The Democratic Party's Identity Problem

Warning: this is half diatribe and half collected thoughts about race, identity, and its weaponization by democrats. It's terribly long, probably boring, and certainly controversial, especially, perhaps, the related observation at the end.

Weaponized Identity Politics is a Losing Strategy

I've already indicated my views on how identity politics have been weaponized. The democratic party--shorthand in this essay for certain members of the leadership and prominent democratic pundits--engages in a campaign of "divide and conquer" in order that the people who benefit--insiders comprising the de facto leadership of the organization--face as little opposition as possible from within.

In modern times, since George W Bush, the primary focus has been on making use of ethnic, and recently gender, identity politics. Typically the weaponized ethnic identity politics hyper-focuses on African Americans and excludes, erases, and diminishes others (e.g., Latino, Jewish). This completely misguided approach to political organization is deliberate, of course. The use of the black vote as a cudgel to beat others into submission has been a potent means to preserve power:

  • it establishes a control of narrative: anyone who disagrees is ostracized as a racist, privileged, or ignorant, or all of the above
  • it boosts the status of one group of already (relatively) high status individuals (i.e., leaders in the black community) and drives loyalty--people naturally are inclined to support and aid those they perceive as being allies
  • it introduces friction between factions that may individually threaten the leadership, making it more difficult for these factions to form alliances

It has been a very effective tool for that purpose. Factions with agendas that are not entirely focused on identity have been effectively marginalized in democratic politics: economics, foreign policy, and the social welfare are all second-class citizens in democratic partisan discourse. Exceptions exist, generally only as long as they are within the context of identity politics, and only as long as the causal relationship is "correct" (namely, that racism is part of the discussion, and also is the primary or a major direct or indirect cause of the ill under discussion).

It's not so effective at supporting victories where it counts: winning elections.

Let's assume the above is a cynical, incorrect view: that these people in the leadership of the party truly desire power specifically because the want to advocate for people in the ways they profess, and that they care as much about economic and other policy as they do about identity issues. The data show their tactics are misguided and short-sighted, at best. In fact, the data show the following, over the last five presidential elections (since 2000):

  • the share of democratic votes from whites has fallen from a high of 70% in 2000 to just under 55% in 2016
  • the share from blacks has gone up from 18% to 23%
  • the share from latinos has gone up from 7% to 13%
  • the share from asians has gone up from 2% to 7%

It's commonly asserted that black voters are the base of the party. That isn't true. I mean, full stop, the data show otherwise: the drop in white democratic votes has been made up for more by an increase in asian and latino votes than black votes. In fact, the data show the black vote is essentially near its maximum of the past 30-40 years, and typically is much lower!

Now, the response will be something like, "It's not just votes, it's soul, energy, GOTV, activism," and any number of other things which have little or no supporting evidence. This kind of argument is a specious appeal to emotions without basis in fact. To hear the party leadership, the only reason democrats haven't completely disappeared from the electoral map is thanks to black voters, even though the data clearly show otherwise.

The Democratic Party rests on a shaky coalition, and the hammering on identity politics to the exclusion of other issues is a losing strategy for the future. Like black voters, latinos and asians do not comprise a monolithic voting bloc. As the latter two become a larger share of the democratic coalition it will become apparent that there is no "single issue" with respect to identity politics. The current approach to weaponizing identity politics in the democratic party belittles and infantilizes individuals in these groups, and it can only lead to electoral disaster (at all levels, not just top-of-ticket).

Historical Turnout, National

I've used the following sources for this data:

Percentage of Vote By Year and for the Dem Nominee

Race 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016
% of Total % of Dem % of Total % of Dem % of Total % of Dem % of Total % of Dem % of Total % of Dem
AA 10 18.60 11 20.06 13 23.33 13 23.68 12 22.16
White 81 70.31 77 65.41 74 60.12 72 55.00 71 54.52
Latino 7 8.97 8 8.78 9 11.39 10 13.91 11 15.07
Asian 2 2.27 2 2.32 2 2.34 3 4.29 4 5.40

How to read the table
There are two columns for each year and race. The "% of Total" column is the percentage of all votes cast by the given race, e.g., in 2000 AAs cast 10% of all 105,405,100 votes, or about 10.5 million votes. The "% of Dem" column is the fraction of votes for the Democratic Nominee attributed to the given race. That is, if 100 people voted in total, and 10% of the vote was from AA, then 10 AA's voted. If Democrats got half the votes (50), and AAs went for them 90%, that means AAs account for 9 / 50, or just under 20% of the Democratic vote.

Key Takeaways
Over the last five presidential elections:

  • whites account for a declining fraction of the democratic vote
  • blacks accounted for a big jump in the share of votes in 2008, but remain static since* and more strikingly the black vote as a perecentage of the total (across all parties) is static at around 12%
  • latinos and asians doubled the share of votes they contribute to the democratic nominee

* There was a dip in 2016, but given the primary turnout to-date and character of Trump, it's not unreasonable to expect 2012 or possibly 2008 levels of turnout among black voters.

Select States

I'm presenting the "Key Takeaways" first because there are a lot of tables supporting the conclusions.
Key Takeaways

  • In "deep red" states, there are not enough black voters to overcome any deficit--the number of whites who vote R is more than the number of whites and blacks who vote D, even assuming 100% black turnout
  • In swing states (e.g. Florida, Ohio), the same thing is true
  • Data for hispanic voters is just terrible; aside from the issues in reporting at low-granularity by rounding to thousands, it's unlikely the percentage of hispanic registered voters who actually vote is close enough to 100 to have the numbers indicated in the source data
  • The share of votes for democratic nominees, and the turnout rates, from blacks in deep red, swing, and solid blue states are all roughly the same: about 90% and 85% - 90%, respectively

Some states are turning from red to swing states. Most often, as shown by these numbers, this is driven by an influx of white liberals moving from states like California, and asian and latino immigrants choosing to settle outside of regions they have historically. The Census results of this year will be especially interesting to see if this trend is confirmed!

The harsh reality these data tell us is that, were one to stick strictly to racial demographics as a means to electoral victory (at any level of office), one should choose to focus less on issues affecting African Americans and more on those affecting latinos, then asians.

Data sources:

The raw numbers of those who voted are in 1000s. The "Turnout %" is based on total voting versus total registered, not total voting versus eligible population, which is the number often reported. I wanted to use this number because it shows how close to the actual ceiling most states are, by demographic, without boosting registration rates (assuming changes in registration rates yield proportional changes in voting rates).

Alabama

Year White Black Hispanic
Voted Turnout % Voted Turnout % Voted Turnout %
2000 1453 81.5 491 79.3 10 83.3
2004 1523 84.2 511 87.7 2 100
2008 1543 86.2 547 89.5 4 100
2012 1530 82.0 560 91.8 0 0
2016 1441 82.7 579 83.4 27 84.4

California

year White Black Hispanic
Voted Turnout % Voted Turnout % Voted Turnout %
2000 9618 88.7 873 84.0 1597 83.2
2004 10273 91.0 1035 90.7 2081 84.8
2009 8255 94.0 1073 97.1 2961 90.7
2012 7628 89.3 1063 89.2 3157 85.7
2016 8020 91.9 856 84.1 3345 98.9

Florida

year White Black Hispanic
Voted Turnout % Voted Turnout % Voted Turnout %
2000 5320 86.1 620 80.2 678 84.5
2004 6349 90.3 815 84.5 824 89.2
2009 5635 90.7 985 92.1 1227 88.9
2012 5430 89.9 1104 87.5 1399 86.3
2016 5781 89.9 1051 91.5 1552 87.2

Mississippi

year White Black Hispanic
Voted Turnout % Voted Turnout % Voted Turnout %
2000 854 84.9 357 79.3 4 30.8
2004 786 81.5 466 87.8 12 75.0
2009 895 91.3 524 89.1 10 100.0
2012 949 87.1 613 91.0 2 40.0
2016 907 85.9 537 85.0 15 83.3

Missouri

year White Black Hispanic
Voted Turnout % Voted Turnout % Voted Turnout %
2000 2324 87.7 305 89.7 13 100
2004 2424 84.6 324 84.8 35 70.0
2009 2451 87.6 336 95.5 20 80.0
2012 2395 83.8 313 83.7 63 88.7
2016 2485 87.8 325 84.4 50 84.8

New York

year White Black Hispanic
Voted Turnout % Voted Turnout % Voted Turnout %
2000 5845 87.3 996 87.9 502 83.3
2004 6366 89.8 1042 87.7 613 81.3
2009 5519 88.9 1075 94.1 743 88.9
2012 5152 84.8 1456 94.4 983 94.9
2016 5418 86.5 1350 86.0 1044 84.1

Ohio

year White Black Hispanic
Voted Turnout % Voted Turnout % Voted Turnout %
2000 4239 87.1 500 83.6 43 91.5
2004 4802 91.2 586 93.0 90 90.0
2009 4651 89.4 630 92.7 74 87.1
2012 4498 87.9 699 96.7 98 84.5
2016 4547 88.8 637 88.2 100 84.0

South Carolina

year White Black Hispanic
Voted Turnout % Voted Turnout % Voted Turnout %
2000 1310 86.0 402 73.9 7 100
2004 1377 85.2 498 83.7 13 100
2009 1448 85.6 615 94.6 18 85.7
2012 1500 87.0 631 91.3 16 76.2
2016 1513 87.2 628 87.2 31 79.5

Related Observation

As noted by a commenter, this likely deserves its own essay, but I have something to say about antisemitism in this country.

Antisemitism runs deep in this country and is often entirely ignored, especially the strain that exists in the south in blacks and whites in equal measure, because of the thinking that Jews have been "whitened" in some sense (i.e. that Jews are accepted as "white" now). Some creatures in other venues will point to cooperation during the civil rights area as counter-evidence, or point out racism among some Jewish communities in some twisted tu quoque argument, but the fact is African Americans are four times as likely as whites to harbor antisemitic thoughts. The relationship between these two communities is complex, to be sure, but we shouldn't ignore the bigotry present (on either side) when discussing current affairs. I believe Bernie never had a chance at anything more than a plurality of the black vote in the south: he could have run against a white racist Republican and still lost in a landslide (some might say he did, twice) due in no small part to antisemitism. Some in my family fled Europe with nothing but the clothes on their backs while Hitler was rising to power--they'd have been exterminated had they not escaped: a fact that I am ever grateful for. Their time here in America wasn't exactly roses and sunshine, thanks to the antisemitism then, and it persists today. I don't appreciate the eliding of antisemitism and the heritage of hate against Jews that exists in this country, and it's especially galling to see it in the the party that uses identity as a weapon. I simply don't trust democrats (as a group; some individuals are fine) on this matter, and I never will.

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Comments

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This is not criticism to start out with, but I always feel obligated to mention that vote counting is not secure and, if anything, is less secure than ever. So it is possible that either party could be more effective at vote stealing than the other and all talk of what voters do is far beside the point.

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Setting that legitimate but inherently impossible to quantify factor aside, I really appreciate your presentation of the recorded voting patterns by ethnicity. From Nixon through the two Shrub terms, the GOP's strategy was to blow off minority votes and jazz up the Angry White Males, the Religious Right, The Gun Nuts, the Flag Nuts and anybody else who wished the Fifties had never ended. This approach blew the Democrats away in the 80s, induced the Democratic Leadership Council and Bill Clinton to emulate dog whistle racism and outright hostility to "predators" in the 90s. But by 2000, demographic changes rendered that strategy obsolete and funky vote counts in Florida and then Ohio gave Shrub his two terms.

Through this period of GOP and "conservative" dominance, the Republicans and their New Democrat Copycats shamelessly harvested ignorant white votes without ever doing anything about what those voters wanted -- return to prayer in schools, recriminalizing abortion, and the like.

In 2008, Corporate America abandoned the Religious Right and the white racists and took possession of the Democratic Party through the instrumentality of Barack Obama. To be sure, the donor class still contributes to both parties, but the Home Team for the Intelligence Community, Wall Street and Silicon Valley is now the Democratic Party.

In the ongoing National Basketball Association games played in "The Bubble," you can see the words printed on the floor of the court, "Black Lives Matter." I have no particular complaint against that, but I know "corporate branding" when I see it.

This also explains the utterly unprecedented coverage of the BLM demonstrations that turned against the police and emphasized the "peaceful" nature of "most" of the protests. Again, I am not complaining about this, particularly. I am just pointing out how different this has been from ALL previous protest movements.

In the 50s and 60s, the film of police dogs and fire hoses told their own story, but the narration from the "northern" press did not do anything like the current media's gloss on blocking streets. Now I have been in demos blocking streets and I have no moral objection to the practice. But it is against the law. Gandhi and King urged civil disobedience as a way of filling up jails and never claimed any legal right to break laws -- just a moral right.

Again I have no bitch against BLM blocking the streets. I saw it up close and personal in Los Angeles and as an old guard trouble maker I am in awe. But blocking the streets is against the fucking law -- while the basic slant coming from the MSM has been to focus on the Constitutional Right to Protest.

I would be flipping handsprings down Sunset Boulevard right now if I thought that our corporate owned news organizations would cover a demonstration to Defund the Military by blocking traffic to and from the Pentagon with the same solicitous coverage.

In the end, African Americans will get the same raw deal as the bible thumpers and the flag fetishists -- lots of symbols and talk, nothing in terms of action unless it makes money for the donors.

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Final note -- I appreciate your mentioning hostility toward Jews as a factor that has been banished from polite conversation.

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I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

Pluto's Republic's picture

...one question/suggestion:

Why did you not round out all of the percentages?

Unless you are also presenting a bar chart or graph to accompany the data, the human brain does not readily see meaningful patterns in 'tenth of percentages' across fields of numbers. When you are treating races as monoliths, accuracy to the tenth of a percentage is not really an issue. The real issue is presenting data that people can understand at-a-glance.

::

While the data support your own assertions about the Democratic Party's use of racial politics as strategy for winning national elections — the data do not support your assertion/conclusion about antisemitism measured across racial lines. It is not clear how estimated or perceived antisemitism relates to electoral politics in the US. Does this not belong in an essay of its own?

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"There will be no end to the troubles of States, or of Humanity itself, until Philosophers become Kings in this world — or until those we now call kings and rulers truly become Philosophers." — Plato

@Pluto's Republic

As for the coda, I originally drafted this after the SC primaries and subsequent events. It isn’t supported by the rest of the data, but is a related observation. And, yes, antisemitism and the impact on our electoral politics probably deserves its own essay.

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"weaponized" is a bit overripe. IDPol however has been a significant consideration in Ds calculation in recent election cycles.. Imo, this is unavoidable and even necessary, as several of the party constituent groups become more prominent in US politics and win political positions of power at the national level. And given their importance, particularly black voters in terms of their DP loyalty and ability to consistently turn out to vote (most times) need to be recognized -- no getting around it.

As far as the separate groups, blacks have been in office in Congress for longer than the other groups and have grown to the point where they have organized the largest racial/ethnic official membership group. No wonder they have outsized power w/n the party. Moreover, many of their members use their power in prominent ways -- many are not just shrinking wallflowers or quiet backbenchers patiently waiting their turn. Good for them. Power goes where the numbers and willingness are, and even with good numbers, some groups, like the Hispanic caucus, have been slow to emerge as a dominant party power, though this might be changing. If they can start enlisting more of their group to first register to vote and then actually show up. the power of this group will increase. But so far they have been a disappointment on Election Day.

The Asian contingent, small but growing somewhat in the past 20 yrs, will not only need larger numbers but a stronger, bolder, more vocal stance. This is a group which, by and large, doesn't tend to want to be in the limelight or speak too forcefully. A cultural thing perhaps, their relative soft spokenness. But in times of crisis, like the current one, with democracy itself on the line, their soft spokenness is not matching the needs of the moment.

Finally re IDPol as a loser strategy, Do you consider Obama part of the unsuccessful party IdPol program? Two presidential runs, both wins by a strong margin, and considered a successful president by most (but not on this board).

AOC? Other progressive POC members of The Squad?j Perhaps more prog/lib POC winners to come this cycle? Seems like expanding beyond the historically typical IdPol strategy of white men (and occasional white women) only has been a major plus for the party.

As for Jewish IDPol, while I'm very sympathetic to the antisemitism argument, I suppose I'm not feeling it as this group is so successful in many other areas of life, while a couple of other major groups are not, and they are not unsuccessful in politics, though not yet at the P/VP level. The P/VP election will happen though, just not probably the first time or two featuring a practicing Jew, as with the insufferably self-righteous Joe Lieberman. Garden variety, below the radar Jewish yes, just as Obama, half-black only, was probably better off politically not being too black.

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@wokkamile "...just as Obama, half-black only, was probably better off politically not being too black."

If anything, that would've made him, and others like him (myself included), set off even more alarm bells for racists. The American white-supremacist heirarchy of anathema goes something like this (from "bad" to "worse"):

Non-whites
V
Hybrids (father's the "white" one)
V
Hybrids (mother's the "white" one)
V
"white" parents of mixed-race children. The rest of the family can't help what we were born as, but there's nothing worse than a race-traitor.

In Obama's admittedly quite-interesting case, add in the fact the father was a foreigner for extra WHAMMY!!!

As far as whether or not Jews are "white", it all depends on what's good for The Party?

Are we talking about Israel? Jews are "people of color"*.
Are we talking about Bernie? Jews are white (and Hillary's not!).

To think, before 2016 I was actually thinking about writing an article for DailyKos posing the question, "Are Hippies White?"

* = a cynical, imperialistic, and downright despicable term for more reasons than I'm up for going into here - suffice to say, I once had to argue with an entire classroom full of Hispanic kids that Bush targeted black voters for disenfranchisement in 2000 because they could be counted on to support Gore ("Nuh-UHHH! You don't know they weren't gonna vote for Bush...!")

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

@The Liberal Moonbat @The Liberal Moonbat antisemitic to suggest Jews are a high-achieving group? Wow. For a visit to reality, you might want to glance at this article from the NYT discussing relative achievements of several racial/religious groups in the US -- just the first item I saw at google. The piece notes a few of the areas of high achievement by Jews in this country -- something to be applauded btw, and not to be twisted to suggest signs of antisemitism.

Here's another article from NY Jewish Week, those well-known antisemites -- "Jews Are Educated -- No, Really Educated" -- covering the educational level achieved. Again, something to be encouraged.

I would assume based on the high educational level, there is also some evidence about higher income levels in this group, but will stop there re further discussion of this.

eta: sorry, meant above as reply to BAL not you

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@wokkamile

out examples of success as an excuse to ignore antisemitism.

Imagine if Bernie Sanders had said, “You know I empathize less with black folks’ plight because look at all their successes, like Jim Clyburn or Barack Obama.”

Not racist: noting successful black individuals
Racist: holding out these individuals’ success as an excuse to diminish racism that still exists for almost all the rest.

Your comment was the second, except applied to Jews.

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@The Liberal Moonbat referencing hardcore racists, which Obama was never going to get, even if 1/4 black or maybe just 1/8. For the rest, even including soft or benign racists, he was good to go as indicated.

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@wokkamile @wokkamile

First, the data don't show that identity politics played a role with Obama, at least not in a positive, direct, measurable way: he earned bigger deltas from additional Asian and Latino voters than from African American ones.

Second, stop "whitening" Jews.

As for Jewish IDPol, while I'm very sympathetic to the antisemitism argument, I suppose I'm not feeling it as this group is so successful in many other areas of life, while a couple of other major groups are not, and they are not unsuccessful in politics, though not yet at the P/VP level.

Just what "other areas of life" are we talking about, here? You gonna pull out the "bankers and media owners" bullshit, here? If I'm a little aggressive about this it's not without reason: the kind of antisemitic sentiment you expressed is pervasive, not to mention more than a little hypocritical when expressed by some.

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@BayAreaLefty IDPol played a role in his running in the first place and winning the nom? For someone rather still wet behind the ears as a US senator, I don't think his key support by some bigwig party leaders had nothing to do with race and IDPol.

As for the election numbers, I don't know about your deltas (you'll have to show a cite or explain it as I'm not an expert in statistics), but it's well established that the AA vote bumped up significantly in 2008 -- nearly 5% increase in black turnout. Hispanics increased by 2.7% and Asian Americans by 2.4 or so.

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@wokkamile @wokkamile

In the tables, with cites for sources (US and state government election data).

I know it’s a popular narrative that the black vote singlehandedly put Obama in the White House, but the data tell a different story: if any groups were responsible it was Hispanics, as their relative jump of three percentage points represents a 36% increase compared to the increase in black turnout of about 30%. They also turned out in greater numbers from 2012 to 2016, while the black vote fell marginally.

One more thing: Romney’s share of the black vote was larger than McCain’s, and Trump’s was about the same. When you’re talking about a group that is essentially maxed out on votes to provide, it’s not good when almost 10% of that group vote for someone considered a heinous racist and white supremecist. The particular identity politics matter, here, and the democrats’ version of it is too simplistic to accurately capture the voter sentiment.

Aside from that there is distribution to consider: the black vote is heavily concentrated in the south and a few urban centers elsewhere, while the Hispanic and Asian distribution is much broader.

These numbers don’t support a narrative that black identity politics is good for the party at any level of office, and especially so if it leads to moving focus away from issues other identity groups care about.

Hispanic and Asian voters have more room to grow in terms of turnout, and focusing on black identity issues will necessarily distract from issues these other groups care about.

Identity is an important factor. It cannot be the focus.

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Yes. YES. YES! and YES!

This has been my thesis for a long time although I didn't present the numbers as you have. Great and important work and thank you for it.

This is why I've been pushing for Julian Castro or Gretchen Whitmer for VP pick. Either of those picks would have put democrats closer to a win than Kamala does.

All this attention to POC as the base of the Democratic Party is a load of hooey as far as it leading to Democrats winning the White House. So, then, what is the aim of the Kamala pick? Evidently it is to raise as much money as possible while protecting the democrats from having to govern a country that is now circling the drain.

Same as it ever was.

Kamala is merely the latest Giant Pander.

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NYCVG

@NYCVG My feeling on that is that Kamala Harris was who the party leaders (Obama for one) had pre-chosen as the Democratic nominee. She got shot down by Tulsi Gabbard in the debates, so she ended up withdrawing. But it's who they want...So, they made her VP to Biden. Given the evidence that Biden is in early stages of dementia, I think he'll be replaced at some point due to health issues (either before or after the election). And Kamala will become President, just how they always wanted her to be. That is why Julian Castro was not seriously considered. My favorite in the names tossed around was Karen Bass, a California Congresswoman who was one of the original founders of the Medicare-for-All Caucus and supporter of the Green New Deal. Here's a link - https://prospect.org/politics/karen-bass-the-movement-activist-as-vice-p....

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@Scientist34again Kamala as the Always Chosen One.

Yes, i can buy that.

I remember Obama praising her years ago.

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NYCVG

@Scientist34again Jim Clyburn, who was the major factor in putting Biden back on his feet in the primaries, who was privately promoting Kamala to Biden during the VP process. Numerous phone calls I hear. He hadn't endorsed in the long primary build up until just before SC, but all along he liked KH.

Kamala dropped out bc a) major $ problems, and b) bc she was dropping sharply in the polls, no longer in the top tier, she wanted out to preserve her chances for VP. Staying in too long with a high risk of finishing at 2-3% in the actual primary voting would have been a worse outcome as far as remaining viable as a vP contender.

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@NYCVG

The Democratic Coalition is mainly white and black, with a sprinkling of Hispanic and Asian. Neither the white component nor the black is more important--relatively large shifts in either are dangerous, and the only identity groups to make up the difference (if we want to play identity politics, that is) are gonna be the latter two. Fewer white voters will not be countered by more black voters, because they're already essentially maxing out (or else the additional votes as a bloc they might provide are insufficient to overcome other margins).

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

Can you cite that statistic??? I've never heard that one before. Alarming.

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

@The Liberal Moonbat

This article has links to several studies.

Basically if one accounts for the share of population versus percentage of a share expressing antisemitic views, AAs are antisemitic compared to whites in a 34:9 ratio, or about 4x.

Caveat: the surveys were conducted by the ADL, and this figure is from their "most antisemitic" bucket. This number is remarkably stable over time, and what's even more interesting is that "only" about 12% of the overall population tend to express any antisemitic views. I frankly don't believe that. Anytime my having Jewish heritage surfaces it's almost uniformly been negative: assumptions about my views on Israel/Zionism, money, media, etc.

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@BayAreaLefty I would take ADL studies with a grain of salt; seems to me like they're as much in the business of defamation as in anti-defamation.

I've been picked on all my life, but certainly never for my Jewishness; at the moment, especially, it seems more like a useful (albeit degrading to have to use) shield; my father says he's never run into that, either (at least, not that he's aware of). The closest I've personally come to seeing it (one time I tangled with authentic neo-Nazis on YouTube doesn't count) it wasn't "anti-Semitism" at all, just poignant well-meaning plebian ignorance ("What do I buy my co-worker for Hannukah? Dreidels?"; "Uhhh...whaddya think of Hitler? He was a fag, huh?").

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

@The Liberal Moonbat

for sure. Ironically, one of the things I have to fight is the assumption I'm pro-Israel or whatever just because I happen to have a Jewish heritage.

Not everyone experiences issues like this--even some very small fraction of African Americans experience little or no overt, direct racism. Doesn't mean it doesn't exist, or that it is not prevalent.

In any case, my main point is that identity politics is a terrible ground to stake a party on. No group's issues are big or motivating enough to cover the common needs of all, and attempting to build a coalition by beating some groups over the head if they don't support the group du jour is not a good idea.

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Jonathan Pie's American Pie

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It is not a "movement" of grass roots activists and it is not aimed at any particular public policy. It is marketing for upper middle class people who live in the Inclusive World of corporate functionaries. These people have largely woke and they enjoy signifying their own virtue for being woke. Legislation and litigation decades ago forced corporate America to include women and people of color in their ranks and "racism" amongst these nice folks is a disease that must be eradicated through some unspecified means. Until eradication is complete, they are left with shaming racists as the only tangible manifestation of their virtuous ambition to eradicate racism.

Nobody ever had to sue their way into a job cleaning toilets or operating a leaf blower. The legitimate and long overdue gains made to break up the White Male monopoly on good jobs did nothing about shit jobs which were getting shittier by the decade under Neoliberal economic policy. So the educated and "competent" unwhite unguys live the same life as educated and competent white guys.

Together these upper middle class white and unwhite people of both genders and all orientations can live in post racial harmony, relating to the Democratic Party as the guardian of their values, including corporate domination of everything. Identity Politics!

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

they mean that a large portion of Democratic primary voters are black; large enough to flip the results (often).

But since the Democratic party, according to their lawyers, can "just go in a back room with cigars and pick the candidate that way," and be "within their rights," who cares who's "the base" during the primaries? Anyway, "Joe Biden" just proved that we don't need primary campaigns. He won Super Tuesday in a landslide without one.

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"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem