- - Wednesday, August 8, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Courtesy of California Sen. Kamala Harris, we now have a bit of a hint of the new approach we can expect by the progressives who now control the Democratic Party — focus on identity politics but don’t call it that.

In other words, they will recycle the age-old leftist approach of lying to voters about who they are while vowing to punish those who dare to expose them.

All of this became clear at last week’s “Netroots Nation” political activism conference, which CNN described as “The three-day gathering of thousands of progressive activists amounted to a rejection of warnings from the Democratic establishment that their calls for single-payer health care, abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and other progressive priorities would alienate moderate and Republican voters who are otherwise inclined to vote against Trump — both in November’s midterm elections and in the 2020 presidential primary.”

When you’ve lost CNN …

Ms. Harris, widely believed to be eyeing a presidential run, is doing what good progressives do — she engaged in promoting identity politics at the conference, and then told everyone that the phrase “identity politics” was a pejorative.

“Now, I am aware that some people would say that what I just said is plain ‘identity politics.’ But, I have a problem, guys, with that phrase, ‘identity politics.’ ‘Cause let’s be clear, when people say that, it’s a pejorative. That phrase is used to divide and it is used to distract …,” Breitbart reported.

As a friend of mine noted, Ms. Harris‘ new approach is to insist that identity politics doesn’t divide us, but calling it identity politics does.

Ms. Harris‘ rhetoric is important as it reveals that she and her likely mentor, former President Barack Obama, have realized the American people have rejected the disaster of liberalism, which relies on dividing and conquering. They, however, remain committed to the disaster their philosophy delivers, but they don’t care; their work remains to obfuscate and punish those who challenge them.

Rising Democratic party star, democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, most famous for not understanding economics, the southern border, or the Israeli-Palestinian issue, was even more blunt about the truth of the new Democratic agenda. About the importance of identity politics she told the Netroots crowd: “We can say that a Muslim man can be the first governor … the first Muslim governor, in this country, in the Midwest. And we don’t have to be afraid of some other that won’t vote for us, because we know that 10 years ago they voted for Barack Hussein Obama.”

No doubt some progressives like Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, believe they’re standing up for people to no longer be consigned to the margins, to finally be recognized as whole people and worthy of recognition. Yet their rhetoric relies on subjecting their perceived opponents to the very “otherness” they say they’re fighting.

There were also no actual policy prescriptions at the conference. Promising “free” stuff to everyone — free health care, free education — abolishing ICE and immigration laws, aren’t policies. They’re empty prescriptions for disaster and chaos.

We can look to the 20th century for the result of so-called leaders who promise absurd things for votes, but it’s best to just look south to Venezuela for today’s example of the cancer of so-called progressive governance.

Oh sure, there’s complete equality in medical care — no one has any. And there’s food for all, but Venezuelans have also found that you can eat your neighbor’s dog only once, and the zoo eventually runs out of animals.

For Hillary Clinton, relying on identity politics didn’t work. It also reminds us that “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me” remains relevant. After eight years of Mr. Obama’s economic and foreign policy disasters, being fooled twice was rejected by the American people.

In fact, a new survey from Independent Women’s Voice found when asked if someone will support a candidate because of their sex, 83 percent say gender makes no difference, and only 10 percent will support a female because she is a woman.

That’s good news. While much has been written about the need for more women in government, something worth applauding, it is encouraging that the American voter is rejecting identity politics. This further explains Ms. Harris‘ (and watch Mr. Obama to echo this) effort to ban the phrase but not the action.

As Americans we love underdogs, disruption, and breaking new ground. If the Obama years reminded us of anything, it’s that policy matters, for the country and for our families. Democrats are going to find that out, again, in the midterms, as Americans vote for real policies that improve peoples lives, not for a return to identity politics, contrived divisions and perpetual outrage.

• Tammy Bruce, president of Independent Women’s Voice, author and Fox News contributor, is a radio talk show host.


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