The most noteworthy thing to emerge from the recent Maxine Waters dustup wasn’t her call for mob harassment tactics against Trump Administration officials, nor the attendant inflammatory language she employed, but rather, the swift reaction of two women’s activist groups who castigated House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, for her audacity in reproaching Waters.
The two letters are significant not only because they convey the ideological principles upon which the progressive opposition to the Trump Administration will be based, but because they also forebode the inevitable internecine conflict that will soon engulf the Democratic Party.
The contents of both letters are rife with extremism and provide a glimpse into the soul of modern progressive identity politics.
The letters also are evidence that the zany social theories and concepts of group identity politics, spawned by the need for instances of perpetual grievance demanded by the Diversity Beast that was created long ago by the fringes of the academic Left. This beast is now a part of mainstream American life, having been incorporated by the vocabulary and policies of the Democratic Party.
Live by Identity Politics, Die by Identity Politics
The first letter from a group of black women politicians states an obvious but unpleasant political reality brought to the Democratic Party by their now decades long obsession with identity politics. In order to win national elections, Democrats needs to capture almost 90 percent of the black vote. The letter indelicately reminds Pelosi of the long-term fealty of African-Americans to the party in stark and unforgiving terms.
“For Black women, who are the most loyal base of the Democratic Party and the Progressive Movement, Congresswoman Waters is our shero [sic].”
The letter further reminds the Minority Leader that,
Disparaging or failing to support Congresswoman Waters is an affront to her and Black women across the country and telegraphs a message that the Democratic Party can ill afford: that it does not respect Black women’s leadership and political power and discounts the impact of Black women and millennial voters.
For purposes of gleaning the nature of Pelosi’s insolence, here is what Waters said,
“Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd,” Waters said at an event in Los Angeles. “And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
How is it possible to denounce the ultra-liberal House Minority Leader of the party for criticizing these incendiary remarks? How can a congresswoman who utters such rabble-rousing comments not be subject to censure?
Only in the alternative progressive universe of identity politics would such a person be exalted rather than vilified and the party leader who issued the reproof be the one made to apologize.
The black progressive women believe that Pelosi’s denunciation of Waters’ call for mob harassment, “mischaracterizes her call to action for peaceful democratic assembly and the exercise of her constitutional rights to free speech.”
It is perhaps unsurprising that a group that so grossly distorts what Waters actually said would in the same breath paint Trump as the villain in the entire sordid affair. Which they did.
The implicit message for leaders of the Democratic Party? As an exalted member of a protected class that has been “marginalized” and “historically disadvantaged”, any further criticism of Maxine Waters regardless of her provocative behavior, will be viewed as giving aid and comfort to White Supremacists.
In fact, the principles enunciated in the letter, of necessity, will apply to any hard-left activist group within the party.
Identity Politics Spawns Paternalism
The second letter, penned by a Pelosi constituent and signed by progressive white women, mirrors the identity politics sentiments expressed by the first and injects the specter of White Supremacy into the discussion. Not only did Pelosi err is disparaging a woman of color, but she insulted all progressive women who are standing as a bulwark against the attempts of President Trump to advance his agenda of instituting White Supremacy.
Apparently, Pelosi didn’t receive the memo explaining that, “When you attack a Black woman for speaking out about injustice, and when you call for ‘civility’ in the face of blatant racism, you invoke a long history of white supremacist power,” The inductive leap from a call for civility to White Supremacy was left unexplained.
Thus, justifiable criticism of Waters is not to be construed as a mild rebuke, but as an attempt to “silence” Waters, which implies preventing her from speaking at all. The perverse catechism of the far-Left mandates that the ordinary meaning ascribed to words be supplanted and interpreted, when politically expedient, by the lexicon of progressive dogma.
The letters invoke the operative progressive concept of contextualization that fuels its Alice in Wonderland logic and is so frequently employed to justify deviation from its own standards. When one is faced with racism, xenophobia, misogyny, Islamophobia, and white supremacy, deliberately refusing to follow one’s own standards by which those on the right must abide, is a virtue and not a vice.
Leftist Absolutism Looms
This is indicative of the absolutism of progressive ideology: there is no mean between the extremes; there is only the moral absolutism that fealty to the lofty goals of progressivism requires.
Saving the world from global warming, combating the irredeemable racism prevalent in the United States, and halting the insurgent rise of White Nationalism is very serious business. The immediate presence of such perils demands casting aside courtesy and tolerance and other long-established standards endemic for the maintenance of civil society in order to restrain the malignant, illegitimate presidency of Donald Trump.
The ending to this story? Having sparked the ire of party activists with her rebuke of Waters, a chastened Pelosi was forced to recant and later issued a statement blaming the incivility on president Trump.
It is telling that two of the highest-ranking congressional leaders of the Democratic party were forced to remain taciturn in the face of Waters unprecedented comments. There will be more ugly incidents that will not be constrained by party leaders. By their forced silence, the leadership of the Democratic Party has given every progressive social justice warrior afflicted with Trump-Derangement Syndrome carte blanche to harass, incite mobs and disregard standards of political conduct—all for the noble aim of halting the spread of White Nationalism.
The leadership of the Democratic Party has now received its marching orders. Under a Trump Administration, the motives of extremists are inviolate, their political tactics sacrosanct. Now that the Democrats are out of power, the cat is out of the bag and the ugliness, acrimony and authoritarian impulses of progressivism are on full display.
The Waters outburst may prove to be a mild disruption. The nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to fill the seat vacated by retiring justice Anthony Kennedy, will spark progressive rage of unexampled fury. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer will be powerless to stop it. Now that Hitler is in the White House, the progressive genie is out of the bottle and will not be coaxed to go back in.
Photo credit: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call