The Democratic base cares about ‘identity politics’ for a good reason
In the Jan. 24 – Feb. 4, 2020 issue of Street Sense, opinion writer Jeffery McNeil made some claims that demand rebuttal, if for no other reason than to educate Mr. McNeil on a number of topics. In his last column, McNeil wrote:
“If Tulsi [Gabbard] and [Andrew] Yang don’t find a way to unify what’s left of the Democratic Party I see Republicans being in power for decades to come.”
Mr. McNeil further stated:
“Instead of being a big tent where they let the base pick the nominee, the Democrats are doing everything they can to prop up a puppet such as Joe Biden or a deceiver such as Elizabeth Warren.”
Setting aside the slurs against Biden and Warren, we are in primary season. That’s when the base picks the nominee. It’s the base that likes Biden and Warren. (As a matter of fact, a majority of Black voters, who are a significant part of the progressive base, like Joe Biden.) The only reason Tulsi Gabbard and Andrew Yang never really gained any significant traction (unlike Buttigieg) is because there just wasn’t that much energy from the base.
The GOP base is more straightforward: It’s the rich and powerful, the extreme religious right, and white nationalists. The Democratic base is far more diverse. I don’t think Mr. McNeil understands the Democratic base. At all. He rails against identity politics, but that is a huge part of the progressive base. And for good reason. The Democratic base is women, people of color, millennials, LGBTQ+ folks, and other minority and/or marginalized peoples.
Mr. McNeil also stated that President Trump “is on the verge of being re-elected in a landslide.”
I know Mr. McNeil knows what polls are, but it would appear he hasn’t been paying attention to the latest polling, specifically the polling on impeachment. Every reputable pollster is showing a majority of Americans wanting Trump impeached and removed from office. Hell, even a recent Fox News poll showed that support for impeachment and removal climbed to 50%. Polls even show that despite a decent economy, a majority of voters are still displeased with Trump’s overall job performance. The only way Trump is re-elected in landslide is if there is direct interference with the actual vote count or voting machines, which unfortunately can’t be ruled out.
Look, Mr. McNeil, I understand some of your frustration with the Democratic Party establishment. Too many of them are unfortunately centrists, which really means they’re GOP-lite. But the struggles of the working poor, the homeless, and the disadvantaged in general are at least on the radar of Democrats. The GOP? Unless you’re already rich and powerful, or useful to them in some way, they really just don’t give a rat’s ass. That’s reality.
Come back to the Democratic Party, Jeffery. What you seek you will never find in the GOP.
Jeff Taylor is a Street Sense Media artist and vendor.