After Nov. 8, there have been a lot, and I mean a LOT of hot takes on which to blame for that election outcome: what some see as the virulent racism of virtually all white people, just looking for an excuse to keep women and minorities down; or the sneering, woker-than-thou political correctness of people who say “all whites are racist” triggering a backlash?
Bernie Sanders even went on record leaning towards the latter. This is actually no surprise — we all know which way he goes on the social justice vs. socialism spectrum. But is he right?
Michelle Goldberg put up some closing arguments that, I think, represent the last, best answers we’ll get to this debate. Yes, the social justice warriors have much to answer for; on the other hand, there really are plenty of racial, gender, LGBT issues that need addressing, issues that Trump voters might be less than entirely understanding of, even if they aren’t burning crosses in their spare time.
Here’s one great paragraph out of many:
“Campus leftists who formerly disdained free speech will learn its absolute importance when faced with a regime that attacks protesters, the media, and dissenting artists. [Something I’ve ranted about plenty of times — they never stop to think what happens if it’s a conservative defining “hate speech.” -FC] Perhaps progressive activists, newly aware of how many Americans reject their intellectual priors, will stop responding to clumsy questions with a sneering, “It’s not my job to educate you.” I’d like to see the language of privilege jettisoned altogether in favor of civil rights or equal justice, since the number of people who want to see their own privilege dismantled is vanishingly small. Maybe Everyday Feminism, the website that encompasses everything insufferable about social justice culture, will finally be revealed as an elaborate right-wing psy-ops campaign.”
It is the job of the Democrats to look after the disadvantaged, and boy have they royally screwed the pooch. With their preening and strutting about oh, look how inclusive I am, they arrogantly assumed that flyover-country whites would be shamed into voting for their candidates — never even entertaining the notion that such voters would rather tell our professional tut-tutters to go screw themselves.
But at the same time, as Goldberg notes, many Trump voters go further than understandable contempt of SJWs. They do not see any point to racial, gender or LGBT rights whatsoever. Old-fashioned, FDR-style politics simply assume the white male is the center of the universe, and many working class whites mourn its passing. Trump, along with the GOP Congress, will only be looking after the interests of the rich while the lives of these workers will get only more miserable over the next four years, but they just don’t care — they voted Trump specifically because they do not want to throw in with black people, feminists, gay people, or them thar’ city folks who don’t share their values.
If the Democrats want to see any point to their continued existence, they cannot surrender on the minority rights that really are so important for so many people. I do not foresee too many challenges to racist voter suppression laws coming from Trump, the Ryan/McConnell congress, or our next Supreme Court nominee, after all. Yet, they must also turn their backs on the SJWs with their odious moral hectoring and thought policing that’s worse than anything the religious right ever came up with. Maybe the 2020 candidate can speak plainly: I’m fighting for people of color, women, and LGBT people not in order to tell you how great and pure of a person I am, or because diverse city life is somehow better than rural Iowa life, or to pour Syrian refugees into your small town while at the same time calling you racist for resenting it. I’m fighting for the underprivileged because it’s simply the right thing to do.