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View Diary: The Future Belongs to We (159 comments)

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  •  Well, you started out good... (1+ / 0-)
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    with a great description of how the (culturally conservative) core of the Republican party is limping into oblivion like the last mastodon.

    But then you went on and one about race, and made some assumptions that I think led you astray.

    First, the Republican base in 2008 is not anti-color. Sure, there are whiffs of lite prejudice still to be found, but that is not the defining characteristic of the base, which you seem to paint as some contemporary version of the 1920's Klan.

    Second, you appear to imply that a progressive movement can be built off of a reaction by racial minorities to the waning prejudices of the majority. Even if it were true that these minorities would actively support a progressive Democratic party, I doubt if that movement would get very far, as it's foundation would be on quicksand. A movement is at its strongest when a few core values & beliefs are brought to life in a coherent vision, that finds broad appeal across and within the electorate. A movement based on racial identification and other facets of identity politics is very weak, precisely because there are no common bonds between the various groups. Moreover, identity politics tends to be reductive, in that groups break into sub-groups, which then break into sub-sub groups, etc.

    Third, did you even question whether membership in "Minority Group X" is going to continue to have the same self-awareness as it has in the past? For example, do you believe that someone who is African-American in 2048 will continue to consider that to be of primary relevance, or will it be akin to something like being German-American in 2008? I would speculate that the singularity of being black is lessening by the day.Ditto for Hispanics, gays, etc.

    What you are describing in your diary is not the era we are entering into, but the era we are now finally leaving. The new era is...well, as the title of your diary stated, the era of WE. And that is an era that will be built, not on a foundation of a 100 different kinds of identity groups floating in a loose amoeba of undefined pluralism (Which would be hardly progressive). It will be built when what we all share in common becomes more important/relevant than the late 20th century sociology that seems so embedded in the minds of those currently over 50.

    And that brings us back to the socially conservative Republican base. Largely skewed towards older generations, their problem is not some latent animosity towards racial groups. Their problem is that, not unlike many in the progressive blogosphere, they can't see a world beyond the cultural politics of the last 40+ years.

    Their fear is not of Hispanics or blacks, but of continued dissolution. They've seen American society loose its common bonds, and become estranged with itself. After the last 40 years, we live in a society that has little coherent identity, an America that has little sense of itself. (Many reasons for this.). The GOP socially conservative base fears that will continue, and so they are holding on to the past with their fingertips. They see the middle phase of a process (of the collapse of the old order, and the building of the new) and fear it is really the end. The irony is that their stubborn deathgrip on the past is part of what is keeping America from entering a future that would salve their own fears.

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