In The American Conservative, Peter Van Buren explains why Hillary Clinton lost in 2016, and why Democrats are going to have a very hard time making headway in 2018. The election won’t turn out well for them if they continue to employ the type of identity politics they thought would drive Clinton to a win. He writes:
I just finished up a part-time job working with a group of post-college people, almost exclusively white, from middle- and upper-class backgrounds. The job itself wasn’t important, but what I learned is that 2018, never mind 2020, is going to be a rough year for Democrats. They are embracing a faux diversity that excludes more than it includes, and the election results will likely look like 2016’s all over again.
About the same time I left that job a new book, Shattered, claimed a slogan considered by Hillary Clinton’s campaign team was “It’s Her Turn,” the clearest expression possible that the candidate was simply entitled to be president. It encapsulated what my Millennial former work colleagues said about their own lives. It is why they cannot accept Clinton lost; in their minds somehow—somehow—Hillary or someone like her will wake up in the Lincoln Bedroom one morning in America muttering “there’s no place like home.”
My former colleagues have been led to believe this, having majored in things like social work, anthropology, and for more than a few, gender studies; they’re all wrapped in a comfortable blanket of self-importance and decades of being told to follow their dreams. There are givens in their world: pronouns are sexist, whites are racist, men are misogynist. They believe mostly old people voted for Trump—the slang term used around my the office for people over 45 was “red hats,” as in those Make America Great Again ball caps.
The code inside all this is exclusionary. It is okay to exclude men, old people, straight people, entire regions outside the right and left coasts, until most everyone is deplorable. That word, which Clinton claimed was a slip-up when she said it during the campaign, was actually the foundation of her whole strategy of appealing directly and overwhelmingly to people like those I recently worked with. The flipside of “It’s Her Turn” was an actual Clinton slogan, “I’m With Her,” a simple proclamation of the implicit sense of entitlement for candidate and supporter.
Read more here.
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