by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Victor Davis Hanson‘s latest National Review Online column takes note of some interesting similarities among top contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination.
In the jubilation of the Obama election victories of 2008 and 2012, the Left warned Republicans that the party of McCain and Romney was now “too old, too white, too male — and too few.” Columnists between 2008 and 2012 ad nauseam berated Republicans on the grounds that their national candidates “no longer looked like America.” The New York Times stable crowed that the Republicans of 2008 were “all white and nearly all male” — not too long before McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running-mate. In reaction to the defeats of McCain and Romney, Salon and Harper’s ran stories on the “Grand Old White Party” and “Angry White Men.” …
… Liberals had reversed the vision of Martin Luther King Jr.: The color of our skin, not the content of our character, is what matters. Superficial appearance, the ossified politics of the tribe — the curse of the world outside the United States, where corpses have piled up in the Balkans, Rwanda, and Iraq — alone mattered. Identity politics dictated that a shrinking white insular conservative party lacked the Democrats’ “inclusiveness” and “commitment to diversity.” Icons like Barack Obama were what mattered.
So we come to 2016, and the Democrats, of all people, are suddenly in danger of being the washer calling the dryer white. Who exactly are the serious and not so serious presidential candidates of each party?
On the Republican side, there is plenty of diversity as defined by liberals — Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio.
And on the Democratic side? The only representative of “diversity” is Hillary Clinton, who counts by virtue of being female, but who is white and soon to be 68, a fixture on the national political scene for more than a quarter of a century. Her claim on the nomination seems to be that it’s “her turn,” as if Democrats in the post-Obama era nominate their candidates on the basis of seniority and waiting patiently in line. Her status and connections are apparently seen as exempting her from the consequences of violating federal laws that apply to other public servants.
Her opponent is, in traditional liberal parlance, an old white guy and equally a political fixture, the 73-year-old socialist Bernie Sanders, independent senator from Vermont, who has been running for or holding some office for the last 40 years.