Damon Linker, The Week, May 11, 2018
If there’s one thing that’s sustained liberals through the trials of the 2016 election and its aftermath, it’s faith that demography will come to their rescue to ensure that they eventually prevail against the right-wing, racist populism of the Trump-era Republican Party.
It sounds reassuring. But is it true?
Don’t bet on it.
Unless, that is, liberals can convince the non-white members of their current electoral coalition to begin thinking of themselves, first and foremost, as “people of color” united by their antipathy to, and in their oppression by, white America. If racism is defined, in part, by the tendency of whites to view everyone but themselves as “not white,” then this would be a form of counter-racism in which non-whites positively affirm as a politically potent identity what was once treated as a form of stigma.
The doubling down on identity politics among liberals since Donald Trump’s election follows from something like this ambition to unify non-whites against the Republican Party and in favor of the Democrats. (At the same time, the left’s growing emphasis on intersectionality, which sows division instead of unity by highlighting the distinctive, irreducible grievances suffered by the members of ever-narrower demographic sub-categories, adds a heavy dose of self-contradiction to the project.)
It would appear that the “emerging Democratic majority” requires anti-white identity politics as its midwife.
That would be inadvisable in civic terms even if demographic trends over the next half century favored non-whites more convincingly than they do. As it is, liberals risk actively antagonizing (and hence galvanizing against them) what will remain for some significant time to come the single-largest demographic group in the United States.
There may be more foolish electoral strategies out there, but I’m hard-pressed to think of one.