Harris, Warren, and Booker explain why their identity politics aren’t divisive. Or something.
Following Hillary Clinton’s second failed attempt to win the presidency, a few leftwing pundits ventured the opinion that the Democratic Party should reconsider putting all of its eggs in the identity politics basket. That didn’t last long, however, and the left clumsily embraced “intersectionality” in the form of #TheResistance.
Under the banner of distastefully rabid and ludicrously irrational anti-Trumpism, the newly intersectionalized left got off to a shaky start. Pro-life women were excluded from the “Women’s March,” and straight progressive white men found themselves excluded from pretty much everything. White progressives were sent (literally) to the back or even out of the room, and non-Hispanics were discouraged from advocating for sanctuary cities and open borders.
The progressive wing of the Democratic Party wants to harness and redirect all this division by mocking those opposed to identity politics as being divisive (yes, I know) and staking the new identity politics on the premise of intersectionality. The idea is that all of the separate groups the left has carefully segregated and stoked with fear-mongering fervor are now all the same.
The problem for the newly-intersectionalized left is that the only way to bring together these diverse and thoroughly separate groups is to come up with a new common enemy. For example, the old racist, sexist, homophobic schematic won’t work unless the group is question is of color, female, or anything but heterosexual. Ginning up resentment of sexism amongst those programmed to spot racism at fifty paces is no easy task, after all. In short, they need someone or some group to hate and, most importantly, to fear. This new enemy, this boogey-straw-man, must embody everything they’ve carefully trained their followers to revile.
Hillary’s “basket of deplorables” was the prototype for this single enemy of the new Socialist Democrats, and this year’s Netroots Got Talent competition served up three Democrat presidential hopefuls who are picking up that baton and hoping to run with it in 2020.
Senator and 2020 presidential hopeful Kamala Harris (D-CA) describes what she terms the goal of this new “American identity.”
California’s Sen. Kamala Harris urged Democrats on Friday to embrace issues of race, gender, sexual orientation and more — lambasting critics of “identity politics” who she said had weaponized the phrase “to try to shut us up.”
“It’s a pejorative,” Harris told progressives gathered here for the annual Netroots Nation conference. “That phrase is used to divide and used to distract. Its purpose is to minimize and marginalize issues that impact all of us.”
She pointed to civil rights, women’s reproductive rights, criminal justice and immigrant rights, saying “we won’t be silent” about those issues.
“These are the very things that will define our identity as Americans,” Harris said. “This is about American identity.” [emphasis mine]
“The very things that will define our identity as Americans” is an interesting statement. This was in her prepared remarks for her Netroots Got Talent spot, so it’s no mistake. Instead, it underscores her vision for the fundamental transformation of our nation and of our very identity as Americans.
We’re not going to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, where all men are created equal; we’re not going to be one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and (unqualified, unquantified) justice for all. Instead, we will be defined as a nation that puts every conceivable type of “justice”—social justice, racial justice, economic justice, and etc.—over actual justice.
Watch her full remarks:
Harris is not the only one whose Netroots talent spot echoes this “new” (re-)branding of America via regressive intersectionality. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) was hot on the trail of the scourge of identity politics (yes, I know) . . . as she offered up the “rich and powerful” as the unifying target of all that pent-up leftist rage.
Warren, who arguably built her progressive cred with her “you didn’t build that” speech, has understandably eschewed issues of race (ahem) and even of gender/sexuality and is anchoring her new America in a division between the working class (all races, all fifty-plus genders, etc.) and the upper classes (the monolithic “wealthy and powerful” elite from whom she excludes all Democrats). Hers is a basic argument, unfettered by anything beyond early Marx and the greed/envy/gimme matrix of the average Occupy-type leftie.
Elizabeth Warren, the liberal senator from Massachusetts, railed against the “politics of division” that pit white working class people against black working class people. She argued that progressives can and must put forward a strong economic platform without shying away from issues of race and gender.
“The pundits will say it’s impossible for us to build a coalition that cuts across issues and communities – that Democrats have to choose between being the party of the white working class and the party of Black Lives Matter,” Warren said in her keynote speech, which was met with emphatic applause. “They will say it. Nevertheless: We will persist.”
Warren departed the convention to attend a town hall with congressman Cedric Richmond, whose district covers a large swath of New Orleans. There, Warren amplified her critique of race in America.
“Let’s just start with the hard truth about our criminal justice system: it’s racist,” she said to loud applause in front of a racially mixed crowd at Dillard University, a local historical black college. Warren emphasized that the system was fundamentally flawed “all the way, front to back.” She added “our prison system is something that America should be ashamed of. What we do to other human beings is fundamentally wrong.”
She gets that two categories—”us” and “them”—is more viable than “us” vs. them racists, them sexists, them misogynists, them xenophobes, them homophobes, them transphobes, them Islamaphobes, and on and on. Slapping people under “us” or “them” is just easier, and as such will be more appealing to many leftists who will be confused and befuddled by more complex classifications and how they intersect with all the other complex classifications.
The downside, though, is that to enter the Warren intersectionality matrix, the base would have to grapple with and ultimately relinquish some of its core tenets. Embracing the backbone of America, the American working class, who are mostly white, mostly uneducated . . . mostly everything the left reviles, will be a hard sell for them.
Watch her full remarks:
Enter Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ). Unlike Harris and Warren, Booker is open to pretty much everything. “Passion for animals”? No problem. “Passion for immigrants”? No problemo. Seeking some “higher ground of activism of engagement of love”? Look no further. Things, he asserts, are “savagely wrong in America.”
Booker’s pitch on the Netroots Got Talent show was that he’s all things to all people, and that intersectionality is, essentially, the tie that binds . . . and frees. And stuff.
Sen. Cory Booker implored an audience in New Orleans on Friday to combat the “savagely wrong” state of American culture by thinking about the importance of a “civic gospel.”
The New Jersey senator who said he once cried “tears of rage” over the Trump administration’s rhetoric told political allies that they must reject the “normalcy of injustice” that permeates modern America. He told the room of activists that he wants them to rise to the “higher ground of activism of engagement of love.”
“I’m a big believer that if America, if this country hasn’t broken your heart, then you don’t love her enough. Because there’s things that are savagely wrong in this country. There’s a normalcy of injustice that we’ve accepted,” Mr. Booker said while discussing Hassan Washington, a city councilman who was shot as a teenager.
“Newark has gifted me a wisdom that can only come from wounds, a sense of purpose that can only come from shared pain,” the New Jersey Democrat continued. “It’s a city that at times where my heart has been broken but I’ve learned that the heart is this interesting organ that, it’s the only one that really works even if it’s gotten broken.”
Booker’s pitch was, at least in parts, reminiscent of Obama’s “no red states, no purple states” speech. Today’s voting American, however, is unlikely to buy into that particular ploy . . . again. It doesn’t help that he goes on to condemn America and Americans as purveyors of all injustices perceived by the regressive left.
Booker’s “you’re a disgusting racist who harms everyone without batting an eyelid, but hey! let’s link arms and sing a happy tune of unity and love, you racist loser!” is a study in whiplash-inducing psychosis.
Watch Booker’s full remarks:
Netroots Got Talent is a progressive talent show, and this year’s talent was by turns bone-chilling, simplistic, and unhinged. This is good news for President Trump who, at this moment and against these potential candidates, has 2020 in the bag.DONATE
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