I really miss the good ol’ days when the craziest thing a Democratic presidential candidate would say to engage the black vote is that “black lives matter” is more truthful than “all lives matter.” That happened in the first 2016 election debate between Democratic candidates, and it stirred up some concern from many, including black Americans who were scratching their collective heads about how that makes any sense.
Today, we’re learning that Democratic candidates are so concerned about getting the black vote during the primaries, they’re willing to accept the notion of slavery era reparations paid to black Americans.
They’re literally offering to buy votes.
There are a million and one things that could and should be done in the cause of justice and prosperity for African Americans as such — not simply as people who just happen to be over-represented among the poor, the incarcerated, and the murdered. (Here, the tragedy of the subordination of the NAACP and other like-minded groups, which effectively have been reduced to mere organs of the Democratic party, is terribly apparent.) Pursuing that reform agenda would be a blessing to the nation as a whole, and it is to the nation as a whole that national politics must in the end address itself, even as we take into account the unique situation of African Americans.
But that is not how you win a Democratic primary.
This isn’t about the general election. Democrats are well aware that they would hold the lion’s share of the African-American vote regardless of who they nominated. This is all about the primaries, which is why it’s a line few candidates will cross. Their theory is if they do not take the side of reparations, they’ll lose the black vote, and thereby lose the nomination. Therefore most if not all major Democratic candidates are going to jump on the reparations bandwagon.
Now is not the time to debate whether or not reparations are a good thing (they’re not). Instead, let’s focus on the insincerity of the push by leftist candidates to differentiate themselves using this concept. Certainly Senators Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Elizabeth Warren knew they wouldn’t be alone when they announced their embrace of the reparations concept. They’re aware of what’s at stake in the nomination process, but it was never really an issue until this election. Why? Because even Bernie Sanders wouldn’t agree to it in the 2016 primary season because he knew then (and knows better now) that it’s a deflection issue rather than a winning issue. In other words, accepting reparations as part of a platform is tantamount with saying, “I don’t want to do something that will lose the black vote.” Since it wasn’t an issue at the time, there was no need to set that as the red line Democrats would have to cross to win the nomination.
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Fast-forward to 2019 and we will soon have all of the current candidates agreeing to reparations. Why? Because they don’t want the deflection used against them. Reparations aren’t an issue that wins votes, but it’s an issue that can help a candidate lose votes if they’re not playing ball with the rest of the crowd.
This is a dangerous precedent to set. It sets the bar exactly where the Democratic Party doesn’t want it to be. If Democrats are calling for reparations during the primaries, whoever wins the nomination will have to keep that as part of their platform for the general election. That’s not what the Democrats want, and if we’re being intellectually honest it’s not what the Republicans want, either. Facing opponents with reparations on the platform may help them win, but if they still end up losing, it means it’s suddenly on the table. This isn’t one of those issues that can be swept under the rug if the promise isn’t kept.
The last remnants of a hinge holding the Democratic Party in place are quickly being dismantled. They’ll do and say anything to get them the nomination, which is pushing the party to the most dangerous depths of hyper-leftism.