Posted on November 5, 2018

White Men Are Now the Democratic Party’s Punching Bag. That’s a Dangerous Bet to Make.

Saritha Prabhu, USA Today, October 28, 2108

We have Donald Trump to thank for much of our current incivility, but today’s Democratic Party is predicated on open hostility toward white citizens.

As you’ve probably noticed, bashing straight white men, especially of the conservative kind, is very fashionable these days.


It’s become often enough that it is seemingly now normal to just casually attack a broad group of the country’s citizens.

And sometimes race is inserted gratuitously even when it isn’t an issue, like during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings: the Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee were attacked as old white men.

Besides, there is the strangeness in the spectacle of certain white people calling out certain other white people on their whiteness.

What gives? What is happening is that everyone’s id is now not just out in the open, it has gone berserk.

The president models uncivil behavior

We have President Donald Trump to thank for much of our current incivility. Three years ago, Trump came down that escalator and attacked Mexican migrants as rapists and criminals.

And since then, his signature strength or weakness — depending on who you’re speaking to — is his frank, off-the-cuff, flagrantly non-politically-correct way of talking about issues.


There is, obviously, a helping of white liberal guilt here as well. White men and women, both in this country and across the world, owe much of their current power and relative privilege, obviously, to the colonialism, genocide, slavery and other sins of past centuries.


There is truth in the above views, including in the view that there are invisible institutional forces that even now keep minorities (including many working class whites) further down in the power and economic structures.

But the need of the hour is not crude attacks or divisive rhetoric; it’s skillful, statesmanlike management of huge demographic changes, and the emotions they unleash.

Whenever I hear someone on TV bash white men, my overriding feeling is “Excuse me, but I really don’t want to be a party to this.”

I am a brown, female immigrant and I can assure these leaders and pundits that there’s no anger coursing through my veins at white people or men as a group.


Today’s Democratic Party is predicated on having and expressing open hostility toward white citizens. They are making the dangerous bet that most minorities and immigrants will jump on the white-male-bashing bandwagon.

But it could backfire and turn off many voters. If you ask most minorities and immigrants, they’ll probably tell you they just want a fair, equal shot at the American Dream, and that they’re not angling for racial payback or Civil War Take 2.


You also wish President Trump would be inclusive toward all Americans in his speeches. Some of his economic policies have been beneficial for Hispanic and African Americans, but inclusive rhetoric matters a great deal too.