Making liberalism appealing again

Sam Smith – When I first read about critical race theory, my reaction was, “there they go again.” Not because I disagreed with the substance of history but that now was just not the time to try to make the rotten past a political tool. Sure enough, it seems to have been a factor in the defeat of the Democratic governor in Virginia. As conservative columnist Meghan McCain described the election, “In the simplest terms possible it is revenge of the parents.” And as the Independent described it: 

The Virginia campaign saw Mr Youngkin, who was endorsed by Donald Trump, hammer Terry McAuliffe hard on the issue over how much influence parents should wield over their children’s education, in particular whether or not they should be able to force schools to withdraw certain books and subjects they find offensive or disagreeable.

One of the key incidents Mr Youngkin cited was a campaign several years ago led by a mother who was outraged that her son’s school was teaching Toni Morrison’s Beloved, a classic of Black American literature that deals with the horrific reality of slavery.

But as Eric Adams, only the second black mayor to be elected in New York City, describes better politics: “The government should not preach to its citizens, it should provide it,” We need to put action ahead of analysis.

Liberals are having a hard time with this these days. So much better educated than they were, say, a half century ago, they increasingly approach problems like academics rather than activists. And, as in Virginia, they pay the price. 

One group they could learn from are black mayors.  You won’t hear this from the media, which consistently reports the downside of ethnic relations while ignoring the good, but 39 of the top 100 American cities have had black mayors. As of last year two thirds of cities over 40,000 population had black mayors. Even Manhattan, only 15.5% black, just got its first black DA. And Boston just got its first Asian American and first female mayor.

Key to a good cross-ethnic politics are good cross-ethnic issues such as the economy housing and health. As noted here before, there are many more poor whites than poor blacks and a good politics addresses both. It also requires politicians who  speak United States and not hide what they’re trying to sell behind such sweeping and ambiguous phrases as infrastructure.   

Furthermore, the media has to stop treating ethnicity as only a problem and tell some positive diversity tales as well as the negative ones. For example, as the Washington Post did report, a latino named Jorge Solar hit more home runs for the Atlanta Braves than the Astros did in total. How can you create a decent multicultural society if you don’t even tell people that?