Cheap shot? Sorry, I usually prefer expensive ones too, but that’s all I have tonight with #UncleToms trending on Twitter and Jake Tapper complaining on CNN that the first night of the Republican convention was “too diverse” and so not representative of the party itself. The reason? The appearances and speeches by Sen Tim Scott, former NFL star Herschel Walker, Georgia Democrat state rep Vernon Jones (black men all), House candidate Kimberley Klacik (black woman) ex-Un ambassador Nikki Haley (Indian woman), ex-Fox personality Kimberley Guilfoyle (half-Latina) and immigrant businessman Maximo Alvarez (Cuban).
What’s behind the left’s insistence that all the minorities – and not just ethnic ones – belong to them and that those who refuse to toe the line are traitors to their people? (remember Biden a few weeks ago with his “you ain’t black if you don’t vote for me” shtick? – it’s a feature, not a bug.)
I think there are three main reasons.
The first is philosophical. It’s a legacy of Marxist thinking, which does not see individuals (in fact individuals don’t matter in any sense) but only groups, and massive ones at that – originally economic/social classes, but now genders, races and sexualities. It’s not just that collectives are the basic, or really the only, units in a society, but that these collectives are in a relationship of perpetual enmity to each other and struggle with each other, with one being always dominant and oppressive and other/s subservient and oppressed. If you accept that zero-sum, binary, dualistic, Manichean view of life, it follows that all those belonging to a particular group do think alike – or, more accurately, should think alike – based on their shared group experience, and so any deviation from that state of affairs is abnormal, abhorrent and treasonous to their group compatriots (Marx called it “false consciousness”; now it’s being an Uncle Tom, a sell-out, and not being a “rea”l black or a real woman).
The second is pragmatic. Politics is all about building electoral coalitions to get and stay in power. Since the time of FDR and the New Deal, the Democrats have constructed a voter coalition that brought together urban blue collar workers and various ethnic minorities (the two categories often overlapping), with a special emphasis on the more recent and less established immigrants. African-Americans have been one of the most reliable keystones of this coalition, delivering the Democrats on average 90 per cent of their collective vote. No wonder the left is so touchy and protective of its hold on the black community and the black vote – and other ethnicities too – every black person (or Latino, immigrant, gay, etc.) who breaks away from the decades-old groupthink of blind partisan loyalty is one less vote for the Dems; often two less votes, if it’s a switch. Democrats like to think that demographics is destiny so that with the increasing number of non-white Americans they’re on their way towards a permanent electoral majority. But only if they can keep all the POCs on their plantation; what if at least some get some ideas about voting Republican instead?
The third is a combination and consequence of the previous two. You have to keep minorities permanently unhappy and agitated, and convinced of their victimhood, because that makes them dependent, both emotionally and materially, on you and the state (or you as the state) for protection and patronage in the big bad world out there. God help the left once some of their wards start to realise that government can be like drugs – addictive and destructive – and that one’s skin colour is not one’s destiny; that while clearly circumstances people face vary and are not always easy, all human beings have free will and agency, and can at least try to make their own futures and succeed in this world on the strength of their characters and hard work and determination. Blacks and others who reject the left and the government as their Lord and Saviour and believe in the second emancipation through patriotism, faith, education and entrepreneurship are not just annoying but dangerous, because they disprove the universality of the racism/oppression/victimhood narrative and provide an alternative example for their people to follow.
To all those breaking away from the left’s stranglehold, I say this on behalf of everyone I know on the right of politics: we love you, welcome you and embrace you. We look at people and see individuals, not cookie cut outs. Our creed is not based on gender, ethnicity or sexuality but on what we see as universal values. Let’s build the future together, hand in hand, and heart to heart.