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By accepting the Republican framework on “Wokeness”, Conservative Democrats play to white supremacy

In the aftermath of last Tuesday’s election, which included, among others, Democrat Terry McCauliffe’s defeat in the Virginia gubernatorial election and Democrat Phil Murphy’s surprisingly narrow victory in New Jersey’s gubernatorial race, experts and Democratic strategists seem to have realized the reality and the real interests and needs of the majority of Americans, were quick to turn against progressive Democrats and arm the dog whistle of “wakefulness” against them.

The hasty analysis after the election smells like a knee-jerk reaction typical of Democratic establishment politics. The reflex I am talking about is the usual flight from progressive positions that will sharply distinguish Democrats from Republicans — and serve the interests of the majority of Americans — to a “centrist” or “moderate” position that tends to leave those constituencies sail and demoralize. of the Democratic base.

African Americans have been widely recognized for playing a significant, if not crucial, role in Joe Biden’s presidential election. Yet, again, in much of the analysis of last Tuesday’s election, we see the concerns of this constituency and other historically marginalized groups, such as LGBTQ groups, are the first to be thrown away.

The adoption of politically progressive policies that recognize and promote policies that seek to make American society more just for these constituencies and ensure that their civil rights are referred to as “vigilance.” Republicans have mobilized this term as a pejorative to encode the whole range of political positions that insist on basic civil rights and socio-economic inclusion and equality for women, people of color, the working class and LGBTQ people, threatening white male supremacy and the corporate power structure that creates gross economic inequality.

And now elements of the Democratic Party have bought into this Republican framework, similarly deploying “vigilance” as a term of slander and dismissal, betraying key constituencies as they flee to the center, and looking more and more like Republicans as they ” ambiguity “. ”With a toxic party that favors minority government instead of suing an American majority.

Terry McCauliffe, a feeble Clintonian centrist, certainly did not lose because he spoke so loudly in favor of a progressive economic agenda and the civil rights of all. We did not hear him as he campaigned in the heart of the state in which white supremacists marched in 2017 with burning ticking torches, talking intelligently about how racism and discrimination undermine the interests and civil rights of all working class people. He was actually for nothing. He was mainly against Trump.

And yet, if we listen to James Carville, another political dinosaur still linked to an anachronistic Clintonian centrism extinguished in southern accommodation, the problem was not McCauliffe’s lack of political relevance to voters’ lives. When Judy Woodruff asked Carville what went wrong for the Democrats, he said,

What went wrong was this stupid awakening. Don’t just look at Virginia and New Jersey. Look at Long island, look at Buffalo, look at Minneapolis, even look at Seattle, Washington. I mean, it fights the police madness, this’takes Abraham Lincoln’s name from schools, people see it. ”

He continued:

“[j]let the Democrats pull the pen and watch the grenade go off on them. And we must change it and not be over to change dictionaries, and change laws. And these faculty lounge people sitting and meditating on I do not know what, they work. Look what happened in Buffalo, again, Seattle, I think the Republicans might have won city ​​attorney’s race in Seattle, the autonomous zone. Who can think of such a thing first? ”

Pundit Jonathan Alter diagnosed the problem and the solution in similar terms, arguing that “Democrats need to sleep awake.” He wrote:

Now we’ll see if Democrats can separate themselves from people who think proper pronouns and virtue signals are more urgent than winning elections.

Meanwhile, Republicans are licking their chops about their successful lies about critical race theory in Virginia, where it is not taught at all. CRT has become a now classic dog whistle, just as intended by Christopher Rufo, the cynic who developed it.

It works because it evokes a whole range of ideas and buzzwords — “inclusion,” “fairness,” “anti-racism” —which make many people (including a fair number of Democrats) uncomfortable in their own skin, as if it would be something of taken away or they will be placed on the defense because they are white. “Critical race theory” – which we will hear incessantly until it stops working – is the demagogic descendant of “forced buses”, a big dog whistle of the early 1970s.

Alter’s remarks are rather revealing, making it clear that “inclusion,” “equality,” and “anti-racism,” are merely harmful buzzwords that Democrats should avoid, not substantive issues that are significant to the lives of millions of Americans who are not included. is not, suffered. inequality, and were targets of racism.

Instead of finding intelligent ways to talk and address issues, such as how race should be taught and discussed in American public schools or how the politics of hate incites economic and social inequality for all, just avoid it and play for a white supremacist center, to the thoughtless and racist rather than human and reflective tendencies of American voters. And once again ignore those key constituencies that Democrats play against in moments of need and let them down quickly when it comes to policy making.

Alter and Carville accept the Republican framework of “wakefulness,” and they do so in ways that incite racism and discredit the overall pursuit of a nation free from discrimination and inequality. When so many Democrats loudly insist that critical racial theory is not taught in public schools, their protests often form an agreement that it would be awful as a theory proposed to study American history and society through the lens of such a powerful historical determinant like race can be a bad thing. They tend not to turn around and change the conversation to make it about the need to make peace with race in American society for the benefit of all.

It is no surprise that in the aftermath of these elections, the House passed the extremely inadequate two-party infrastructure bill, the results of which were wrongly blamed on progressives. Once again, progressive people have been let down, and the majority of Americans who would benefit from the human infrastructure bill and who, according to opinion polls, support it, have also been let down.

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