The Left has finally embraced the logical conclusions of its own divisive identity politics. A new group has taken up the important cause of convincing some people NOT to run for political office, and you’ll never guess who! It’s the straight, white, cis-gender men who are allegedly “oppressing” everybody else. Ironically, their push will likely just encourage more of us Caucasian dudes to flout their simplistic profiling.
Conservatives could not ask for a better weapon against political correctness than Can You Not PAC (CYNP), an organization dedicated to encouraging our society’s oppressive “patriarchs” not to run for office. It takes aim at white men — and not just any white men, but those who are straight and not transgender — and raises money to stop their political ambitions.
One of the group’s founders is a “trans man,” i.e. a woman who now identifies as a man aiming to convince men not to run for office. Jack Teter, who identifies as “queer AF, white and trans,” joined with Kyle Huelsman — “straight, white and cisgender” i.e. a man who was actually born male — to start a Facebook page about representation in government. The group has grown, and it registered a political action committee (PAC) on May 2.
The group aims to represent white men telling other white men not to run for office. In a recent interview, Teter openly declared, “We’re not attacking men or masculinity; we’re here to f*** up the patriarchy. When you’re used to privilege, equality feels like oppression. Feel that, and then get over it.”
How is convincing people not to run for political office “equality”? Straight white men are more represented in public office, but pushing them down in order to make things equal actually is oppressive, even if it results in positive change.
CYNP does reference a great deal of data to show how overrepresented straight white men are in government, and they make a fascinating argument as to why this is a problem. “In a country with awful voter participation, data tells us that women and people of color are more politically involved when their legislators look like them,” Teter declared.
He also inadvertently revealed a different agenda, however — that this “equal representation” isn’t just about equality:
Turnout is higher among Latinos and African Americans where there are people of color in office. Besides the obvious, incredibly crucial value of people feeling like their voices matter, of having legislators who are impacted and fighting for the issues that affect their communities, there’s also a super-practical application here, of which I would remind straight white men who want to run in progressive districts — Democrats do better when groups that aren’t straight white men turn up on Election Day.
CYNP is dedicated to a liberal agenda which relies on voters who don’t look like Donald Trump. While the organization may seem high-minded, it is really about promoting an agenda that has less to do with representing people well and more to do with promoting a value structure rejected by roughly half of the country.
To his credit, Teter does not ask straight white men to leave politics altogether.
We aren’t saying “leave politics.” We’re asking if folks have thought about bringing their time and their talent and their passion to the service of other people — to getting folks who don’t look like them elected. We both work in politics! Folks in positions of privilege should absolutely work in politics — and they should use their positions to dismantle the systems that they have been fortunate to benefit from.
This talk of “dismantling” systems “of privilege” is interesting, considering it comes from someone who was born female trying to convince people who were born male not to run for office. It gets worse, however.
Next Page: How a group of “white men” will turn over the reins to women and minorities.
A group of “white men” aimed at preventing straight white men from going to Washington will also hand over the reins to women and minorities when it comes time to actually endorse candidates.
We are 100% serious! We plan to give a handful of Democratic endorsements and (dis)endorsements before the June primaries and November election. Our advisory board of progressive women, LGBTQ folks, and people of color are researching and reviewing all of the potential endorsements and will make final decisions on those candidates by June 2016.
This is a rather odd form of humility: the organization thinks it has the moral authority to ask white men not to run, but that it lacks the authority to encourage women, racial minorities, and LGBT people to actually run for office.
A couple of progressive folks have suggested to Kyle and me that our time would be better spent like, coaching women and LGBT folks and POC about how to run for office better. That’s absurd.
What, we’re going to roll up to EMILY’s List and tell them our brilliant explanation of why their tactics aren’t working because men are still overrepresented in government? Hell no. There’s something missing, and it’s not amazing and qualified women, LGBT folks, or POC candidates. There are men who donate to groups like EMILY’s List and then simultaneously run against the candidates they endorse. Is this about progressive policy? Or is it about ego?
The problem is, CYNP’s own data suggest that these women, LGBT, and racial minority candidates ARE missing. If you just convince white men not to run, you will not automatically see more candidates from other groups.
This posture of assumed humility, more than anything else, actually reveals CYNP as an oppressive organization. Their new view of normal white men is nothing more than as fellow travelers for other groups — the fact that these people do actually represent a large portion of the population does not matter, because their engagement is taken for granted.
Next Page: Why this will likely lead more white men to run for political office.
Ironically, by fighting against the involvement of white men, groups like this one might just encourage more white men to run for office in order to spite the political correctness which urges them not to represent themselves in the political process. Democrats — and, shocker, Republicans! — should support good candidates of other races and genders, rather than attempting to tear white men down.
As a straight white cis-gender male, let me tell you: Talk of the “patriarchy” is ten times less motivating than a black, female, or even LGBT candidate who actually articulates values and policy positions we can believe in. People don’t necessarily vote for candidates who look like them, but they almost always vote for candidates who think like them.
Teter did have one very good lesson to teach, however. He suggested “listening and asking more, talking less. Asking how you can be helpful rather than telling folks what you think they’re doing wrong. Listen. Trust communities that aren’t your own to know their own needs.”
This is vitally important for both sides — listen to what other people are saying, even when it goes against what you think about the system of American politics. Maybe the middle-class white men who are dying prematurely in huge numbers are less part of the “patriarchy” and more part of an America just struggling to get ahead. Maybe the American system of self-government was based on self-government and equal rights, not enslavement to white men.
Perhaps people should vote for those who represent their ideas and interests in politics, rather than just their gender or skin color. But don’t listen to me on that — listen to Martin Luther King, Jr.