Sunday, February 3, 2008

Identity Politics, Racism, and Democrats

To be entirely blunt, the Democrats are defined by physical identity, not ideas. Watch any of the cable news stations or the mainstream media and you will see what I mean. Throughout their entire race, the Democrats have been touting how they are the party of diversity because they have a woman, a black man, and a Hispanic man running while the Republicans have had as many as eight white men on the stage, now dwindled down to four.

But what is the real difference between the remaining Democratic candidates, Obama and Hillary Clinton? Both are for open borders, both are going to eliminate the Bush tax cuts, both want universal healthcare, both are adamantly and unapologetically pro-choice, both are activists for big government, and neither are willing to end the U. S. presence in Iraq. So, what is their main difference? To be crass, the only noticeable differences are that Hillary Clinton is a woman and Barack Obama is a black man.

Democrats are always touting Affirmative Action, giving jobs to groups of people who have in the past been discriminated against over ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. Now the Democrats are stuck in a dilemma. Now they are faced with the competing interest groups that make up their party. Before the South Carolina primary, Bill Clinton went around gabbing about Obama’s background as a "black" candidate. I have nothing personal against Obama, it’s his politics which upset me. He is a black candidate only in the sense that he is a candidate who happens to be black (actually, only half-black for those of you keeping score at home). He is not the black candidate in the sense that Jesse Jackson was in 1988. Obama in his campaign has scarcely mentioned race. His whole agenda is about transcending race and being a candidate of unity. However, aside from his flowery rhetoric, I don’t think Obama can unite right-wing conservatives over to his side. But I digress.

Even when Obama overwhelmingly won the South Carolina primary, it was with most of the black vote with almost none of the white vote. Why? Is South Carolina still as racist as it is stereotyped? I figure not, but with all the talk of Martin Luther King Jr. and the "black vote" leading up to the primary itself, the Clintons’ effectively transformed the candidate of change into the "black candidate." The way the Clintons’ "ghettoized" Obama, to borrow Patrick Buchanan’s words, illustrates very clearly that Democrats, despite all the rhetoric to the contrary, do not care about blacks or any other minority group. If Hillary Clinton and her team actually believed in their Affirmative Action mantra, they would drop out and allow the black man, long disenfranchised in this nation, to ascend to the nomination. But minorities are not their concern, power is, and it always was.

These identity politics define the Democratic Party. That’s why the Hispanic vote has been overwhelmingly going to Hillary. Hispanics don’t seem to trust Obama to represent their interests. By and large, they assume Obama will pay more attention to the black community and give them the shaft. Does this sound like the party of diversity? The candidates all believed in pretty much the same set of ideas. Obama and Clinton have identical voting records and ideals. So did John Edwards. So, if all the ideas are the same, then why does it matter if there are any policy differences between them? The rank-and-file Democrats are left to vote for the candidate they personally like the best or the one they think looks the best. Why are so many people flocking to Obama? He is young, good looking, and polished. He sounds good, but he’s just as dangerous of a liberal as Hillary.

So, what diversity does this represent? Democrats routinely harangue Republicans for being racist and sexist. Just last week I was watching Fox News and read a transcript on the screen from Air America Radio, that bastion of buffoonery and narrow-mindedness, describe Republicans as "just hating blacks and women." Gee, thanks for bloviating about that and giving us no reason as to why Republicans hate blacks and women. This host was perhaps thrown aside because Republicans don’t give special treatment to blacks or women just for being born with their DNA or anatomy. At the heart of that comment and this Democratic propaganda is racism.

Where Democrats can only see ethnicity and gender, I like to think that Republicans see people.

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