If you are like me, I simply can’t remember the last time I heard a policy statement by the Democrats about their plan:
- To fix Obamacare
- To stimulate economic growth
- To simplify the 70,000 page tax code
- To help small businesses
- Etc, etc., etc.
Do you even remember Hillary describing her positions on these issues? What do we hear and see from that bastion of statism and liberal government? Well, we see plenty of marches and “demonstrations” (many of which are unbridled riots). We see angry signs. We see hats that are supposed to look like sexual organs. We see malicious, spiteful, vindictive oratory from their senators and representatives about President Trump.
Instead of “planning” to help Americans, instead they are “planning” to stop Mr. Trump from helping Americans.
[Source: The Exhaustion of American Liberalism, By Ruth King]
Shelby Steele (see footnote) instructs that, “White guilt gave us a mock politics based on the pretense of moral authority.”
[From the King article] America, since the ’60s, has lived through what might be called an age of white guilt. We may still be in this age, but the Trump election suggests an exhaustion with the idea of white guilt, and with the drama of culpability, innocence and correctness in which it mires us.
White guilt is not actual guilt. Surely most whites are not assailed in the night by feelings of responsibility for America’s historical mistreatment of minorities. Moreover, all the actual guilt in the world would never be enough to support the hegemonic power that the mere pretense of guilt has exercised in American life for the last half-century.
White guilt is not angst over injustices suffered by others; it is the terror of being stigmatized with America’s old bigotries—racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia… White guilt is a mock guilt, a pretense of real guilt, a shallow etiquette of empathy, pity and regret.
What Ms. King is describing is the Democrat Party’s infatuation with “virtue signaling.” Virtue signaling is the action or practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one’s good character or the moral correctness of one’s position on a particular issue. But have you ever noticed how often virtue signaling consists of saying that the “signaler” hates things!
The Democrat Party raison d’être is to stigmatize Americans who do not think as they do as somehow being culpable for all forms of bigotry. Why else are their favorite words: racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia. Somewhat surprisingly (as I live in California) many Republicans have “come out of the closet” to admit to me that they are Republicans (presumably because they read my blog posts). Not a single one of them is racist, sexist, homophobic or xenophobic. What are the odds of that if one listens to the Democrat Party?
Liberal Democrats, at least when I was a liberal democrat (the small “d” is not accidental), stood for freedom of expression and freedom to live one’s life as they chose. Freedom of expression is stringently verboten by today’s Liberal Democrats. Just look at college campuses today!
[From the King article] (Today) the heart and soul of contemporary liberalism… is the politics given to us by white guilt, and it shares white guilt’s central corruption. It is not real liberalism, in the classic sense. It is a mock liberalism. Freedom is not its raison d’être; moral authority is.
When America became stigmatized in the ’60s as racist, sexist and militaristic, it wanted moral authority above all else. Subsequently the American left reconstituted itself as the keeper of America’s moral legitimacy. (Conservatism, focused on freedom and wealth, had little moral clout.) From that followed today’s markers of white guilt—political correctness, identity politics, environmental orthodoxy, the diversity cult and so on.
The Democrat Party is not at a “new beginning,” but at a rumpled, ignominious end. Americans are simply tired of being told how to think.
Footnote: Shelby Steele is an African American author and documentary filmmaker. He is a Robert J. and Marion E. Oster Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He specializes in the study of race relations, multiculturalism, and affirmative action.
In 1990, he received the National Book Critics Circle Award in the general nonfiction category for his book The Content of Our Character.