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View Diary: To Beat Romney, the Democrats Cannot Appear to be "Kissing the Butt" of Negro Equality (106 comments)

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  •  I think his point (1+ / 0-)
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    sfbob

    is in how that is done.  If inclusivity is done by means of a balkanization in which people are included by virtue of membership in one of a series of caucuses, then it is by definition also exclusive of those not in one of the caucuses.  This is the dynamic Klein is pointing to if undestand correctly.  To some degree, this is a variation on Howard Dean's comment that the Democratic Party needs also to reach out to those with the Stars and Bars and a gunrack on the back of the pickup, simply to point out that their interests are also included.

    If I may be so shameless though, I think what makes Obama such a valuable leader is that while he is aware of and acknowledges the caucuses, he seems to hold them lightly enough that he is able to emphasize universal inclusion, based on a common compassion with all those who are not accorded good opportunities. I think that this is what some people mean by applying the horribly imprecise term "post racial"  I was struck by the interview with Julian Castro on NPR last night in which he pointed out that his generation of minority politicians faces different challenges and a different environment than the one that forged the rigid identity politics of the past.  In part because of the success of identity politics, it may be that other strategies beyond a categorize-and-privilege approach may be better suited to our era.

    My estimation is that Castro and Obama both have left the identity politics aside somewhat in favor of a broader approach that emphasizes opportunity and equality for all.  Note that that approach also serves minority interests precisely to the extent that minorities lack equalities of opportunity, but does not rely on a construct of dividing into caucuses, which has exclusive effects.

    In a last attempt to put an clumsily expressed idea differently, putting the empahsis on the general principles of equality and opportunity, rather than identity, may be a rhetorically different way to solve the real problems in society in ways that are more effective at building broader coalitions.  

    Forgive my inarticulateness!

    Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

    by Mindful Nature on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 02:43:11 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I suppose it comes down to how you interpret (0+ / 0-)

      identity politics and how you view categorization. Membership in one caucus does not, as far as I know, preclude membership in some other caucus, and membership in any caucus does not, as far as I know require that one actually share the defining trait of that caucus (though it may in some cases).

      Those on the right like to pretend that people who identify as a member of a minority of any sort view themselves ENTIRELY through the prism of their identification with that group. In my experience that is seldom the case...in fact if anything it's more likely to be the case for people who, were they not in fact a member of one specific minority, would presumably identify with the population at large. But there are only so many people who operate that way. I am both white and male, I'm middle-class, but I'm also gay, I'm also Jewish, I'm also HIV-positive, I'm also (forgive the somewhat frivolous nature of this one) left-handed and I'm of less than average height and I'm of a certain age. I view myself as a feminist as best I can given that I am not a woman. I'm most certainly a progressive and am close to viewing myself as a socialist. At times I am going to take positions on issues related to some personal characteristic, at other times I may take a position outside of the norm for people with whom I share one of those defining characteristics. Things are not as simple as Klein wants to view them and they are certainly not as simple and rigid as the Republican establishment is trying to make them out to be.

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