Debates 2020

Why Are Democrats Working So Hard to Win the Woke Left?

Tonight's debate became an exercise in checking privileges.

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Wednesday's Democratic debate was the first one that felt like it was taking place inside the classroom of a critical theory instructor. Several candidates confessed their various privileges, speaking in terms that might appeal to the minority of Democratic voters who are progressive activists but are likely to alienate everyone else.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee lead the way, admitting that he had no idea what it felt like to be a black teenager, or a woman being talked over in a board meeting, or an LGBTQ person hearing a slur. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.) quickly followed suit, vowing to berate suburban white women for being insufficiently woke.

"I don't believe that it's the responsibility of Cory [Booker] and Kamala [Harris] to be the only voice that takes on these issues of institutional racism, systemic racism in our country," said Gillibrand. "I think as a white woman of privilege, who is a U.S. senator, running for president of the United States, it is also my responsibility to lift up those voices that aren't being listened to. And I can talk to those white women in the suburbs that voted for Trump and explain to them what white privilege actually is, that when their son is walking down a street with a bag of M&Ms in his pocket, wearing a hoodie, his whiteness is what protects him from not being shot.

"When his—when her—when their child has a car that breaks down, and he knocks on someone's door for help, and the door opens, and the help is given, it's his whiteness that protects him from being shot. That is what white privilege in America is today."

This is Intersectionality 101, and it has become the operating system for progressive activists. People are oppressed because of their overlapping marginalized identities—for reasons of race, gender identity, LGBT status, class, religion, ability, size, etc.—and it's the job of everyone else to center the marginalized in every policy discussion. In practice, this often means policing language in a manner that is off-putting to all but the ardent progressives.

It's important to remember, as The Atlantic's Yascha Mounk pointed out in a writeup of a survey that found more than 80 percent of people despise political correctness, that the number of Americans who think people should routinely check their privilege constitute a tiny minority. It seems curious that Democrats are so determined to win them.

For more on this subject, check out my book, Panic Attack: Young Radicals in the Age of Trump.

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  1. Frank Bruni ran (for him) a very thoughtful article (with some hyperbolic partisanship, but he can’t help it) in the NYT today about how this sprint to the left is going to re-elect Trump because the Democrats can’t pivot back to the center. Of course he wants incremental change but the same end goal. He thinks we in middle America are to stupid to grasp the good the change will do, so we need to be habituated to it slowly. The comment section was the normal echo chamber. The majority felt that the only way to win is to go full on progressive. Germany can do it (many pointed out that neither Sanders not Warren plan is anything like Germany’s, that Germany allows private insurance and that is the reason it works).

    1. But the majority rejected it and said but Germany, France and Denmark offer free healthcare. The also claimed that Medicare and Medicaid were better ran then private insurance.

    2. As someone commented the other day, the Democrats catamite press is going to do everything it can to gloss over what anyone had to say so as not to outrage the social media happy progs and bring down a storm of tweets upon them and win the primary. As soon as the Convention is done it will be all get on the train to beat Trump by any means necessary; and that will be to embarce as much of a middle of the road plank as it possible. Some serious gas lighting is in the forecast.

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    4. ” Democrats can’t pivot back to the center. ”

      They’re banking on it not mattering.

      The magic of identitarian politics is that policies don’t matter, only identities. If statistical preferences by group remain the same as in 2016, demographic change means Trump loses.

      Also, since the Left owns the media, the Left owns history.

      “Pivot? What pivot? We were always at war with Eastasia.”

  2. “When his—when her—when their”
    Oh, FFS!
    “child has a car that breaks down, and he”
    THEY!!
    “knocks on someone’s door for help, and the door opens, and the help is given, it’s his whiteness that protects him from being shot.”
    Especially when His Whiteness breaks down in, say, South Chicago.
    Gillibrand is white toast.

    1. White toast with a spread of cunt.

      Have any of the progs called her out on the clorox comment? I mean, bleach? How racist is that!

    2. Oh, FFS!
      “child has a car that breaks down, and he”
      THEY!!

      IT!

      English already has a singular gender-neutral pronoun.

  3. I liked the part how they went after the evil right-wing child snatching half white President Obama

    1. Oh, heck, can we all at least agree that the great and powerful O was at least half of a privileged doosh bag?

      I don’t see how one can reject this and still be woke.

      Haha

      1. I think I’m going to have a t shirt made that says ‘Put woke people to sleep’.

        1. ‘Don’t woke the bear.’

      2. In a white minority state, Obama went to the white majority prep school for the most privileged whites in Hawaii, while being brought up by his lily white grandparents from Kansas.

  4. These candidates are so dumb.

    When someone’s car breaks down and they knock on a stranger’s door (where’s their cell phone?) it’s various indicators of socioeconomic class that protects them, not their whiteness.

    Do you think some elderly lady answering the door is going to be more scared of a young black man in a pastel polo shirt, khaki pants, and loafers or a white guy covered in biker tattoos who looks like a full-on Hell’s Angel? Those are two extremes, but my point is that most squares look at more than just someone’s complexion when they try to judge potential threats.

    1. That’s the thing. It’s not all about race (though it may be a little bit about race). Who is more privileged, an educated, professional black person or a hillbilly coal miner from West Virginia?

      Also, I’m pretty sure that in most cases a black person of any description knocking on a door for help won’t get shot.

      1. ” Who is more privileged, an educated, professional black person or a hillbilly coal miner from West Virginia?”
        You might want to ask Henry Louis Gates the professor arrested for breaking into his own house. Or Philando Castile, a driver who told police he had a carry permit and was shot. Or Barack Obama, first President make to show his birth certificate. Your wealth, education or position don’t matter your viewed with suspicion because of your skin color.

        1. Are you familiar with the term “anecdote”? You should look it up.

          1. “anecdote”? That’s the singular form of “data” isn’t it? I mean, like, science and shit, right?

        2. Daniel Shaver says wassup

          1. oh wait no he doesn’t because the police murdered him

            1. His whiteness protected him from not being shot.

    2. “When someone’s car breaks down and they knock on a stranger’s door (where’s their cell phone?) it’s various indicators of socioeconomic class that protects them, not their whiteness.”

      That’s not The Narrative if you’re looking to spread the fear, hatred, and resentment of identitarian politics.

  5. I thought we were supposed to be color blind by now.

    1. Judging people by the content of their character is totally racist.

      1. *frab*

      2. and meritorious and ableist

  6. Actually, so-called “wokeness” is possibly the best thing that’s ever happened for us Koch / Reason libertarians and our open borders agenda.

    Just look at the recent developments in the Democratic Party. We’re rapidly approaching the point where the Democrats explicitly embrace the immigration position favored by billionaires. How did this happen? Why did the party that claims to represent the working class suddenly warm up to David Koch’s point of view?

    I’ll tell you why. It happened because progressives became convinced that border enforcement is inherently racist. This is the power of identity politics. This is what intersectionality can accomplish for the libertarian agenda. Who knows, maybe next we can convince progressives that raising taxes on the 1% would be racist because Floyd Mayweather would have less money.

    1. Be very wary of intersectionality. It is a beast that eats its own and anyone that gets near it.
      Just look at the old-school feminists being labeled as “Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists” because they object to men becoming women and then dominating in women’s sports.
      Whatever intersectionality accomplishes for libertarians, it will claw back four times as much. Better to destroy it now, regardless of what good it might do.

      1. The screams of terror and outrage as the TERFs are consumed by the crocodile they fed are music to my ears.

        Sounds like Justice.

        1. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

  7. “I don’t believe that it’s the responsibility of Cory [Booker] and Kamala [Harris] to be the only voice that takes on these issues of institutional racism, systemic racism in our country,” said Gillibrand. “I think as a white woman of privilege, who is a U.S. senator, running for president of the United States, it is also my responsibility to lift up those voices that aren’t being listened to.

    These uppity negroes can’t be the only ones in the spotlight!!!

  8. Every country that has tried their ideas has collapsed or is collapsing. Would you run on that? Easier to just scream racism.

    1. “Every country that has tried their ideas has collapsed or is collapsing.”

      No more debt, no more taxes… The horror.

      (By the way, I’ve noticed others trying to steal my ‘The horror,’ and I would like them to stop.)

      1. The horror.

      2. mtrueman
        July.31.2019 at 11:54 pm
        “(By the way, I’ve noticed others trying to steal my ‘The horror,’ and I would like them to stop.)”
        I’ve noticed you trying to claim some sort of relevance with your bullshit and sophistry. Please stop; no one is fooled.

        1. “I’ve noticed you trying ”

          Why do you have to steal my phrases? You are capable of writing your own comments.

      3. Joseph Conrad did it first and best and English wasn’t even his first language.

        1. Well goddamn, you said something I was actually going to say.

          Good for you.

        2. “The horror. The horror.”

          That is Joseph Conrad, and hats off to the man.

          “The horror.”

          That is an mtrueman original. Steal from Conrad if you must, but please leave what is mine to me.

          1. How about “Oh, the TERROR!”?

            trademark me.

            1. Not bad. I might steal it myself some time.

        3. Oh look, the retard pulls out a factoid from sophomore high school English class and thinks we’ll be impressed by his learn-ding.

        4. Joseph Conrad did it first and best and English wasn’t even his first language.

          Joseph Conrad did it in earnest. Seinfeld/David/O’Hurley did it ironically/satirically. mtrueman does it degenerately.

          1. Print is dead

      4. Yeah, I’ve never heard that before.

        Haha

      5. Others have piled on, so I wont. Using a classic phrase that has been adopted in all sorts of media such as The Simpsons is not yours.

      6. Well, some of them, like Sweden, tried a few of those ideas, found they didn’t work, and then gave up on them before it ruined everything. So they don’t ALL collapse, as long as they don’t give in to the sunk cost fallacy.

  9. This is Intersectionality 101, and it has become the operating system for progressive activists.

    The operating system that hacks itself.

    1. The Blue Screen Of Death Party.

    2. I like watching the trend toward white women and gays being declared Kulaks as well.

      I suspect that white women in particular will quickly lose their interest in intersectional politics as they increasingly find themselves on the pointy end of the pitchforks.

  10. Yeah, today’s debate was pretty dumb.

  11. Why Are Democrats Working So Hard to Win the Woke Left?

    Seriously? Because they’re not running for President, they’re running for the Democratic nomination to run for President. Just as the Moral Majority folks have an outsized influence on the Republican primaries and Iowa corn farmers have an outsized influence on the candidates from both parties, the Woke Left are the front-line troops for the Dems. Aside from the reporters and pundits whose job it is to pay attention, who else is paying attention to the 2020 election other than crazy people who live and breathe politics 24/7 while us normal people have far more important things to do with our lives?

    1. Like commenting on reason articles…

        1. I want to be clear that includes myself…

    2. Trump’s campaign who is already putting together video montage to use against them in the general election.

    3. Precisely. Who else is going to want to spend an entire February evening in Iowa arguing Democratic politics for the Iowa caucuses?

      Not the people in the mushy middle, that’s for sure.

    4. Why Are Democrats Working So Hard to Win the Woke Left?

      Seriously?

      I did have a good chuckle at the fact that Robby was asking this question.

    5. It’s because they’re playing for the media and the media is fucking obsessed with Twitter.

      As Tim Pool has pointed out, for all racial and political groups, white progressives are the ONLY ones with an outgroup preference (meaning they prefer NON white progs more than other white progs). While I certainly can see why — who wants to spend time with white progs — this skews everything as literally every other group doesn’t look at the world that way.

  12. “…Several candidates confessed their various privileges,…”

    Overheard a friend respond to a comment from a woman who griped that few looked her in the eye on first meeting her:
    “Yeah, there are few ‘eye’ men here…”
    Nice rack, lady, and if humans wern’t interested in sex, Lucy wouldn’t be the momma of us all, she’d be the end of an evolutionary line.
    Grow up, get over it.

    1. Aside from that, I’ve heard many women complain that when a man looks them directly in the eyes it’s “predatory”. I grew up in a small town where I was accustomed to looking people in the eye, and when I got to cities like D.C. and Baltimore I noticed it scared women when I looked them in the eye. (Granted, I’m butt-ugly too so that doesn’t help.)

      1. Perhaps too obvious, but when we tell people dumb stuff over and over (like how all men are pent-up rapists), then people start to believe and behave accordingly.

    2. Grow up, get over it.

      Recognize a fucking asset. Looking people in the eye has never been about observing eyeballs, checking for jaundice or cataracts. It’s about projecting power and self-control. There was a time when men so mentally feeble they couldn’t focus on anything except women’s breasts were grist for the mill of any modestly competent woman’s machinations.

      1. buh buh buh … objectification!

  13. Something something coming to your job and something dicks out of your mouth.

    You have any idea how ridiculously over-the-top frighteningly radical Republican debates appear to us normal people?

    Let them do their thing. The general will come. The Democrat will win that either by getting black turnout back to Obama levels or, as if it were a zero-sum alternative, getting whitey to go back to Obama levels. Or perhaps enough young people will vote to truly turn the tide.

    1. Yeah, that could work. It did in ‘08.

      But then those young people grow up and reject the guilt and grievance preached by the looney left, and you lose them. They get too busy enjoying their lives and tune you out. I oughta know. I was one of them.

      You’ll always be chasing your tail. Haha

      1. So annoyed by a silly little linguistic phenomenon happening in liberal arts buildings that you are willing to put up with children in cages and the single most offensive human being in Christendom. You seem like you have your priorities in order.

        1. Trump brings pain to so many people who deserve to suffer.

          1. ^^ This guy gets it.

        2. Because when those children were caged under Obo’s watch you didn’t give a shit. It’s not all about the clown in the oval office. And that “silly little linguistic phenomenon”, on it’s “long march”, has been growing exponentially in it’s power to radicalize and brainwash stupid people, and lobby fanatically for the crushing of individual freedoms because reasons.

          1. “”Because when those children were caged under Obo’s watch you didn’t give a shit.””

            The quickest way to get the caged children out of the media cycle isn’t to solve the problem. It’s electing a democrat.

        3. You really think Donald Trump is more offensive than Alex Jones?

        4. I’m sure you lose sleep over “the children” you malignant clown.

        5. “So annoyed by a silly little linguistic phenomenon happening in liberal arts buildings that you are willing to put up with children in cages”

          Umm, the last President started that and you didn’t give a shit then.

          Oh, wait, the last President was black and you don’t think holding blacks to the same standards as whites is fair or something. Never mind.

          1. No he didn’t, and two wrongs don’t make a right, you fucking psycho.

            1. “No he didn’t”

              Yeah, he did. The photos you’ve seen of kids in cages…were from 2014.

              “two wrongs don’t make a right, you fucking psycho.”

              I know…situational ethics are super easy, ain’t they?

              Perhaps adults shouldn’t be dragging kids, many of whom are not related to them at all, up here in the hopes of getting asylum easier.

        6. So annoyed by a silly little linguistic phenomenon happening in liberal arts buildings

          It’s not like people aren’t getting fired for this nonsense as we watch it migrate from campus to the rest of the world [Kevin Williamson, James Damore]. People who pretend this is limited to campus are either supporters trying to convince people not to fight against it or are the biggest idiots alive.

        7. Haha. Your “silly little linguistic phenomena” is the center and foundation for an entire ideology. And then you prove that with more guilt and grievance! Wow. Too easy.

          EVERYTHING IS SO TERRIBLE AND UNFAIR!!!!!

          Haha.

    2. So cute that you consider yourself a normal person. How precious.

    3. And then Hillary will be president, as we said all along!

    4. Or maybe you’re not a retarded Okie douche. Oh wait, yes you are.

    5. The Democrat candidate will win POTUS because Trump’s stupid-ass trade war will have crashed the economy just in time for the election.
      It won’t matter what bullshit nonsense comes out of red team/blue team’s mouths; people will be in severe financial pain and will vote the incumbent out.

      1. And your solution to China’s international orgy of intellectual theft that was totally ignored by the last four fearful occupants of the White House would be what, wizard? It’s costly, but Trump’s the only one with enough balls to tackle it, so stfu.

    6. What’s that “o, you sweet summer sausage” saying? Dude. Do you really believe that normal Americans look at these bozos committing to covering the health care of everyone on the planet who can get to the border and think “Yeah, that’s what we want!”?

      That would be charmingly naive if it weren’t repulsively stupid.

  14. “Why Are Democrats Working So Hard to Win the Woke Left?”

    Democrats are like the Mainstream Media. They champion loud minorities and they despise silent majorities.

    Buncha arrogant elitist blue state coasties, role models for the “Hunger Games” Capitol crowd. Condescending poseurs. “I am person of privilege, I feel your unprivileged pain, vote for me.”

    That is a winning strategy?

    1. What is scary is how Fauxahontas and Occasional-Cortex idolized the Stormborn Dragon Lady from “Game of Thrones” — she of bend the knee or my dragon will fry you. Role model for representatives of a constitutional democratic republic?

  15. I guess telling white people they are evil is the way to win the white vote now?

    1. White liberals have a profound out-group bias…so, yes…if you’re a Democrat.

      https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/284875/americas-white-saviors

      1. Can you fault them, though?

        Would YOU want to be around white progressives?

        They’re just showing that they know how miserable they are.

    2. I think the inceease in white self-loathing and the rising popularity of cuckold porn have a strong correlation. It’s just a theory, mind you.

  16. “And I can talk to those white women in the suburbs that voted for Trump and explain to them what white privilege actually is, that when their son is walking down a street with a bag of M&Ms in his pocket, wearing a hoodie, his whiteness is what protects him from not being shot.”

    Just make sure that street isn’t like a street in North Philly.

    1. Nothing is going to win over those voters like sanctimoniously talking down to them.

    2. Yes, because every woman wants to be patronized by another woman. It is so endearing for women when they are lectured by an upper class woman putting on airs. Pretty certain that will go over like a lead balloon.

    3. I’d love to watch Gillebrand trying to hobnob at the Erie Ave subway station in North Philly.

    4. Disingenuous hack.

      If that was all TM had done, he wouldn’t have been shot.

    5. As I’ve asked idiots who champion this white privilege bullshit — do you SERIOUSLY think MY children have a better shot at success than Obama’s kids?

  17. Are you people dense or willfully ignorant? they are running for the democratic primary. Not the GE. All these positions will be totally memory holed and if any of these criticisms are brought up during the actual general election by partisans or even honest brokers it will be met with gaslighting.

    1. Digital recordings last forever. You can’t memory hole this shit. The Republicans will run endless video montages of the most crazy ideas that come out in this debate.

      1. But only republicans will watch those videos.

        1. No, it will be on every commercial ad nauseum. The GOP knows open borders, no private insurance, gun control, reparations etc are not popular in rural America and are not really popular in suburban America. The will run these quotes to hang around whoever the nominee is. The will also use these to take back swing districts. They will use these to tie the Democrats to their nominee, and either force them to renounce the nominee or stand with them and risk losing their district. Besides, it will, as always, be a turnout election. This will drive down moderate Democrats while inflamming conservative independents and Republicans.

        2. Bubba and Idle Hands get it.

          The Left controls The Narrative. Big Tech will be silencing the Right. Media will be rejecting Republican advertising because it is racist.

          1. Media’s gonna be needing money from SOMEwhere, though.

    2. Of course you are right. But still, it’s kind of scary that a major party’s base wants to hear shit like this.

      1. It’s also kinda disturbing that you can say progressively more ridiculous or even maniacal stuff in some manner of earnestness and just rely on it to be memory holed. It’s not like these candidates are proposing we put a colony on Mars as they walk out the door, some are proposing an effective terraforming of Earth in order to get into the position.

    3. The only thing I’m sure of is that nick heard a lot of libertarian ideas up on that stage.

      1. Nick heard the idea that overrides all the rest: Open Borders.

        Nick declares @Reason’s “core value” as Open Borders:
        In the 21st century, libertarians are going to have make common cause with the globalists of all parties, with the people whose core value is the right of individuals to move freely around the planet.

        Watching The Brink made me think that for all the other differences Reason has with the socialist magazine Jacobin, it may matter far more that we share a belief in open borders.

        https://reason.com/2019/04/12/steve-bannons-economic-nationalism-is-th/

      2. The post-modernist/libertarian synthesis that he (and only he) always seems to hear.

        I mean, the dumb ideas of our college days sometimes call to us from the distant past, but shit, that’s nostalgia not intellectual rigor. My Edward Abbey/Ayn Rand/Frank Zappa synthesis made sense back when I had better drug connections, doesn’t mean I’m going to try and peddle it today.

  18. You may create Red Guard to go after the other team, but once you do, you have to worry about drawing their attention yourself.

    They’re afraid of their own goon squads.

  19. Four more years and a hundred more [origninalist] judges. I’m warming up to it.

  20. Good question. Why are you, robby?

  21. You tell us, Robby, given that you’re part of the Woke Left yourself.

  22. I think this argument would be a lot more effective if you could show that these claims were false. It seems pretty obvious, and I think should be pretty uncontroversial, that black people, in general, experience the world differently than white people.

    1. They do. But from a violence perspective it is intraracial.

    2. That little “black people, in general” serves the same purpose as “all them nigras” used to. I removes individuality and individual agency. What truth it contains pales beside the human truths it obscures. Leave it.

  23. “Why Are Democrats Working So Hard to Win the Woke Left?”

    Could it be similar to the reason Republicans have abandoned their sensible and decent positions and instead are currently kneeling before the half-educated bigots, superstitious slack-jaws, and deplorable backwaters?

    1. You should have your fucking teeth kicked in with a steel toed boot.

    2. “Could it be similar to the reason Republicans have abandoned their sensible and decent positions”

      When did they have these positions exactly?

    3. Trump has moved the Republicans toward the 80s Left on war, trade, welfare spending, and gay rights.

    4. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland
      August.1.2019 at 11:24 am
      “….currently kneeling before the half-educated bigots, superstitious slack-jaws, and deplorable backwaters?”

      No, asshole bigot, no one kneels to you.

  24. It seems curious that Democrats are so determined to win [this tiny minority].

    This tiny minority controls effectively all left wing institutions. The majority of Democrats (like Republicans) are only tangentially aware of politics and will eventually follow the lead of those they trust to look out for their interests. This will be whichever institution appeals to their identity or special interest. So effectively this tiny minority controls who will win the nomination.

  25. >when their son is walking down a street with a bag of M&Ms in his pocket, wearing a hoodie, his whiteness is what protects him from not being shot.

    Forgiving the double negative, No it isn’t. It’s the whiteness of the other people on the street.

  26. “Why Are Democrats Working So Hard to Win the Woke Left?”

    Not a good idea.
    The further the left the democrats go, the more they alienate the moderates and independents.
    But in all fairness, you could see this coming from the democrats.
    They have been veering off further to the left for decades, and this is the result, more radical leftist ideas and ideals.
    What the American left fails to understand, is Americans recognize bullshit from the left (as well as from the right) and will vote accordingly.
    If the democrats are smart, and I don’t think the main body is this year, they will go more toward the center and avoid the socialist leaning radicals in their party.
    But I don’t see that as happening in 2020.

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