Two white guys are leading the pack of presidential candidates for the party of “diversity and inclusion.” On Tuesday, the last black Democrat vying for the nomination called it quits. With Andrew Yang out of the race, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is the only non-white candidate remaining. This should be utterly embarrassing for a party obsessed with identity politics.
“The vote in New Hampshire last night was not enough for us to create the practical wind at the campaign’s back to go on to the next round of voting. So I have decided to suspend my campaign, effective immediately,” former Gov. Deval Patrick (D-Mass.) said in an email statement.
He did not endorse a candidate, but his statement urged moderation. “Despite our righteous anger, Democrats don’t have to hate Republicans to be good Democrats. We don’t have to hate business to fight for social justice or to hate police to believe black lives matter. … I say that because, unlike most other candidates, I have actually delivered progressive results using a moderate approach.”
We can’t miss this moment— because failing to engage risks losing a whole lot more than an election in November. Today, we’re suspending our campaign, but not giving up the fight. Read my full statement: pic.twitter.com/wTiNZ8g7xH
— Deval Patrick (@DevalPatrick) February 12, 2020
Democrats would do well to listen to Patrick’s call to return from the abyss of radical animosity verging on hatred of Donald Trump and Republicans. In the past few days, an angry man drove a van into Republican organizers and a woman sucker-punched a man because he was wearing a red MAGA-style hat reading “Make 50 Great Again.” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — a self-declared socialist who honeymooned in the Soviet Union and supported Communist Cuba’s policies for the U.S. — won the New Hampshire primary.
Democrats need to get their party in order, but it seems they are becoming more unhinged.
Yet despite the broader left’s push toward identity politics — the New York Times “1619 Project” aiming to redefine American history as a history of racist oppression — identity politics-driven campaigns have largely failed in the 2020 primary. Julián Castro, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) — the black-Asian woman who won the identity politics lottery — all failed to gain traction and dropped out of the race. Deval Patrick was more moderate than they were, but he jumped in very late.
These candidates’ failure gives the lie to part of the identity politics narrative: a candidate’s race means a great deal less than his or her rhetoric and policies. Barack Obama did not just win because of his race, even though his race was integral to his message of hope and technocracy.
When Cory Booker said there would be “no diversity whatsoever” on the debate stage because all the candidates would be white, he boiled “diversity” down to race alone. Yet diversity is not just about race.
Even without any non-white candidates among the leading Democrats, there is a great deal of diversity: Joe Biden would become the second Catholic president, albeit a pro-abortion one; Bernie Sanders would become the first Jewish president; Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) would become the first woman president, even though Warren no longer claims the Native American identity; and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg would become the first gay president, the first Maltese-American president, and the youngest president ever elected at age 39.
Sadly, there is little intellectual diversity among them: all support taxpayer funding for abortion, all support various forms of gun control, all support a public option that would devastate rural health care (or worse), all would erase the distinctions of biological sex in law to kowtow to transgenderism, and all would radically transform America’s energy sector in the name of saving the environment. While some are dubbed “moderates” by the left-leaning press, all support extremely radical proposals that only make sense in a liberal bubble.
Deval Patrick sought to replace Joe Biden in the “moderate” lane of the primary, but he came in too late and had little chance of unseating Buttigieg and Klobuchar as the more moderate voice.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.