again here at TFS about the importance of white working class voters, those who first came to our party to support William Jennings Bryan in 1896, became the core of the New Deal Coalition in 1932 and even in many cases supported the first major African-American nominee for President, Barack Obama in 2008. But for some reason, 2016 became the year of identity over issues for the Democrats. But in the wake of electoral embarrassment in November, elite Democrats doubled-down. Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas editorialized  that we should “be happy for coal miners losing their health insurance. They’re getting exactly what they voted for.”  It’s odd from where I sit that Boynton Brown used the term “emotional” to describe poor voters because that in reality is the way Democratic leaders have acted toward those very voters since losing in November 2016. These leaders have emotionally and irrationally used dehumanizing language to ridicule those they see as beneath them or responsible for Donald Trump’s victory.

As a candidate for DNC Chair, Boynton Brown played on some of the worst stereotypes about “white privilege” and based on her rhetoric isn’t fan of a multiracial party of democracy. Watch below and judge for yourself.

No question that Black Lives Matter and general issues of social justice require more attention from establishment Democratic Party officeholders. However, the new tenor of the party to pit race against race and ethnic groups against one another is unhealthy for the country and ultimately as we saw in 2016, a losing electoral strategy. How do you make the battle about issue and economic/social justice? You make racial and ethnic identity less of an issue and instead embrace a progressive ideology and concepts that benefit people of all ethnicities and races. Advocating for one race or ethnicity does not need to mean you malign or marginalize another race or ethnicity.

The net result of an overemphasis on identity politics and maligning of working class white voters has been electoral losses for the Democrats and a Republican Party that has come to power that is far less willing to work with minority voters and groups than they were in the Bush years. As recently as 1996, Democrats carried rural areas of many southern states in a Presidential election and as recently as 2012, rural white voters in Iowa and Wisconsin favored the Democratic nominee.

The Democrats attitude toward white working class voters can be demonstrated by the difficulty the party has had in the Wisconsin 3rd district, represented since 1996 by Democrat Ron Kind, a thoughtful and consciousness member of the House.  In 2008, President Obama won Kind’s congressional district by 20 points and in 2012 he won it by 11. In 2016, Hillary Clinton lost the district by five points, a massive reversal from the previous two elections. Kind’s district is 97% white and dotted by small and medium sized towns as well as dairy farms.

Countless examples of districts like Kind’s throughout the nation can be found. Unless Democratic leaders change their tact and act less patronizing and more respectful toward all Americans, we can continue to see the party lose elections and alienate what once were the core of Democratic base.


  1. Proud union member appalled by Brown.


  2. Great piece!


  3. Democrats do not understand the importance of turnout. After the 2004 election the Pinellas DEC Chair gushed about the huge Democrat turnout in Pinellas(74%). She was not happy when I pointed out that the 2004 Republican turnout in Pinellas was 82%…


  4. Carty, very disappointed in your taking the writing of a 2 bit want to be in the Miami Times and reporting on it. He never interviewed her. He wasn’t there. He took some hot button stuff and amplified it. By the way she was absolutely right. Poor people don’t care about issues like Climate change, fracking, Sable Trail Pipeline, access to healthcare they can’t afford, etc…. They want people to care about them. That they have no jobs or lousy jobs. That they are sinking and live paycheck to paycheck. They want candidates they can believe in. Real people, not crooks. Sally Boynton Brown stated that her job is to get Democrats elected not promote issues. I totally agree. It is up to candidates and caucuses to promote issues. Platforms are just pieces of paper. It’s candidates with integrity who can best define the issues to the voters. It is the caucuses job to push issues and candidates, not hers. Her job is to find the candidates who can best energize the voters and to help them do that. The fact she stated that all candidates will be given an equal opportunity is what was lacking in the purged FDP. She has a lot of experience and she is not tied to the establishment. She was brought in to win not to whine. That sounds Progressive to me.


    1. That is supposed to be Kartyk. Damn spell check.


  5. Sarah Williams · ·

    Black voters need to leave the Democratic Party because it’s clear democrats only want their votes!!! Stephen Bittel touted the fact that he’s building up the party staff and he is but it seems like black consultants are getting shut out of the process. As of today, there is only 1 black person working for the FDP staff and of the people Bittel hired NONE of them are black… that’s a shame because over a third of all registered democrats in Florida are black and we’ve had the toughest time getting black voters out to vote. There’s no reason why FDP shouldn’t be hiring more black People. If they did that, they could actually build a coalition with black People based on ISSUES and not “identity politics” It’s ridiculous and it doesn’t seem to be getting better. I don’t see why any black person in Florida would be excited to vote democratic at this point. I’m so glad I left the Democratic Party after what they did to Bernie. They’re all crooks who only care about getting votes. Time for black people to join #DEMEXIT


  6. Millenial Democrat · ·

    Sally Boyton Brown is a complete idiot. I would had fired her just on comments alone. The FDP is digging a much deeper grave since the disastrous Chairman Bittel was elected. These elites have no idea whats happening across the state and have no idea how bad it is for majority of Floridians. Meanwhile, the GOP is cutting all our services left and right, and the FDP is completely hopeless.


  7. […] I discussed Friday, the Democrats attitude toward white working class voters can be demonstrated by the difficulty the […]



    Blame the previous administration, not the one who wants to win.


  9. […] of respect for, editorialized here on The Florida Squeeze on why he disagreed with her assertions (Click here to find what Kartik wrote).  As someone who made the fateful/idiotic/ masochistic decision to jump in to the political realm […]


  10. Janet Burnett · ·

    I was there. I am Black and poor. I was not offended. I wish the haters and complainers would offer themselves for positions, run for office, offer suggestions — anything other than moan and complain.


  11. This article totally misrepresents what she said and frankly you’re coming across as white racist Dixiecrats of a half century ago. So I conclude Florida Squeeze is living in the past and should be relegated to the dustbin of history, goodbye.



    This view of denigrating the white working class permeates progressive discourse. I published without comment a Race & Reconciliation presentation on “White Privilege” during which the presenter and moderator, both PhDs from the University of West Florida stated that if you were a poor white male, you had too much privilege to speak. I have a PhD from Stanford but come from a NYC working class background. Of course, by virtue of an elite education I have privilege. But ehat of the working class from West Virginia whose grandfather may have been killed building the Mine Workers Union? Or the working class whose great grandfather may have been killed at Haymarket? They talk a “historical” game by cherry picking history and ignoring multiracial unions and the war on labor since Reagan. See cjsstreetreport.blogspot.com.


  13. […] TFS Story #1: Florida Democratic Party President: Poor people don’t care about “issues” and vote based on emotions: https://thefloridasqueeze.com/2017/05/19/florida-democratic-party-president-poor-people-dont-care-ab… […]


  14. […] TFS Story #1: Florida Democratic Party President: Poor people don’t care about “issues” and vote based on emotions: https://thefloridasqueeze.com/2017/05/19/florida-democratic-party-president-poor-people-dont-care-ab… […]


  15. Hillary Clinton on proposed federal budget…”This administration and Republicans in Congress are mounting an onslaught against the needs of children and people with disabilities, women and seniors,” the budget…”shows an unimaginable level of cruelty and lack of imagination and disdain for the struggles of millions of Americans, including millions of children.”

    Sally Brown…[po white voters] do not vote based on “issues” they care about and instead vote because they are “emotional beings.”

    Does that duo wear capes or masks? Apparently baskets for the deplorable weren’t enough…now emotional beings need a holding area.


  16. Nathaniel Skinner · ·

    Excellent article, Kartik. I went door to door for Kerry and Obama(x2), and in this last election I sat out. Why? Because the Democratic party has become the party of the victimization olympics, not the party of opportunity it once was. The SJW nonsense has gone too far, and it is a caricature of what it once was. Instead of standing up for all people that are getting the crappy end of the stick, like FDR and LBJ would have done, modern Dems just stand up for those who scream the loudest. Instead of noting that the poor kid in rural Alabama, and the poor kid in inner city Chicago are fighting the same battle for survival, and crafting policies that give both a chance to achieve their dreams, the Dem elites merely pit them against each other.

    It’s not shocking that the Dem leadership is this way, there are few working class voices in that group at this point. There are few people at the national level, much less the state level that actually understand the struggle of everyday Americans . They are for the most part a bunch of pseudo-intellectuals that grew up in luxury, and think that poor people are to be pitied, not respected or given the tools needed to stand on their own.


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