Missing the Point, NY Times-Style: You Can't Blame 'Special Snowflakes' For Clinton's Loss
By Kurtis Bright
Sorry, NY Times: As Annoying As Special Snowflakes Are, It's Not Their Fault Trump Won
A recent opinion piece from the New York Times, “The End of Identity Liberalism” posits yet another reason for Hillary Clinton’s historic loss to He Who Shall Not Be Named to add to the litany of rationalizations that have emerged from the desperate consternation of the left.
Author Mark Lilla, a professor of humanities at Columbia, pins the blame squarely on what he sees as the separating nature of “celebrating” the increasingly granular differences between people based on race, gender identification, sexual orientation, etc. He suggests that Clinton lost because white men were not on the list of those to whom she appealed on the campaign trail.
While no doubt the more extreme aspects of modern “special snowflake” life of identity politics are laughable to anyone with half a brain--please, do yourself a favor and look up the subreddit r/TumblrInAction for equal parts laughter and hair-tearing frustration that young people really think this way today--for the NY Times to blame “identity liberalism” for Hillary Clinton’s epic meltdown is laughable.
So, let’s get this straight: those two-thirds of non-college educated white people and the 80 percent of evangelicals who voted for Trump instead of Clinton did so because she “left them out” of her speeches on the campaign trail, unlike African-Americans, LGBTQ people, Latinos and women?
Any thoughts on how the consequences of the past 20-plus years of her and Bill’s disastrously venal, pro-business, anti-working class, militaristic triangulation nonsense are coming home to roost, heavily penalizing the working class while benefiting those who live like the Clintons do--that is to say, in multiple mansions, flying between them on private jets?
But no, liberal identity politics. Okay, so people obsessing over what bathroom to use or squabbling over what pronouns they want to be called is what caused Hillary to lose.
We will of course never know, but one wonders what might have happened had the Democratic party not stymied debate over Bernie Sanders’ overwhelmingly popular proposals for changing the neoliberal path which presidents of both parties have dutifully, disastrously followed for the past 30-plus years. What we do know is that in every pre-election poll, Sanders ran light-years ahead of Clinton in hypothetical races against any and all comers from the Republican side, including Trump.
Most polls had him winning by close to double digits, with Clinton running closer to even against The Orange One. And while Sanders had some early hiccups getting groups like Black Lives Matter on board, he didn’t shy away from identity politics--that is to say, inclusion of all Americans in his vision of uplifting the many against the few.
Much hay has been made of the fact that Clinton has now been estimated to have won the popular election by more than two million votes. And the truth is that a discussion over the undemocratic nature of the Electoral College must happen, sooner rather than later if The Republic is to survive in anything but name only.
But rarely is it mentioned that Clinton underperformed Obama’s 2012 turnout in nearly every category. (Trump, for his part, won slightly more votes than Romney in 2012.)
Fully two million votes that came in for the Democratic side in 2012 went up in smoke in 2016. Why? Because Clinton was hewing closely to an identity politics line? Let’s look at the numbers and see if that fits.
She was down five percentage points compared to Obama’s 2012 election among young people 18-29, and down three points for people 30-44.
To be sure, she was down four points among white men compared to Obama’s 2012 turnout. However, Clinton also underperformed Obama 2012 by seven points among black men, two points among black women, three points among Latino men and fully eight points among Latino women.
If this was a white, non-college-educated exodus based on identity politics it was a passing strange one.
In fact you could say it was a Rainbow Coalition of rejection of her policies and personality.
Sorry gang, the Democratic party lost this one all on its own. They and their apologists will continue to cast about with increasing desperation looking for someone to blame--that is until we all forget about their massive, blundering, blindingly arrogant miscalculation in backing a massively tainted, elite favorite in a year when people were clamoring for change.
Soon enough they will begin anew the cycle of conditioning us to vote for the lesser of two evils in 2020 and we will forget what happened here.
But let it be said, the real crime of rigging this election came straight out of DNC headquarters, not Putin’s Kremlin.
And to blame Special Snowflakes, easy as they are to mock, is ludicrous, even for a hoary mouthpiece reliably cheering for the status quo like the New York Times.