Friday, May 09, 2008

Democrats' Identity Politics

The Democrats' identity politics and insistence that we separate ourselves into our own little groups is coming back to haunt them. While Republicans have ideological unity, the Democrats have attempted to make a coalition of different groups, while trying to keep them different groups. The consequence is that they now have a situation where if Obama wins, the Democrats will likely lose a large number of white union and blue collar workers and Hispanics, while if Clinton wins, African-Americans and Marxist intellectuals will be lost (well, perhaps not the latter, who will still turn out to vote even if their candidate wins). Paul Begala rightly pointed out that the Democrats can't win with the people attracted to Obama: "eggheads and African Americans." Indeed. Clinton seems to be attracting the voters who have been known to vote Republican in the past, and if she doesn't win, there's a good chance they will go vote Republican -- at least in the Presidential race. But if she does win, African-American voters might just stay home -- and Democrats will lose not just the Presidency, but perhaps also the Congress.

On the other hand, the Democrats' divisive, racist identity politics has done a wonderful job of keeping two groups -- African-Americans and Hispanics -- who do not like each other and whose political ideologies are much closer to that of the Republicans (both are socially more conservative, and African-Americans show high support for things like school vouchers) than to the Democrats. Somehow, the Democrats have managed to use racist ideologies like identity politics to convince minority groups that it is the Republicans who are racist. But it is Democrats who typically judge people based on the color of their skin rather than the content of their character.
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