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With control of the House, the Senate, the White House, and the New York Times, Democrats have been pushing the idea that they’re a nation united behind a progressive ideology. But of late, some rabble-rousers on the left have raised the warning that the party is out of touch with America, especially on topics such as policing and “critical race theory.” Here, some excerpts from their statements. Now: Will President Biden and other Dem leaders listen?
Left-leaning talk-show host, on his HBO show “Real Time,” April 23
“You know why advertisers in this country love the 18 to 34 demographic? Because it’s the most gullible. Yeah. A third of people under 35 say they’re in favor of abolishing the police. Not defunding. But doing away with a police force altogether. Which is less of a policy position and more of a leg tattoo. Thirty-six percent of millennials think it might be a good idea to try communism. But much of the world did try communism. I know millennials think that doesn’t count because they weren’t alive when it happened. But it did happen. And there are people around who remember it. Pining for communism is like pining for Betamax or MySpace. So when you say, ‘You’re old, you don’t get it,’ get what? Abolish the police and the Border Patrol and capitalism and cancel Lincoln? No, I get it. Problem isn’t that I don’t get what you’re saying, or that I’m old. The problem is that your ideas are stupid.
“… Twenty percent of Gen Z agree with the statement, ‘Society would be better off if all property was owned by the public and managed by the government.’ And another 29 percent don’t know if that’s a good idea. Here’s who does know: anyone who wasn’t born yesterday.”
Former Democratic presidential candidate, on Twitter, April 25
“My dear friends, my fellow Americans, please, please let us stop the racialization of everyone and everything. It’s racialism. We are all children of God, and are therefore family in the truest sense. No matter our race or ethnicity, this is Aloha. And this is what our country and the world need. The mainstream propaganda media and politicians they want us to constantly focus on our skin color, and the skin color of others, because it helps them politically or financially. Aloha means respect and love for others. It’s what enables us to see beyond our skin color, and see the soul, the person within. So let’s do our best, to cultivate this Aloha in our hearts, and see and treat others through this prism of love, not through the prism of race and ethnicity. Please let us not allow ourselves to be led down this dark and divisive path of racialism and hate.”
Democratic consultant, interview with Vox, April 27
“[Biden’s] biggest attribute is that he’s not into ‘faculty lounge’ politics. … You ever get the sense that people in faculty lounges in fancy colleges use a different language than ordinary people? They come up with a word like ‘Latinx’ that no one else uses. Or they use a phrase like ‘communities of color.’ I don’t know anyone who speaks like that. I don’t know anyone who lives in a ‘community of color.’ I know lots of white and black and brown people and they all live in … neighborhoods. … Wokeness is a problem and everyone knows it. It’s hard to talk to anybody today — and I talk to lots of people in the Democratic Party — who doesn’t say this. But they don’t want to say it out loud. … large parts of the country view us as an urban, coastal, arrogant party, and a lot gets passed through that filter. That’s a real thing. I don’t give a damn what anyone thinks about it — it’s a real phenomenon, and it’s damaging to the party brand.
“… We can’t say, ‘Republicans are going to call us socialists no matter what, so let’s just run as out-and-out socialists.’ That’s not the smartest thing to do. And maybe tweeting that we should abolish the police isn’t the smartest thing to do because almost f–king no one wants to do that. … The Democratic Party can’t be more liberal than Sen. Joe Manchin. That’s the fact. We don’t have the votes.”