The Democrats’ dilemma

6262125702_a086dd49f1_zThe Democrats should, theoretically, have a big opportunity running against an unpopular Republican president.  But they so far are not getting much traction.

One problem, according to experts both within and outside the party, is that the Democrats have placed their hopes in identity politics.  But catering to specific groups–blacks, Hispanics, women, gays, etc.–puts off the general public.  And just about everybody is put off by the antics of the liberal fundamentalists with their policing of political correctness and their sensitivity shaming.

Leading Democrats are calling for a return to Bill Clinton’s formula:  “It’s the economy, stupid!”

But some of Donald Trump’s highest ratings are for his handling of the economy!  Also, as Michael Barone’s trenchant analysis shows (after the jump), it isn’t clear what a winning Democratic economic policy would consist of.
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Liberalism’s obsession with language

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Camille Paglia is a feminist, a leftist, a lesbian, an atheist. . . .And yet she is a harsh critic of today’s feminists, leftists, gays, and atheists.

A new interview with her in the Weekly Standard offers some fascinating takes on Donald Trump (whom she defends), Democrats (whom she criticizes), Transgenderism (which she says is impossible), and Islamic terrorism (which she accuses liberals of whitewashing).

After the jump, a sample, giving her response to a question about why liberals are so squeamish about criticizing Islam.  This gets into a further discussion about political correctness and what happened to the left.  “Today’s liberalism,” she says, is “all about reducing individuals to a group identity” and “defining that identity in victim terms.” [Read more…]

Intersectionality

identity-795260_640If you are going to understand and navigate the complexities of oppression, victimhood, and political status hierarchies, you need to understand the concept of “intersectionality.”

The conventional categories of identity politics are race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, class, age, etc.  In each of these categories, some identities are privileged while others are discriminated against.  But a particular individual exists within multiple categories and thus holds multiple identities.  Each identity has its own place on the spectrum of privilege or discrimination hierarchies.  They “intersect,” and so a person’s “intersectionality”–that is, the particular combination of identities–defines his or her position on the socio-political hierarchy.

A black man who is heterosexual and middle class is oppressed because of his race, but his sexual orientation and social class are privileged.  A white woman who is lesbian and working class is privileged for being white, but her sex, sexual orientation, and social class make her oppressed.  A black, transgendered, lesbian, working class woman is more oppressed.

With intersectionality, you may be privileged, but you have areas in which you are oppressed.  Or if you are oppressed, intersectionality helps you to see that there are people even more oppressed than you are.

Intersectionality theory offers a complex calculus for calibrating how oppressed a person is, and thus who has the highest moral high ground within a group of leftists.  This explains a lot, as I get into after the jump.

 

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