The party that has spent years working to turn American politics into a mud pit of racial strife is finally reaping what it sowed.
Once the exclusive province of campus leftists, “intersectionality” is the idea that all “oppressed and powerless” people ought to put their squabbles aside and unite in a common struggle. As they have grown increasingly reliant on a coalition of non-whites, sexual minorities, and feminist white women in recent years, Democrats flirted with and then lionized the intersectional Left.
This strategy works effectively when there’s one agreed-upon group of oppressors to cast as a common villain. So Democrats have now fostered and embraced the most extreme activists from every identity group in America—and they have united around their enmity for the white men who voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump.
As the Democrats are learning, however, the plan breaks down when the various sections of the coalition begin to jockey over which has the most privilege or endures the most oppression. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had to subdue a mini-revolt within her caucus last week over a watered-down resolution to condemn anti-Semitism because some Democrats considered it a distraction from other forms of bigotry that are more important to them personally. Pelosi’s solution was to dilute the resolution even further until it essentially became meaningless.
It turns out when you invite people into your coalition based on their racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual resentments, eventually they begin to resent each other.
That’s exactly what happened when Somali-American Representative Ilhan Omar’s intersectional allies swooped in to prevent the Democrats from condemning the Minnesota freshman’s promotion of anti-Semitic “dual loyalty” tropes against American Jews and their supporters in Congress.
“[N]o one seeks this level of reprimand when members make statements about Latinx + other communities,” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) complained on Twitter. “[W]here are the resolutions against homophobic statements? For anti-blackness? For xenophobia? . . . don’t even get me started on misogyny.”
Omar and Ocasio-Cortez’s position is well outside the bounds of what would have been acceptable among elected officials from either party just a few years ago. It’s an increasingly mainstream view within today’s Democratic Party, though, and the situation is going to get a lot worse for Democrats before it gets better.
Pelosi may not have realized this, but as a white woman—even a “white feminist”—she doesn’t rank very high on the intersectional oppression scale.
“Nancy is a typical white feminist upholding the patriarchy doing the dirty work of powerful white men,” wrote Women’s March organizer Linda Sarsour, the one-time #Resistance darling whose own star is fading in light of her own anti-Semitism woes.
The controversy over a simple resolution condemning anti-Semitism is just a taste of what’s coming for Pelosi and the Democrats. The divisive intersectionality they’ve cultivated is going to leave them with a dysfunctional caucus whose members turn on each other—and their own leadership—in their never-ending quest to root out perceived oppressors.
The Democrats have been encouraging grievance politics for years. Little did they realize that they were sowing the seeds of their own decline into irrelevance.
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