Politics

Identification Over Qualification

At least Georgia loser Stacey Abrams is honest: She embraces identity politics.

Michael Swartz · Apr. 5, 2019

It’s been nearly 15 years since Democrats last nominated a white male for president. Since then, the party’s leadership has continuously pandered to the multitude of special-interest groups that revolve in its orbit, and the fledgling 2020 presidential campaign continues as Exhibit A: practically all of the traditional Democrat subgroups (except for the ever-shrinking “Blue Dog” contingent) have a candidate or two in the race — and if not, well, we’re still a couple months away from the first debate.

In a rare moment of Democrat candor, 2018 Georgia gubernatorial loser Stacey Abrams, who vehemently shot down any talk of being a running mate for Joe Biden in order to balance out the white-maleness at the top of that ticket, declared to Al Sharpton’s National Action Network earlier this week, “I lean in to identity politics. I believe in identity politics. And I believe identity politics are the politics that win.”

Abrams hasn’t closed the door on fighting against Beto O'Rourke for the votes representing the “recent high-profile statewide race losers” interest group in the 2020 Democrat White House race. But she’s considered more of a longer-term presidential prospect after a possible Senate run next year or a 2022 rematch with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. In her remarks before Sharpton’s group, Abrams also remained defiant about her 2018 electoral loss:

“Despite the final tally and the inauguration and the situation we find ourselves in,” said Abrams, “I do have a very affirmative statement to make: We won.” She continued her claim that Republicans “stole [the election] from the voters of Georgia.” This despite her losing by nearly 55,000 votes, not an insignificant number.

At this point, all that Pyrrhic victory has given her is a speaking slot before Sharpton’s race-baiting group, but what she’s really trying to win is the sympathy of white leftists, many of whom see her as a victim of The Man. (Not necessarily Brian Kemp, who happens to be male, but The Man.) And there’s a great deal of conventional wisdom that plays into what Abrams said. The Resurgent’s Merrie Soltis recently pointed to an analysis by pollster Frank Luntz on whether the 2020 Democrat nominee should try to appeal to the whites who switched from Barack Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016, or try to woo back the black voters who didn’t come out for Hillary in 2016.

For decades, Democrats relied on their appeal to those and many others. In some cases, it’s worked. But while Abrams espouses her belief in identity politics — and had the bonafides to cater to several such groups as this 2017 profile illustrates — she didn’t attract quite enough “identity” votes to turn Georgia blue.

There’s a reason that E Pluribus Unum — “out of many, one” — stood as our national motto from 1782 to 1956. It’s because these 13 letters represented the coming together of 13 distinct and diverse colonies for the collective good of a single new nation.

Our Founders’ willingness to find common ground thus stands in stark contrast to the toxic and divisive approach of today’s Democrat Party.

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