Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Women's March mansplained again...David Brooks: "This movement focuses on the wrong issues..."

Right now there's an awful lot of right-wing puffery going on. It's an embarrassing amount of chest pounding righteousness.

And Republicans will get a tremendous amount of mileage out of it, which is their political point.

Identity Politics? Nothing defines identity politics like the loud and entitled voices from "real American" white rural voters. Big city multi-ethnic liberal Americans, concerned about big city problems that effect big city populations, are now being told "identity politics" is a losing strategy that pushed them into the minority?

Which brings me to conservative columnist and now "mansplainer" David Brooks, and his vilification of identity politics that ironically is at the heart of Republican populism; now being narrowly defined as the rights of white rural "tell-it-like-it-is" men and their supportive "men-will-be-men" women.

Bet you didn't know...:
1. "This movement focuses on the wrong issues ... reproductive rights, equal pay, affordable health care, action on climate change. All the big things that were once taken for granted are now under assault: globalization, capitalism, adherence to the Constitution, the American-led global order. If you’re not engaging these issues first, you’re not going to be in the main arena of national life."
All issues Republicans have defined as being under attack, real or mostly imagined. There's more:
2. There was too big a gap between Saturday’s marches and the Democratic and Republican Parties. Sometimes social change happens through grass-roots movements — the civil rights movement. But most of the time change happens through political parties: The New Deal, the Great Society, the Reagan Revolution. Change happens when people run for office, amass coalitions of interest groups, engage in the messy practice of politics. Without the discipline of party politics, social movements devolve into mere feeling ... Marching is a seductive substitute for action in an antipolitical era, and leaves the field open for a rogue like Trump.
Yes, like the discipline we saw in the Republican Party? Brooks just described an authoritarian top down politically controlled society.

We saw this "messy practice of politics" when Scott Walker and John Kasich banned statewide "grass-roots movements" like minimum wages, environmental protections and public safety concerns that bubble up at the local level.

Uh, Wait? So after all this, Brooks circled back, contradicting himself. Remember when he wrote "This movement focuses on the wrong issues ... reproductive rights, equal pay, affordable health care, action on climate change?" Well, that's what it was about all along, just reworded in a conservative way:
The anti-Trump forces could have offered a red, white and blue alternative patriotism, a modern, forward-looking patriotism based on pluralism, dynamism, growth, racial and gender equality and global engagement.
Other priceless and jaw dropping clueless observations...taking Trump's narcissistic personality disorder and projecting it onto liberals. Equality for ALL isn't exactly a "self-defined group:"
Prof. Mark Lilla of Columbia wrote a piece on how identity politics was dooming progressive chances.“The fixation on diversity in our schools and in the press has produced a generation of liberals and progressives narcissistically unaware of conditions outside their self-defined groups, and indifferent to the task of reaching out to Americans in every walk of life.”
But Brooks' sad summation makes my point; if many Americans elected Trump for the reasons Brooks listed below, than it's pretty clear liberal Democrats aren't the ones with a problem. But thanks for the advice:
I loathed Trump’s inaugural: It offered a zero-sum, ethnically pure, backward-looking brutalistic nationalism. But it was a coherent vision, and he is rallying a true and fervent love of our home.
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