I’ve made this argument before.
Up close the socialist moment looks a lot like old-fashioned conventional identity politics. And that just means voting for people who look like you. Now Josh Kraushaar makes a similar argument in the National Journal.
For an illustration of the power of identity over ideology in politics, look at the divergent results in two of the biggest Democratic governors’ primaries in the country. Actress Cynthia Nixon, who received national attention for her insurgent campaign against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, performed dismally even though her opponent was reviled by the Left. Meanwhile: Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum, who barely had enough campaign cash to air television advertisements in Florida, achieved one of the most dramatic upsets in the 2018 cycle.
Gillum did have Soros at his back, while Cynthia Nixon didn’t even have the full DSA backing. But this isn’t a new phenomenon. White lefties mostly appeal to other white lefties. That’s the difference between Obama and Elizabeth Warren.
Progressive stalwarts like Chris Giunchigliani in Nevada, Dennis Kucinich in Ohio, and Daniel Biss in Illinois were crushed by more-pragmatic challengers… In Georgia, Stacey Abrams cruised past a centrist challenger in a race that originally looked to be highly competitive. Former NAACP president Ben Jealous scored a decisive victory in Maryland’s Democratic primary, exceeding early expectations. All three candidates benefited from a surge in black turnout in a midterm-election year.
It’s the Obama formula. It’s why Bernie will be strictly relegated to grifting and cheerleading.
Consider: Nixon’s weakest showing in the primary occurred in the Bronx, where she won a measly 17 percent of the vote in the predominantly black and Hispanic New York City borough.
Nixon supporters claimed voter suppression. Or insufficient voter suppression.
It’s a reminder that the Democratic Party’s crucial bloc of black voters is more interested in electing familiar faces than supporting true-blue ideologues. When African-American candidates can excite white progressives, it’s a potent combination in a Democratic primary. White progressives, dependent on ideological fervor alone, often underachieve in party primaries where nearly half of voters still identify as moderate or conservative.
Same old, same old. It’s not socialism, it’s racial nationalism.