Naked, Partisan Politics: A Primer

By | January 21, 2017
I wrote this as a quick response to several white men criticizing the 2017 Women’s March on Washington who were arguing that the party of the left (the Democrats) should more fully embrace the plight of the “blue collar worker” & abandon the idea of intersectionality and allyship with people of color, women, the disabled, those in the LGBTQIA spectrum, and others historically marginalized by white American culture. This is not a perfect essay, but I wanted to highlight some things. I don’t think these men were honest; I think they were attempting to split progressives and moderate Democrats. So my response isn’t so much to attempt to convince them, as they are not open to reason; rather, it is to lay out my thoughts and attempt to reason with people who can be reasoned with.
I cannot imagine how trying to get the Democratic Party to go back to a party that was designed for and led by white males will actually going to work.

America is changed, not just changing. We are a diverse, multicultural nation with no one American identity.

Going after white racists who went for Trump is a losing proposition, not only because America is becoming darker and less monocultural, but it is a losing proposition because it would mean the Democrats abandon their most loyal and faithful adherents, those who are people of color, women, the disabled, those on the LBGTQIA spectrum, religious minorities, and the like.

The Democratic Party can incorporate issues that will assist all “blue collar” workers, but not if it kow-tows to racist white Americans who are angry that people of color and women are asserting themselves.

I’ve watched America change. I’m not always happy, not always in agreement—but that is how change happens, and there is no past I want to go back to. The nation I grew up in during the 50s routinely denied black Americans the right to be Americans. The nation I grew up in during the 60s was at war in a useless, doomed battle that chewed up the lives of 55,000 soldiers. The nation I lived in during the 70s was consumed by political chaos. The nation I lived in during the 80s went back to promoting white supremacy. The nation I lived in during the 90s destroyed public compassion for the poor. The nation I lived in during the 00s spent more than a trillion dollars on an invented war.

There is nothing in that past I want to repeat, because to return to some imaginary halcyon days is to take on all the injustices. You cannot have a blissful white supremacist nation where we white people are untroubled unless you also oppress non-white people. You cannot have a blissful male patriarchy unless you oppress ordinary women. You cannot have a nation where the 1% succeed wildly without robbing the middle class and the poor.

No, thank you.

I want to move forward, fix the things we can, but hold on to all the good things.

I expect it will be hard and messy and contentious, and a lot of Democrats, leftist, moderate, progressive, are going to have to fight it out in public.

But that is the right way, to bring everyone into the conversation.

Let white Americans who are fearful of change decide to stay with their fear or make the leap into a more accepting and trusting culture. But if we wait for them to catch up, we will be abandoning everyone else who has trusted the Democrats to help all Americans, including white Americans, in their quest to do the right, just, and moral thing.

  • Getter.

    The question here is how to solve the Democrats’ problem with their image. I’ve always thought of fighting for the working class to be one of the Democrats’ core values, and that’s been one of the main reasons I’ve always voted for them.

    I still believe that holds true, but clearly many don’t. Which puts the Democrats in a tough balancing act between keeping their core values of inclusiveness and equality and reaching out to working voters whose views may directly contradict those values.

    We can’t abandon the social issues that we’ve held for so long. But the Democrats can’t in good conscience abandon such a large chunk of America, bigoted as they may be. I’m not sure what it’ll take.

    • I don’t get that some Democrats are abandoning the core (working class, underrepresented minorities) and trying to go to the right of the Republicans. The working class includes more than just white men, and by going after conservative white men they are abandoning their core.

      I don’t know that the Democrats are abandoning the white bigots as much as saying “you hold core values antithetical to Democratic core values.”

      Democrats may need to align with conservatives and bigots on certain policy issues to get legislation passed, but there must be no compromise on Democratic Party values to do so.

      Abandoning black Americans, for example, to pursue Red State Randy is a foolish effort and a literal abandonment of Democratic Party values.