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Member since: Fri Nov 5, 2010, 11:18 PM
Number of posts: 804

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No, Bernie Sanders didnt ask his supporters to ditch identity politics.

From the New Republic:

Bernie never used the word "ditch".

Talking Points Memo published a piece this morning with the headline, “Sanders Urges Supporters: Ditch Identity Politics And Embrace The Working Class.” The article cited Sanders’s speech last night at in Boston, where he stated, “It is not good enough for somebody to say, ‘I’m a woman, vote for me.’ That is not good enough.” The TPM article suggested that Sanders was creating a dichotomy between identity politics and working class politics, and that he was asking people to choose the latter: “In a speech Sunday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) urged attendees to move away from ‘identity politics’ and towards policies aimed at helping the working class.”

But if you look in the quote in context, Sanders’s argument is much more nuanced than that:

Sanders argued for more women and minorities in Congress, stating, “We need 50 women in the Senate. We need more African Americans,” while adding that we also “need all of those candidates and public officials to have the guts to stand up to the oligarchy.” He stated that we have to “fight to bring more and more women into the political process, Latinos, African Americans, Native Americans,” but that they also need to be “candidates who stand with those working people.”

Richard Rorty's 1998 Book forsaw 2016, Identity politics has a lot to do with it.

For those unfamiliar with Richard Rorty, he was one of the most influential philosophers of the late 20th century.

Identity politics has a lot to do with Trump's rise. Those who criticized Bernie Sanders for focusing on income inequality without regard to race and gender should read this.

His {Rorty's} basic contention is that the left once upon a time believed that our country, for all its flaws, was both perfectible and worth perfecting. Hope was part of its core philosophy. But during the 1960s, shame....transformed a good portion of the left....into a disaffected gang of spectators, rather than agitators for change. A formalized despair became its philosophy. The system was beyond reform. The best one could do was focus on its victims.

The result was disastrous. The alliance between the unions and intellectuals, so vital to passing legislation in the Progressive Era, broke down. In universities, cultural and identity politics replaced the politics of change and economic justice....

Mr. Rorty did not deny that identity politics reduced the suffering of minorities. But it just so happened that at the very moment....was diminishing, economic instability and inequality were increasing, thanks to globalization.

....“This world economy will soon be owned by a cosmopolitan upper class which has no more sense of community with any workers anywhere than the great American capitalists of the year 1900.”.....

....Which left the white working-class guy and gal up for grabs — open to right-wing populists, maybe even strongmen.....

....“Why could not the left,” he asked, “channel the mounting rage of the newly dispossessed?”....

....“Under Presidents Carter and Clinton,” Mr. Rorty wrote, “the Democratic Party has survived by distancing itself from the unions and from any mention of redistribution.”....

Which brings us to Hillary Clinton. She may have had a plan to relieve the misery of the working class, but she didn’t speak about it much. (Bernie Sanders did. And lost.) ....And though her slogan was “Stronger Together,” her campaign was ultimately predicated on celebrating difference, in the hope that disparate voting blocs would come out and vote for her.

Here, Mr. Rorty’s most inflammatory words are most relevant, and also most uncomfortable: “The cultural Left has a vision of an America in which the white patriarchs have stopped voting and have left all the voting to be done by members of previously victimized groups.” Mrs. Clinton tried this strategy. It didn’t win her the Electoral College. “This Left wants to preserve otherness rather than ignore it,” he also wrote. That didn’t work either.

People are furiously arguing about what played a key role in this election — whether it was white working-class despair, a racist backlash or terror about the pace of cultural change. It seems reasonable to think that all three played a part.

What’s so striking about “Achieving Our Country” is that it blends these theories into a common argument: The left, both cultural and political, eventually abandoned economic justice in favor of identity politics, leaving too many people feeling freaked out or ignored.


An amazingly prophetic article about Trump from 2011


Dodging the Trump Bullet
Americans—and Republicans—are lucky that the Donald has bowed out.
Luigi Zingales
May 19, 2011

Donald Trump’s announcement that he will not run in the Republican presidential primaries after all is great news for the Republican Party and for the country....I come from Italy, a country that has elected as prime minister the Trumplike Silvio Berlusconi....

....Trump and Berlusconi are remarkably alike. They are both billionaire businessmen who claim that the government should be run like a business. They are both gifted salesmen, able to appeal to the emotions of their fellow citizens. They are both obsessed with their looks, with their hair (or what remains of it), and with sexy women. Their gross manners make them popular, perhaps because people think that if these guys could become billionaires, anyone could....

How, then, did Berlusconi get elected and reelected?....In a country where corruption and lack of meritocracy has all but killed the hope of intra-generational mobility, citizens chose to escape from reality and find consolation in dreams. Berlusconi adeptly fosters the illusion that he can turn everyone else into billionaires. His political career is something like Trump’s Apprentice program, only on a national scale.

Unfortunately, some of the same factors that sparked Berlusconi’s success in Italy have begun to show up in the United States. Social mobility has dropped. Income for 95 percent of the population has stagnated. The financial crisis has uncovered a dangerous connection between government and the financial establishment. Losing hope that they can rise from rags to riches the old-fashioned way, Americans are taking refuge in fantasy, from American Idol to The Apprentice. In such a climate, Donald Trump, whose own career has exemplified crony capitalism—from government subsidies for his developments to abuse of eminent domain—could have potentially won not just the GOP nomination, but even the presidency. That would have been a catastrophe for the Republican Party, for free-market capitalism, and for America.

Pence is a right-wing religious ideologue, but at least he is not a wannabe strongman.

Trump is an existential threat to the republic. Pence merely has bad policy ideas. Trump wants to be the American version of Putin. Pence is just very conservative. The Republic can survive a President Pence. If Pence is president then we can elect Elizabeth Warren in 4 years and get the country back on track. But the constitutional republic that has endured for 228 years may not survive President Trump.

R.I.P Leonard Cohen

The man who wrote "Democracy is coming to the U.S.A" dies the day after the U.S.A commits suicide. Maybe there really is a God and he/she is sending us a message.

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