Not the Beginning of the End, but Maybe the End of the Beginning

by Victor Davis Hanson // NRO-The Corner

images (8)Race, class, and gender politics are not over, but maybe they are beginning to become just a bit stale.

Part of the progressive problem was the huge disconnect between assimilationist reality and tribal rhetoric. While the president went on the reprobate Al Sharpton’s radio show divisively to gin up the African-American bloc vote, Senator Scott was on the eve of winning an overwhelming Senate victory in South Carolina, with a supermajority that topped even veteran pol Lindsey Graham’s substantial margin of victory. In such a context, Mary Landrieu’s generic whines about gender and racial discrimination in the South are reduced to nonsense — likewise in a former state of the old Confederacy that had elected her twice as well as a governor of color.

In truth, race/class/gender politics have devolved into narcissistic tropes. Once a candidate becomes hooked on the tribal narcotic, then any slight interruption in supply causes hysterical withdrawal meltdown. We see that with Landrieu and also with the president, whose loyal activists have leveled an untenable charge against the American people: to the degree you vote twice for Obama you are exempted from charges of racism, at least until the moment you dare to examine his presidency on matters other than race and thus question his lack of performance.

In addition, in our sick political world, someone is supposedly authentically a “feminist” or an “African-American,” and their gender and race are essential not incidental to their characters, only to the degree they are leftists; otherwise they are either regressive or their race and gender are of no interest to the Left.

Again, that was an argument that voters simply are growing tired of.

There was also a level of populist sympathy at play as well: Someone like marquee candidate Sandra Fluke lacks the pragmatic experience of a Susana Martinez or Joni Ernst, and all the boilerplate feminist themes cannot hide the fact that the Democrats often mindlessly conflate race and gender with class. Perhaps emblematic of the strange coalition of liberal elite plutocrats and race/class/gender opportunists that now runs the Democratic party was not just the failed candidacy of someone like New York 19th congressional district challenger Sean Eldridge (multimillionaire husband of billionaire Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes), but the disastrously failed candidacy. Eldrige, for all his millions and green techie credentials, was crushed by nearly 30 points by the populist, war veteran, and scholar Representative Chris Gibson. Or take a congressional district like my own in California’s 21st, where a farmer of a Portuguese immigrant family, one-term incumbent David Valadao, buried by nearly 20 points his well-funded challenger Amanda Renteria , an Ivy League graduate, ex–Goldman Sachs analyst, self-described Latina DC congressional staff insider who recently moved back here to the valley, supposedly to take advantage of the fact that the Republican Valadao’s district has a 40 percent Democratic party advantage in registered voters, is 71 percent Hispanic, and voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama in 2012.

For all her sterling education, staff experience, bi-coastal fundraising, ethnic fides, and progressive insider politics — her fundraisers featured Biden, Obama, and Feinstein — Renteria came across, fairly or not, as an outsider and an elitist. In contrast, Valadao (why would he be considered less “Latino” than is Renteria, as if an ancestry of poor Portuguese immigrants is less “Hispanic” than of poor Mexican immigrants?) was the far more authentic and down to earth in his concern for the practical issues of his constituents, such as energy and water.

Perhaps at last the voters are beginning to deconstruct what the Democratic party has become.

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9 thoughts on “Not the Beginning of the End, but Maybe the End of the Beginning”

  1. “Perhaps at last the voters are beginning to deconstruct what the Democratic party has become.”

    God, I hope so.

  2. “Perhaps at last the voters are beginning to deconstruct what the Democratic party has become.”

    Perhaps, but don’t lose site of the immense power of an uncowered media to continue to bombard the masses with spin, selective reporting, and raw bias to support the Democratic agenda. I will raise an eyebrow when the public begins to understand what the media has become.

  3. Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. Henceforth Hitler’s Nazis will meet equally well armed, and perhaps better armed troops. Hence forth they will have to face in many theatres of war that superiority in the air which they have so often used without mercy against other, of which they boasted all round the world, and which they intended to use as an instrument for convincing all other peoples that all resistance to them was hopeless….

    Winston Churchill, 1942.

  4. perhaps dr. king’s dream of judging one on the content of their character, not their skin color, is finally becoming a reality in politics .

  5. Noblesse,
    You hit the nail on the head. I have seen the mask come off some of the media, and the ratings of the cable shows suggest we are making progress, but still there is a long, long way to go.
    Thank God for people like Victor Davis Hanson to continue to tell the truth, over and over and over again, so that we have more ammunition to combat the headline writers. Because most people don’t get past the headlines and the democrats know it.

  6. I think all this analysis is missing the point. Though we’d all like to think America has seen the evils of big government mis-management, I’m afraid the Dem’s loss comes down to something more basic. Moms are afraid for their kids. Dads are afraid for their jobs. ISIS takes over the middle east. China is on the rise. Iran is now our ‘partner’ even though they’re close than expected to having a nuke. The ordinary American doesn’t pay much attention to the nuances of politics. They don’t understand and they don’t care. they do understand that they don’t feel safe anymore. They don’t feel like their government can take care of them. EBOLA!
    That’s why Democrats lost. Nothing more sophisticated than that.

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