I'm old enough to remember a time when an independent secular Jewish socialist with a long record of support for communist regimes would be considered a force for diversity in a typical field of Democratic candidates. Think back to years past, when the likes of
Sanders, the aforementioned socialist who never saw a communist junta he didn't like, announced he's running for president again.
In an interview with
"We have got to look at candidates, you know, not by the color of their skin, not by their sexual orientation or their gender and not by their age," Sanders replied. "I mean, I think we have got to try to move us toward a non-discriminatory society which looks at people based on their abilities, based on what they stand for."
The reaction from many quarters of the liberal establishment was fit for a
This is amazing.
For generations there's been a schism on the left between those who argue that class and economic equality should be the dominant prism for social and political reformers and those who say that race and identity should be the primary consideration. It can be traced back to the rich, fascinating history of American socialists and communists taking the lead on civil rights in the 1930s and 1940s, when mainstream parties turned a blind eye to Jim Crow.
It's a complicated story, but it's worth acknowledging both the real moral leadership on these questions by many on the left and the fact that much of it was driven by the useful idiocy of American leftists who bought into Soviet and Marxist propaganda. The great socialist intellectual
Regardless, the idea of colorblindness -- now considered code for "white supremacy" by many liberals -- has a rich and noble pedigree on the American left, most famously articulated by
But suddenly, Sanders' political radicalism is eclipsed entirely by his whiteness and maleness. This is partly because so much of the Democratic Party has adopted his policy positions, he no longer stands out the way he did just two years ago. Still, it's a remarkable change, made all the more remarkable because it's mostly an elite liberal phenomenon.
There's little evidence that average
If that pattern holds, the forces of class over identity may not be as defeated as it once seemed.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.