Since the days of Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition, the Left has fantasized about gaining great power by bundling together a host of victims against a monolithic oppressor. Since most esteemed figures of Western Civilization have been propertied heterosexual white males, the Left assumed that they could assemble a winning team by offering solace and snacks to “queer” people, “people of color,” women, and the working class. (The working class, alas, fell out of favor in this coalition at some point, replaced by the smattering of groups represented by the ever-expanding acronym of LGBTQIIA+.)
Once upon a time, signs indicated that this strategy of coalition-building would work. Women are about 51 percent of the electorate. African Americans are about 12-13 percent of the population. Latinos are closing in on 20 percent. “Queers” have a constantly fluxing share of the population, however, despite the popular belief that such a disposition is genetically fixed and impervious to cultural trends. While homosexuality and transgenderism are rare among the older generations, polls show that among people born after 1980 the percentages of LGBTs is astonishingly high, sometimes topping 20 percent.
If all these groups could unite against straight white men, then the Democrats would have an unbeatable alliance of 70-75 percent of the population. Demographics are destiny, they said. This common assumption seemed more or less reasonable in the years heading into the 2020 election. During the Trump era, we saw #MeToo, Drag Queen Story Hour, endless discussion of “kids in cages at the border,” and of course the summer of Black Lives Matter.
So why did the 2020 election not produce an immediate blowout for the Democrats? Their blue wave did not overwhelm the state-level elections nor the legislature. The presidency is still in dispute precisely because in Michigan, Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Georgia, Biden’s margin of victory is tiny and, it seems increasingly evident, probably the result of fraud, at least in part.
Repulsive Doctrines Drive Away Voters
The Left needs to understand the lessons this year has taught us. Intersectionality works as much for the Republicans as it does for the Democrats.
Here is why. If the overall tone of the victim coalition is shrill and accusatory, then every victim group alienates its designated oppressor. While the victim groups ostensibly should join forces under the Democrats, the alienated groups accused by the victim groups join forces under the conservatives, canceling out the entire exercise.
#MeToo terrifies and exasperates men, many of whom are people of color and/or gay. Black Lives Matter starts to vex not only whites, but other non-black groups such as Latinos and Asians, many of whom are women and/or gay. LGBTQ has the unique distinction of inflicting discomfort and uneasiness on people who like the opposite sex, people who like the genitalia with which they were born, people who are attracted to only one sex, people who perceive normal male-female sex as healthier and better for families, and random people who think it’s creepy to have nightclub erotic performers in drag read books like Jacob Has a New Dress to a crowd of toddlers.
While feminism, in theory, should rally women to the Democrats, a lot of women happen to be white and don’t appreciate being called vulgar names by Black Lives Matter activists. Asian and Latina women don’t necessarily like the aggression and nihilistic tone of Black Lives Matter. And lots of women like the idea that they can call a local police department for help.
If you take the women compelled by #MeToo and subtract all these women who don’t want the cops to be defunded or don’t appreciate being called names on a street corner by someone brandishing a portrait of George Floyd, you find that the Democrats probably lost as many women as they gained by this particular exercise in coalition-building.
Certainly many Latinos and Asians agree with the idea that racism is wrong. But many Latinos and Asians disagree with the notion that burning down stores and smashing business windows is a good way to express this belief. A lot of immigrants fled to the United States from Latin American or Asian countries to get away from violence, repression, and bleak economic chances; they often came here to start the kind of businesses that urban rioters sack when they get angry over police shootings.
As Black Lives Matter grew more insistent on focusing on “black and indigenous” peoples only, Latinos and Asians saw the writing on the wall. If it comes down to a race war, they’re not going to be given a pass simply because they’re not white. It’s no surprise that as Black Lives Matter protests continued through the long hot summer, more and more rallies materialized in support of Trump, with a new kind of right-wing identity politics: Cubans for Trump, Amish for Trump, Chinese Americans for Trump, Indians for Trump, Colombians for Trump, and so on and so on.
For all the people the Left may have rallied to its side by way of Black Lives Matter, the Left probably lost just as many “people of color” since most people of color had become reclassified as the oppressor somewhere along the way.
Intersectionality as Albatross
Many people of color are men who don’t like the prospect of women suddenly being able to destroy any man’s reputation with an accusation of sexual harassment or assault. Does anyone remember Emmet Till or To Kill a Mockingbird?
Many women don’t like men who have transitioned to a female identity coming into their bathrooms, women’s shelters, locker rooms, dressing rooms, or showers. Many African Americans, Latinos, and Asians are happy to join forces with white conservatives against Drag Queen Story Hour or comprehensive sex ed if it means their children won’t be persuaded to join the queer lifestyle.
And lots of people, including all races and sexes, feel uncomfortable with homosexuality and bisexuality being so normalized that nobody can walk into any locker room anywhere without thinking that someone might be getting turned by the sight of them disrobing.
Let’s not forget that on top of all this, Christians who are serious about living in obedience to God’s Word feel increasingly shut out of the Democratic Party. And many in the working class have noticed how little the Democrats do for their traditional constituency of laboring men and women.
If I were a Democrat, getting rid of intersectionality would top my to-do list. Intersectionality has generated an alliance of identity groups all interlaced against leftist censoriousness and condemnation. This alliance rallied under Trump to such an extent that liberals could not cobble together a winning majority without some shenanigans that will haunt them for election cycles to come.
What looked like a surefire monolith against Trump turned into a babbling and confused gaggle running around cities with incomprehensible slogans. What looked like impossible odds for Trump turned into colossal rallies and the most stunning monolith of 2020—the 72 million who came out and voted for Trump with no regrets.