• What I Learned as a Snowflake

    June 28, 2017

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Democracy



    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. 2018, never mind 2020, is going to be a rough year for Democrats.

    By embracing faux diversity that excludes more than it includes, the election results of 2018 will likely look like 2016 all over again.



    About the same time I left that job a book, Shattered, claimed a slogan considered by Hillary Clinton’s campaign team was “It’s Her Turn,” the clearest expression possible 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 just like her will wake up in the Lincoln Bedroom one morning in America muttering “there’s no place like home.” This thinking fuels the impeachment fan fiction which dominates Washington and the media, and blocks Democrats from coming up with solutions, instead of just “resistance.”

    My former colleagues have been lead to believe this, having majored in things like social work, anthropology, and for more than a few, gender studies, all wrapped in a comfortable blanket of self-importance and decades of being told to follow their dreams. Pronouns are sexist, whites are racist, men are misogynist. They believe mostly old people voted for Trump — the slang term used around my former office for people over 45 was “red hats,” as in those who wear Make America Great Again ball caps. I don’t think they really believed me when I said I had supported Bernie and not voted for Trump.

    The code inside all this is exclusionary, not inclusionary. It is OK to exclude men, old people, straight people, entire regions outside the right and left coasts, until most anyone not them is deplorable. That word, which Clinton claimed was a slip up, was actually the key underlying her whole campaign strategy of appealing so directly and overwhelmingly to people like those I recently worked with. Because the flip side 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.


    But the 2016 election is over and won’t be undone by the Emoluments Clause-25th Amendment-Putin-Ivanka. So this is about the future. And the future for Democrats is supposed to be people like Hannah Risheq.

    Who? Huffington Post says “The Resistance Gave Birth To A Girl And Her Name Is Hannah Risheq.” Hannah is indeed exactly the candidate a Democratic fertility lab (or sympathetic media) would engineer, and exactly the kind of candidate who will draw off energy from the party’s base before losing. Familiar?

    Hannah ran for a state legislature job in Virginia in a primary with two other Democrats and an uncontested Republican incumbent who has been in office eight years. He’s raised over $117,000; she has $5400. She had to beat two other Dems in June, then unseat the Republican incumbent in November.

    That didn’t happen, Hannah lost, but because of what Hannah represents, she attracted the same empty hopefulness I saw in my old job’s break room.

    See, Hannah is qualified because: Her dad is Muslim. She is first-gen American. She is a woman. She is on social media. She was discriminated against as a child. She volunteered on the Hillary Clinton campaign. She “embodies the spirit of what is driving the Democratic Party forward right now.” Hannah says ” A lot of my friends are part of different marginalized groups, LGBTQ groups, other young women. I’m running because I want to give a voice to everyone.”

    OK. But she ran in a district whose voice is 67% White, 22% Asian (mostly middle class Korean), wealthy (Houses in her area run $650k), and shifting Republican. She also has no government experience, having just graduated from college with a degree in social work.

    So that is kind of it. A candidate at one with the ideals of the party (Time magazine includes Hannah with Georgia’s Flip the Sixth Jon Ossoff among a “new generation of Democratic candidates”) and at odds with the demographics. She isn’t anyone who appears qualified per se, but someone who is a sum of parts — woman, Muslim, immigrant — treated like a bucket of chicken, a whole that will never exist.

    Meant to inspire (The Resistance!) one wonders if Hannah’s inevitable loss did that, or simply discouraged more serious Democratic voters from trusting their party to represent who they are.

    And you can switch “Hannah” with “Ossoff” if you like.


    The 2018 and 2020 elections are a ways off, but at this early stage it appears the Democrats are engaged in the search for icons to run failing campaigns behind. They don’t get what happened in 2016, because the decision-makers are either people like my self-righteous and self-important former work colleagues, or party hacks who imagine there are more people like my former colleagues out there than there are. They seem to understand their voters care about LGBTQ rights, but do not see transgender restroom rights as a big part of the party’s focus now that same-sex marriage is the law of the land. It is unclear the people of Virginia are looking for a candidate like Hannah Risheq.

    Meanwhile, at the front of the national Democratic candidates’ line, are people like Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand, each presented as a Hillary but without the decades of political shenanigans trailing behind, as if it’s still Her turn, just a different Her. Nearby are the slightly modified Hillary’s, people like Cory Booker (a mediocre mayor of Newark and a nearly-silent Senator.) And, sure, why not, maybe even Chelsea.

    American demographics may be changing, but deep inside the Democratic party the internal demographics are not. It is early days, but having more time ahead of 2020 to dig a deep hole deeper is not a good thing.




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    Copyright © 2017. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...

      1

      Spoken like a true Bernie Bro.

      If Bernie wont run, there can be only one:

      Peter Van Buren 2020

      06/28/17 9:40 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      2

      You didnt mention the female Barack Obama, Senator Kamala Harris…for good reason: She is too busy licking Google’s balls.

      06/28/17 9:47 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      3

      Cory is Prudential Slave. Carmella the next Beyonce. Gillybrand Tobacco lobbyist and more (interesting connections in Calf.) Will coverage of the DNC being sued be banned for National Security reasons. Have a safe 4th!

      06/28/17 10:30 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      4

      There is a chance of a third party major move, and a chance the Dems. will back single payer in the next month. Some are really sweating. Imagine, The Capital a sweatlodge. Kumbaya…

      06/28/17 10:37 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      5

      Trump poll #’s will jump 10% if he bombs Syria. Who would like that? Dems and R’s and MIC key. I’m going to Disneyworld!

      06/28/17 10:44 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      6

      Al Franken has a good election strategy: If Dems want to get elected, stop riding in limos.

      06/28/17 11:15 AM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...

      7

      “Well.”, to quote Raygun; I’d vote For Manning !

      06/28/17 11:31 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      8

      I have.

      06/28/17 11:39 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      9

      When will the Pitch Tapes be released?!

      06/28/17 1:16 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      10

      Are the Torture Reports really hidden in the Obama Library for 12 years?

      06/28/17 2:12 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      11

      False Flag… Lizzy is now for single payer?! Hope, Change, Believe. What did the Dems do when they got control? Bail out the banks, pharma, bus, etc..

      06/28/17 2:47 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      12

      Peter.

      Be careful…… You were very close to describing Rich Bauer.

      M

      06/28/17 6:13 PM | Comment Link

    • Glenn said...

      13

      Hannah Risheq won 23% of the vote in her primary, losing to a much better funded, more experienced candidate. I think you may be overusing her as an example.

      So Hannah appears to be a bad example. Why the obsession.

      Also, while you take lots of shots at Hillary Clinton I may have missed it but could you please explain why Donald Trump is in your view a better President instead of taking shots at minor palyers liek Hannah Risheq or Charles Blow?

      06/28/17 7:42 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      14

      Mitch,

      with you on the PVB 2020 ticket we have Texas and New York. I will get my fellow Floridians to support the ticket. We cant lose.

      06/28/17 8:31 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      15

      Rich.

      It would also have Montana, Utah, New Mexico and several others….

      Question I have is this….

      When did you get to Florida???…. Never would have thought Customs would have let you back in with all those pro-ISIS /refugee comments on your facebook.

      Or…. Are you missing a couple stamps on your passport again???

      You know… You could market your human trafficker… Opps…. Sorry…. Importer for a nice cut of the profits.

      M

      06/28/17 9:21 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      16

      Mitch,

      I controlled who came into this country. Gee, if someone put a lookout in a certain ID by mistake, that person would have a heck of a time getting on a plane to come home. When are you planning to take a trip? Asking for a friend.

      06/28/17 10:08 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      17

      Rich.

      Missed your window…. Got back a few days ago

      M

      06/29/17 8:18 AM | Comment Link

    • steve mcmahon said...

      18

      How about Tulsi Gabbard? She’s a Democrat from a blue state with impeccable credentials (she was right about Bernie Sanders & everyone else in the DNC leadership was wrong).

      06/30/17 1:31 PM | Comment Link

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