from Today’s WSJ, We Liberals Need Self-Criticism by Ioannis Gatsiounis:
Rather than figuring out a way to beat an unpopular president in 2020, most have spent the past 2½ years blaming everyone but themselves— Hillary Clinton, Russia, the Electoral College, “white supremacists”—and expecting to win on the strength of their hatred without putting together a winning coalition.
Part of the problem lies with the unpopular positions prominent Democrats have taken—from decriminalizing unauthorized border crossings to banning private health insurance. The main problem, though, has less to do with policy than with attitude. To many ordinary Americans we appear unhinged, haughty and out of touch. What can we do to change?
First, stop obsessing over identity. We can and should support policies that benefit disadvantaged groups, from criminal-justice reform to a higher minimum wage and affordable health care. But our tendency to insert race, sex and sexual orientation into everything gives the impression that we are more committed to narrow groups than Americans as a whole.
Second, change the Manichaean outlook. Liberals increasingly tend to shame and “cancel” anyone who doesn’t conform to our thinking on complex social issues. We wield political correctness like a club. It’s been well-documented that voters in 2016 saw Trump as an antidote to political correctness—and it isn’t only conservatives. Eighty percent of Americans—including three-quarters of blacks and more than 80% of Asian-Americans, Hispanics and American Indians—disapprove of political correctness.
I recommend the entire article. There are more centrist Democrats than we see in the left or the right leaning media. This political correctness is causing more damage than most realize. Demonizing everyone as racist or white privileged is an extension of political correctness and only further alienates a large portion of the electorate. Identity politics makes racial divides worse while offering no constructive solutions.
Half of Trump supporters like his anti-elite, control the narrative, fearless and aggressive posture. Half of his supporters have great problems with his style, lack of diplomacy, thoughtless tweets, and divisive rhetoric; but fear the radical ideas that are pouring from the barrel of Democratic candidates like liberal tourettes.
The Democrats have become the preferred residence of anti Semitism, socialism, class warfare, ochlocracy, politically correct attacks on free speech, higher taxes, more regulation, anti-capitalism, and greater central power in DC. The few Democrats holding a moderate stance are doing poorly in the race. Biden may be the exception, yet finds it necessary to at least pander to the party’s expanding fringe wing.
While the Republicans failed miserably to correct the fiasco of the ACA, and abandoned any sense of fiscal discipline, the Democrats offer no solutions and supports programs to make these problems worse. The insinuation that there is enough wealth in the one percent to fund any one of their nirvana dreams (Green New Deal, single payer health care, or free college tuition) is to ignore basic math. Their programs require a substantial increase in the tax rate for the middle class. Put that on your platform.
Ioannis is correct that the left’s attitude is alienating the independents, but ignores the resistance to the policies they support. Party politics is far more about tribal loyalty than support for clear policies. The Venn diagram intersection of policy and politics shrinks every year. The more that the left makes race the issue the more they revisit the ‘deplorables’ slur that sunk the last contender. The more they focus on identity politics the more they strengthen the identity of the opposition.