Victor Davis Hanson interview: why the DNC failed so miserably - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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- The 'Russian collusion' allegations are a distraction meant to conceal the fact that Obama used Nixon-style surveillance on the Trump campaign
- Obama destroyed the Democratic Party with identity politics pandering, which was non-transferable to Hillary-not-black-enough.
- The DNC lets the media decide which issues it focuses on instead of using local assemblymen, which is why the transgender bathroom/BLM non-issues got national traction.
- The infantilism of modern universities.
- Why the economy is all-important, yet the DNC insists on pursuing Yugoslavian identity politics.
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- The 'Russian collusion' allegations are a distraction meant to conceal the fact that Obama used Nixon-style surveillance on the Trump campaign


The Obama surveillance nonsense is simply a distraction itself. The real story IS the Russian Collusion. The even bigger story is the political manipulation without identification happening on Facebook and other such media outlets.

- Obama destroyed the Democratic Party with identity politics pandering, which was non-transferable to Hillary-not-black-enough.


Nonsense. Identity politics IS what we have today in both parties. What exactly does he think the republican pandering to the NRA crowd and evangelicals (among others) is? Now if he would argue that the DNC should be more inclusive of white conservative values then I would agree. But Hillary Clinton is a conservative and the proof of the pudding is in the eating as we might say.

- The DNC lets the media decide which issues it focuses on instead of using local assemblymen, which is why the transgender bathroom/BLM non-issues got national traction.


As opposed to what? I agree that the DNC's platform in 2016 was pathetically bereft of specifics like Trump's was. But Trump did not win by carrying his message. As Hanson should know as a military historian Trump won by a brilliant series of targeted attacks made possible by a brilliant program of gerrymandering.

- The infantilism of modern universities.


Yawn. Universities are in a trick bag these days. They have lost their old identity of conveyors of fact and have yet to understand their new vocational/technical role.

Why the economy is all-important, yet the DNC insists on pursuing Yugoslavian identity politics.


Weeeellllllll maybe. It was a Clinton staffer who coined the phrase, "its the economy stupid". The failure of the DNC in the last election was to not go straight at the voters with a message of how they will benefit economically. The problem was that they refused to call bullshit on trickle down. Why? Because the same donors were writing checks to both of them. If Hansen were to say that the DNC should resume its old role as the party of labor and middle class values then I would agree. I did not get that from him. Any whining about politics (a term by the way that Hansen is famous for using while doing it himself by the way) that does not go straight at the issue of getting corporate money out of politics entirely is off the mark by miles. That Hansen does not address this issue as number one in an critique of either political party speaks volumes.

Hansen is a neocon for sure but that boat sailed long ago. Neoconservatism is pretty much over. The republicans simply killed Bush's "compassionate conservatism" for good.

I actually do not disagree with Hansen much. Although he is a registered democrat I think he would be happier if he came clean and admitted that he is a neocon and simply told his story that way. Honestly is the best policy.
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Drlee wrote:Nonsense. Identity politics IS what we have today in both parties. What exactly does he think the republican pandering to the NRA crowd and evangelicals (among others) is? Now if he would argue that the DNC should be more inclusive of white conservative values then I would agree. But Hillary Clinton is a conservative and the proof of the pudding is in the eating as we might say.


This is an interesting argument, however it falls apart as soon as it's faced with the fact that 'NRA crowd' isn't a group with a cohesive 'group identity'. Those that support the second amendment can range across the 'identity spectrum' (as promulgated by the DNC) - legal Hispanic immigrants, underprivileged black hood dwellers, Asian Americans, Palestinian New Yorkians and Amish anachronisms could all support the current interpretation of the second amendment.

Your second argument is also fairly weak. As far as I know, these church organizations weren't established to form political voting blocs. Republicans attempted to marshal those that identify as Christians under their banner and tailored their political platforms to meet their preferences. But the Christian 'identity' is faith-based, and includes members of various ethnic backgrounds. The commonality of this group is principally based on shared beliefs and values.

This is different to the 'identity politics' of the left, which not only seeks to create group identities based on intrinsic elements(race, gender, sexual preference, ethnic background, etc.) but also cement these identities into something ineffable and unassailable. The racialized aspects of this movement for instance are markedly different than the faith-based elements of the Republican party. One can not change 'race'. (Although, the 'progressive forces are now eating themselves on this issue as well.)

Another difference is that ideology doesn't fall into a protected category. It falls within the marketplace of ideas, whereas with 'identity politics', the group identities fall in protected categories, and as such have legal protections. Anti-racist legislation, anti-homophobia legislation, anti-<insert whatever>.
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Pandering to a group or "identity" isn't identity politics. Identity politics is always tied to injustices and oppression by a dominant group. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy describes it as follows:
The laden phrase “identity politics” has come to signify a wide range of political activity and theorizing founded in the shared experiences of injustice of members of certain social groups. Rather than organizing solely around belief systems, programmatic manifestos, or party affiliation, identity political formations typically aim to secure the political freedom of a specific constituency marginalized within its larger context. Members of that constituency assert or reclaim ways of understanding their distinctiveness that challenge dominant oppressive characterizations, with the goal of greater self-determination.

@The Sabbaticus is also correct that it seems to be exclusively about intrinsic characteristics.

There are certainly tendencies on the right to jump on the bandwagon, even sometimes using progressive terminology in the process. Personally, I don't think we should go down that road.

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