Ah, but look, today’s Democratic party isn’t really about addressing economic opportunity or even dealing with America’s most pressing problems – for starters, many Democrats are not persuaded in the slightest that the annual deficit, accumulating debt, and ticking time bomb of entitlements are pressing problems at all. If Democrats really expected that electing Obama would solve problems, they would be angrier with him than we are. No, for most Democrats, their political party is about a cultural identity. That identity is heavily based on not being one of those people, i.e., Republicans or conservatives.Yep, that's all it is. Solving problems doesn't advance the cause of identity politics.
As far as I can tell, there are three inviolate principles in the modern Democratic Party:
- Any form of consensual sexual behavior is to be accepted if not celebrated; with that central belief comes the policy abortion on demand for any woman at any age free from parental consent for minors; free contraceptives in schools, gay marriage, and the insistence that Bill Clinton’s lying under oath about Monica Lewinsky didn’t count because it was about sex. Complaining about explicit sexual content in pop culture reaching an audience that isn’t ready for it – i.e., Tipper Gore in the 1980s – is the sign of the square and the prude. As no less an expert political philosopher than Meghan McCain told us, “the GOP doesn’t understand sex” and has “an unhealthy attitude about sex and desire.” (Republicans are supposedly repressed and sexless, even though they generally have more children.)
- America is a deeply racist country, even though you have to look far and wide to find anyone who openly expresses the belief that one race is superior to others. Everybody recoils when Imus says something snide and obnoxious about the Rutgers womens’ basketball team. Racism is never found in the central tenet of Affirmative Action, that minorities must be judged by a lower standard, or in the until-recently all-white lineup of MSNBC or the claims that Clarence Thomas and Herman Cain are Uncle Toms or in the career of Robert Byrd. The fundamental belief of the Democratic Party is that racism remains a serious problem in America today and that the problem is found entirely in the GOP.
- Credentials are to be respected, and any scoffing or skepticism at, say, the Ivy Leagues is a sign of anti-intellectualism, ignorance, jealousy and insecurity. Those who go there are indeed the best and the brightest, and undergraduate and graduate from those schools are key indicators of one’s intelligence, good judgment, and overall character. The success of dropouts like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg are strange anomalies, and no serious reevaluation of the higher education system is needed. As Rush Limbaugh observed, Bill Clinton said he wanted a cabinet that “looked like America” and declared he had achieved it after assembling a group that was almost entirely Ivy League-educated lawyers.Everything else is negotiable. For a while, it appeared that Democrats werethemselves around the principle that almost every dispute with every other nation and group can be resolved through “tough, smart diplomacy,” but now President Obama has started killing foreigners left and right and not too many Democrats complain at all. Obama even used a drone to kill an American citizen, Anwar al-Alwaki, with nary a peep. Don’t get me wrong, Alwaki had it coming, but this is precisely the sort of don’t-bother-me-with-legal-details-I’m-fighting-a-war philosophy that Democrats spent seven years denouncing.You think the Democratic Party cares about wealth? Come on. In their minds, George Soros spending his money to help out his political views is noble, but the Koch Brothers are evil incarnate. Higher taxes are good, but no one will complain if Tim Geithner or Charlie Rangel cut corners on paying them. One might be tempted to argue that the righteousness of unions represent an inviolate principle to Democrats, but in New York, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo is trimming here and there and living to tell the tale.No, the party really is about identity politics now; us vs. them. And everybody knows which side they’re on.
Democrats would rather have an issue to demagogue than a solution to a long-standing problem. They think they have a better chance of obtaining power by dividing people against each other.