Elizabeth Warren … spent her birthday last June at Planned Parenthood. Photo: Gage Skidmore / Flickr
I am a pro-life Democrat. From where I sit, I continue to be horrified by the Democratic Party leadership. They seem to be behaving in ways calculated to drive away all but the most ideologically committed members.
Let’s start with Hillary’s defeat in the 2016 elections and the victory of Donald Trump. This came as a terrible shock because if political reality had been what they thought it was, she should have won by a landslide. Identity politics and the phantom of the “rainbow coalition” had a firm grip on Democrats. Women should rally to the first female presidential candidate and she thought she could depend on those who had traditionally been the backbone of the Democratic Party to remain loyal. But, surprise! Identity politics backfired. Trump was able to appeal to the interests and viewpoint of working-class white people (male and female), who were fed up with the sort of elite superciliousness shown by the leadership of both parties. Plebeian white people had an identity as well that could be appealed to.
That issues like abortion and same sex marriage are hot button issues about which many Democrats differed passionately should have inspired the Democrats to search for some sort of compromise. Instead they “doubled down” on the most controversial issues, attempting to throw pro-life democrats out of the party, thereby driving enormous numbers of Democrats out of the party entirely into the arms of the Republicans. Their behavior since continues to show an extraordinary lack of a sense of political reality.
Among the proposed Democratic candidates for 2020 there is not one seriously pro-life candidate, and most of them favor more extreme positions, such as requiring tax payer funded abortion (Biden), or expansion of “abortion rights” to a point where it is indistinguishable from infanticide. Elizabeth Warren, whom some regard as “Hillary lite” spent her birthday at Planned Parenthood and said she would wear a scarf showing her support of them at her inauguration (if she wins). The fear of giving any moral weight to the life and health of the fetus in the womb has even led Democrats to oppose environmental regulations that would protect wanted children in the womb. Then, we have a supposed “progressive” who thinks the human extinction movement has a point – hardly a cause for which people are going to run to the barricades – and one which makes nonsense of the idea of progress.This sort of behavior is hardly calculated to make peace among warring factions.
The Democrats then decide to launch a campaign for Trump’s impeachment before he has even taken office. And, when they do get a majority in the House of Representatives, for some unaccountable reason, they fail to bring into it the important issues which cause many people to oppose him, such as Trump’s treatment of immigrants or his horrible environmental policies. Instead, they decide to focus on obscure issues about the Ukraine and Russia, attempting to revive the Cold War. They argue that that we need to support the Ukraine to protect us against the Russians. The idea that the Russians still entertain aspirations to world dominance is silly. They can barely maintain control within their borders.
It being inconceivable that Hillary should lose, they tried to blame it on the Russians. But American voters, especially white working-class people and African-Americans, did not need the Russians to tell them to be dissatisfied with the failures of the Obama administration.
Then, stoking the fires of racial resentment and white self-hatred, they have put forward a ludicrously inaccurate version of history called the 1619 Project, according to which slavery and racism are at the core of our national identity, so that the United States as a country began to exist only when the first African slaves were brought here, that the slaves fought alone for their freedom (forget about the Union army) and that racism is in the American DNA. (For a detailed critique see the interviews the World Socialist Website, wsws.org.) Again, hardly a theory likely to inspire anyone to change; if we are racist in essence, there is nothing we can do about it but die. It merely adds guilt to the pot to pressure people to go further down the path toward divisive programs such as affirmative action and, perhaps even reparations, for which the white working class, as usual, will be asked to pay.
Any one of these blunders would be enough to make me hesitant to get on board for electing a Democrat, but putting them all together I fear they lead to despair. Merely obsessing about how they hate Trump will get them nowhere. The way the Democrats have been behaving could make even the most devoted Democrat hold her nose – hard – and vote for Trump.