Every time someone who's not a white man runs for office in America, we are forced once again to listen to the yammering heads run their mouths about the regrettable state of "identity politics." For those of you lucky enough to have escaped this spectacle of Victorian hand-wringing, "identity politics" is what white men call it when women and people from minority groups run against them or their favorite candidate.
It's a phrase that assholes use to disparage people for whom diversity matters, and so not surprising that the Left's biggest asshole trotted it out in his remarks in Boston on November 20th, when a supporter asked Bernie Sanders how she should proceed in order to become the country's second Latina senator. He replied:
But it's not good enough to say, “Hey, I'm a Latina, vote for me.” That is not good enough. I have to know whether that Latina is going to stand up with the working class of this country, and is going to take on big money interests. One of the struggles that we're going to have right now, we lay on the table of the Democratic Party, is it's not good enough to me to say, “Okay, well we've got X number of African Americans over here, we've got Y number of Latinos, we have Z number of women. We are a diverse party, a diverse nation.” Not good enough...But, but, here is my point, and this is where there is going to be division within the Democratic Party. It is not good enough for someone to say, “I'm a woman! Vote for me!” No, that's not good enough.
Oh, kittens, where to start?
First of all, it's big of him, I guess, to confirm that the Democratic Party should reflect all Americans. I wish he had said it that way, instead of speaking in quotas - as if that's what the DNC does, is round up candidates and tally their census boxes. I mean, that's what ignorant GOP types think we do, so it's disappointing to hear a prominent liberal echo their condescending language.
Secondly, he continues to push this idea that all political, social, and justice concerns are subordinate to anti-corporate economic positions. That's an idea that was roundly rejected by voters of color in the primaries when they overwhelmingly did not vote for him. Still, Sanders has stubbornly refused to recognize that racism is not a conspiracy of the 1%, or, in the words of Iman Gandi, "Sandra Bland had a goddamn job."
"Hey, I'm a Latina, vote for me."
"I'm a woman, vote for me!"
I guess it's kind of refreshing to finally hear him admit what he thinks of female candidates generally, and Clinton's campaign specifically. And I, for one, put my hand on my heart and hereby pledge that I will never forget that he publicly reduced us to gender-cheerleading simpletons.
But the other unmistakable message in those words is that any candidate who doesn't buy into Sanders's own particular brand of college level Marxism, and loses an election, does so because their message boils down to "Vote for me because I'm not a white male!" If you don't see politics the way Bernie does, he's implying that you're coasting on your gender/racial identity.
Think about that for a minute. Now imagine if Paul Ryan had said that the problem with Democrats is that their message can be summarized as "I'm a Latina, vote for me!"
But most importantly, and this is the one that is apparently too mind-blowing for many white men to even contemplate: white male IS AN IDENTITY in America, and all the hundreds of years of political dominance in this country does not make that any less true. White men are not gender and race neutral. And if you don't understand how a white man can play "identity politics" in America, then JESUS CHRIST WERE YOU NOT PAYING ATTENTION WHILE WE JUST ELECTED DONALD FUCKING TRUMP??
And lastly, for those of you who are constantly whining about unity and coming together and how can I still be criticizing Sanders when there are more important targets/issues etc. etc. etc.
He started it.
Seriously, he did. He is positioning himself as The Man Who Will Save the Democrats, and as he continues on his "I Told You So" Tour, shilling the book that he spent the last 3 months writing instead of campaigning for Clinton, he is telling us that we need to remake the party in his image.
And kittens, I don't want a party remade in his image. I do not want that. I don't want anything from Bernie Sanders other than for him to go back to Vermont and go back to voting the way Senate Democrats tell him to.
Oh. Well, I guess, since it's been brought up, there is one more thing I wouldn't mind getting from him.
It would be nice if he apologized. You know, for damaging our candidate with his lies and his general assholery and for contributing to the victory of Donald Trump. Yeah, I guess, for me, step number one in the Bernie Sanders: Democratic Savior junket would be for him to say that he's sorry for his part in everything that's about to happen. All these identities that he's so eager to dictate priorities to are about to get hit with a world of shit, and it would be nice if he just said, you know, "Hey, I'm a white man! My bad!"