Do hyphenations matter more than policy?

I confess I will never forgive
Kirsten Gillibrand for attacking Al Franken and running him out of town without a hearing. She has doubled down on that move and “has put her advocacy for women at both the center of her political career and her coming presidential campaign.” (NYTimes.com) Last week, Beto O’Rourke was attacked for saying that his wife, at times, has had to do most of the child rearing because he’s been too busy. He was forced to apologize?! At every turn, he is asked why we should vote for a white male. Maybe because he has good ideas or the best chance of beating Trump? We have reached the point where identity politics has made it almost impossible for a white male to run to be the candidate for the Democratic party.

If you break up the party into factions like this, you reinforce the idea that many candidates cannot represent certain minorities. That sad argument where someone says – you can never understand (or represent) me because you don’t come from the same group as me – has won. Someone needs to ask Gillibrand or Cory Booker or Kamala Harris how they will augment the prosperity of white men. To do so would invite laughter since it is now assumed that those people can take care of themselves (and that all white men are fabulously rich).

Policy is mostly about issues that affect all people – fiscal policy, foreign policy, anti-terrorism efforts, education. It’s OK to follow the Democratic tradition and work to boost the poor or underprivileged but that doesn’t mean you want to be the candidate of a certain hyphenated group. I don’t want to vote for a candidate who is running solely to help women or African-Americans or Latinos. Can Amy Klobachar get out the black vote? Can Cory Booker get back the white vote that was lost to Trump?

In 1915 Teddy Roosevelt declared “The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, … There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else. ” Do you agree?

Trump is going all in for just the white and that’s why he can be beaten, but only by someone who speaks for and to all Americans. Both Obama and Hillary understood this. They didn’t need to advertise their skin color or gender – it was self-evident. They both spoke about policy as it was to affect all voters. Let’s leave Gillibrand in the Senate to work on “The Family Act” – that’s what matters to her the most anyway.

Just by working on policies that help the poor most Dems have the minorities covered. They have good answers when they are asked about the plight of the disadvantaged.

My next question would be – how are you going to win back the (poor) white vote that used to be a core constituency of the Democratic Party?

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