Elizabeth Warren and the End of Identity Politics

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A ruthless case of strep throat has put me in involuntary hibernation for most of the week, and my symptoms were so brutal on Tuesday night that I had no interest at all in fighting them off to watch the latest installment of the Democratic Party’s masochistic debates. Public interest in this slothful, repetitive spectacle has diminished, even cratered, since it began seven months ago, and with only six ghostly personalities haunting the stage this time around, it’s hard to fathom why anyone would even bother tuning in. How generous, then, of Elizabeth Warren to place some red meat before the nation’s gossip columnists by accusing Bernie Sanders of telling her a year ago that the Democrats will lose if they nominate a woman to face Trump in 2020.

Elizabeth Warren is a liar. I knew this long before she slandered Sanders, a man whom I have no interest in defending. She lied to me almost a year ago exactly, telling me she supported WikiLeaks and its cause before making an opportunistic call for the prosecution of Julian Assange. We won’t forget this betrayal, and it weighs especially heavily on our minds today, when Warren is spinning a preposterous yarn about Sanders. I am uninterested in examining Sanders’s record, including his public statements, on women’s rights: leave that work to his fans and supporters, among whom I do not and will not ever count myself. Instead, I would ask the skeptics, the leftists gullible enough to let Warren’s story stand, if they believe a female presidential candidate is incapable of winning in the general election.

The short and obvious answer is, of course a woman can be elected president. Any suggestion to the contrary is made, not even out of bigotry, but out of ignorance: as Sanders himself observed, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote after she won her party’s nomination. Yes, her victory in the Democrat primaries is undermined and asterisked by the cheating scheme that she masterminded, but her relative success in the general election proved that America is “ready” and psychologically prepared for a female president, whatever the significance of that would be. It defies fundamental logic for Sanders to think a woman cannot win in the general election, and it defies basic political tact for him to say so aloud, even in private, but especially in direct conversation with a woman.

Nevertheless, Warren’s allegation has been viewed with credibility in the corporate press. Several of the commentators on CNN and CBS have introduced the story as if it were already proven that Sanders made the comment, and the consumers of these mass media outlets have responded with uncertainty, indicating that they think it is possible, at least, that Sanders said it. This is interesting, albeit predictable, for Warren’s supporters are also the Democrat primary voters most absorbed by identity politics, in particular the brand of fourth-wave feminism upon which Warren capitalizes. They see “the patriarchy” as the single greatest threat to freedom in America today, but so do they believe that a female presidential nominee will stand the greatest chance of electoral victory.

Elsewhere in the Democrat primaries, this contradiction endures. For almost a year, we have been asked to adulate the Democrat Party for hosting so many women and candidates of color, with the obvious implication being that Democrat primary voters are morally and culturally superior to the Republicans’. However, when Kamala Harris’s campaign—and, more recently, Cory Booker’s—went belly-up, pervasive prejudice, personal as well as institutional, was blamed for this failure of diversification. Noticeably, the specific harbors of that prejudice were never named, lest the proud multiculturalists look upon themselves and their internal, insular primary process and realize they have no one else to blame.

The neoliberals—and the social justice warriors who unwittingly do their bidding—love to virtue-signal through their exclusionary game of musical chairs, but what happens when the time comes to identify immorality and they are the last left sitting? Such should be an opportune time for self-reflection, and an occasion to question the cannibalistic philosophy of identity politics. Alas, there is nothing more politically suicidal than to acknowledge one’s mistakes, and so, rather than accept the need for redirection, the parasitical philistines on the Left emphasize blame, which they place on an increasingly nebulous force. Their real ambition is to beg the question: if female candidates and candidates of color face an uphill battle in a Democratic Party primary exclusive to registered Democrats, then who are the bigots in the Democratic Party?

Bigotry, whether racist or sexist, is not the reason why Kamala Harris, a right-wing authoritarian, collapsed in six months, nor did it effect the demise of Cory Booker, a shameless prostitute to Big Pharma. And it didn’t flow from Bernie Sanders’s mouth in a conversation with Elizabeth Warren, a woman whose desperate efforts to convince the public of her own victimhood only confirm her own immunity from such. To my knowledge, I haven’t written a kind word about Bernie Sanders in months, not since his cowardly refusal to stand in support of Julian Assange, but Warren’s claim, her lie, suggests that the establishment is sincerely scared that he is about to turn the corner and win the primaries—although, as the coup d’état of 2016 proved, winning the primaries is entirely different from winning the nomination.

Regardless of what happens in the next few months, Warren’s sadistic, self-aggrandizing strategy exposes the broader strategy of futility in the Democratic Party: by embracing identity politics as an institutional form of virtue-signaling (and, by extension, voter-shaming and popular extortion), the status of victimhood must endure forevermore. Prejudice, in whatsoever form it exists, cannot be overcome, lest the raison d’être of the social justice warriors be overcome, as well. This is the impasse to which their polarizing tactics have brought them, and they can’t abandon course without incurring substantial political damage. The best, or the most, to which they can aspire is the prolongation of the Sisyphean struggle—although, at this late date, it’s hard to tell if the struggle is real, or if it exists only in their heads. For a woman stuck in the anxious state of living paycheck-to-paycheck, it’s all too vivid; for a pampered fashion icon like Warren, it can be described only as cultural appropriation.

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