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Tags: georgia | identity politics | stacey abrams | trump

Identity Politics: Why Stacey Abrams Lost in Georgia

Identity Politics: Why Stacey Abrams Lost in Georgia
In a Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, file photo, Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams makes remarks during a press conference at the Abrams Headquarters in Atlanta. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File)

Michael Dorstewitz By Monday, 04 February 2019 12:39 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

The week before Stacey Abrams’ scheduled delivery of the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday, she drafted an essay that, according to Vox, “reveals why she’s a rising star.”

It actually revealed why she was the Democratic Party’s perfect choice — it’s as divisive as both she is and her party has become.

The essay is an argument supporting identity politics and, whether she realizes it or not, it illustrates why she lost her 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race, and why Trump took the White House two years earlier.

Abrams’ piece, published in Foreign Affairs, was a rebuttal to Francis Fukuyama’s argument that identity politics divides society “into segments based on ever-narrower identities, threatening the possibility of deliberation and collective action by society as a whole.”

She fired back that “what Fukuyama laments as ‘fracturing’ is in reality the result of marginalized groups finally overcoming centuries-long efforts to erase them from the American polity — activism that will strengthen democratic rule, not threaten it.”

She continued that “new, vibrant, noisy voices represent the strongest tool to manage the growing pains of multicultural coexistence. By embracing identity and its prickly, uncomfortable contours, Americans will become more likely to grow as one.”

Actually, the exact opposite is what results.

President Barack Obama emphasized unity in his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, at a time when he was a brash, junior senator representing Illinois.

“There is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America,” he said. “There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America — there's the United States of America.”

Although he occasionally played on that same theme during his 2008 presidential campaign, he did an abrupt 180 when he entered office.

Although Hillary Clinton ran on a number of issues during her 2016 presidential bid, her recurring theme was also based on identity politics, and was best summed up in a campaign bumper sticker: “It’s Time for a Woman President.”

Conservative black economist Dr. Thomas Sowell offered his own critique of her campaign: “Those people who want Hillary Clinton elected president, so that we could have our first woman president, seem to have learned absolutely nothing from the current disaster of choosing a president on the basis of demographics and symbolism.”

The reason for Abrams’ love affair with identity politics can be likened to the Clinton bumper sticker: Just as the former secretary of state wanted to be the first woman American president, Abrams wanted to be the first black female American governor.

When Republican Brian Kemp narrowly defeated Abrams despite numerous star-studded celebrity endorsements and appearances on her behalf, she blamed it on voter suppression and never conceded, saying, "concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true, or proper."

Ten days after the election, Abrams simply said she was ending her campaign.

Maybe, like Clinton’s campaign, the voters just didn’t like the messaging.

It could be that the people of this southern state didn’t care for:

But above all, Abrams, a product of Atlanta, should have taken heed the wisdom of a better-known Atlanta figure, one of a prior generation.

Civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., co-pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, emphasized the exact opposite of identity politics. In his fight for racial equality, he believed that what was inside a person was of greater importance than the exterior.

And that’s what most Americans want: To be appreciated for their talent, their work ethic, and the value they contribute to society — not for their race, gender, or sexual orientation.

As King put it in his memorable “I Have a Dream” address delivered Aug. 28, 1963: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

The fact that Democrats of the Obama, Clinton, and Abrams mold have forgotten this makes Abrams the perfect messenger for her party Tuesday.

Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He’s also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports - Click Here.

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The week before Stacey Abrams’ scheduled delivery of the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday, she drafted an essay that, according to Vox, “reveals why she’s a rising star.”
georgia, identity politics, stacey abrams, trump
Monday, 04 February 2019 12:39 PM
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