A recent study by Yale University indicates that if the Democratic Party continues overtly promoting “anti-racism” rhetoric, it could lead to a mass alienation of their own base in upcoming elections, as reported by the New York Post.
The study was conducted by Yale’s Micah English and Joshua Kalla, whose goals with the survey were to find out “how racial attitudes shape policy preferences in the era of Black Lives Matter and increasing liberal views on racial issues.” But, utilizing an online survey method, they soon found that issues based explicitly on race where less likely to galvanize the party’s base than issues based more on economics.
To determine this, the study asked voters about various issues such as student debt cancellation, the Green New Deal, universal healthcare, and legalizing marijuana, amongst others. These issues were presented in three different ways to various respondents: They were either framed around “racial justice,” framed as “economic justice,” or explained completely neutrally. Actual rhetoric from Democratic politicians was incorporated into each method of questioning, and the issues were all emphasized as being part of the Democratic Party’s platform.
I have been thinking a good deal recently about Arnold Toynbee’s much-quoted observation that “Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.” As an historical proposition, I’d say that it was like the story of the curate’s breakfast egg. “I’m afraid you’ve got a bad egg, Mr. Jones!” “Oh no, my Lord, I assure you!” the curate replied. “Parts of it are excellent!”
And yet we all see the pertinence of Toynbee’s point. While there are, as a matter of historical fact, plenty of civilizations that succumb to invasion, occupation, and subjugation, there are also many that wither from within from a failure of self-confidence, of (for the Bergsonians out there) élan vital, of what your philosophy graduate student likes to call thumos: spirit, gumption, “heart,” manliness.
The fact that no one can even speak of “manliness” today without looking over his shoulder these days is an index that thumos is on the endangered species list (along, as it happens, with sperm counts in the Western world). Why this should be is a fraught question—something whose answer is “overdetermined” as our Freudian friends like to say.
There was once a tradition of Democratic liberalism. But that wing of the Democratic Party no longer exists and died sometime in the 1990s. Old-style liberalism has been absorbed by Progressivism at best and unapologetic socialism at worst—in a journey on the supposedly predetermined arc of history that bends toward 1984.