In what may be music to the ears of former White House Chief Strategist Bannon, former Hillary Clinton adviser Zerlina Maxwell urged Democrats to double down on “identity politics” during an MTP Daily discussion on Monday.
Maxwell said on MSNBC that “identity politics need to be at the center of what the Democrats need to do going forward” even though Bannon told the American Prospect‘s Robert Kuttner that Republicans would “crush” Democrats if they become the salad-bowl party.
“The Democrats,” Bannon told Kuttner, “the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”
New York Times reporter Nick Confessore pointed out that it is impossible for Democrats to be a majority party “absent a coalition of a substantial number of working-class white voters.” He pointed out that every Democrat who was won the presidency, including former President Barack Obama, has won over working-class white voters in places like Macomb County, Michigan. Confessore said that if Democrats don’t appeal to these voters, they will continue to be a “minority party for years to come.”
Mark Lilla, the author of The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics, recently told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, that Bannon understands the country’s politics.
“If Steve Bannon says it works for him, I’m inclined to agree with him. He is someone who knows his business,” Lilla said.
Lilla added that “in some of the more radical identity groups, they say you must understand my problems and you can’t understand me because you’re not me, because you don’t belong to my group.”
“And that’s a terrific turn off to people and it’s a missed opportunity to build a bridge and to see that there are certain principles and certain experiences that we share in this country,” he continued. “It’s an opportunity to gain allies. And identity liberals just keep shooting themselves in the foot.”
Zakaria, as Breitbart News reported, pointed out that “Lilla notes a recurring image of identity liberalism is that of a prism refracting a single beam of light into its constituent colors, producing a rainbow. This says it all.”
He even “criticized ‘the more recent liberal project’ (salad bowl as opposed to melting pot)” for being “centered on identity, affirming not unity, but difference, nurturing and celebrating not national identities, but subnational ones — women, Hispanics, Native Americans, African-Americans, Asian Americans.”
As Breitbart News has explained, in the 2016 election, Trump galvanized “voters who wanted to send a loud and clear message about the importance of melting-pot Americanism (instead of salad-bowl separatism)”:
By going to the polls for Trump, many of his supporters, as Breitbart News noted, “were loudly–or silently–voting for E Pluribus Unum (‘Out of many, one’) instead of Al Gore’s Ex Uno Plures (‘Out of one, many’).”
On Sunday’s 60 Minutes, Bannon again reiterated that economic nationalism will unite Americans–U.S.-born and legal immigrants–of all backgrounds.
“Economic nationalism is what this country was built on. The American system—we look after our own. We look after our citizen, we look after our manufacturing base,” Bannon told CBS anchor Charlie Rose. “And guess what? This country’s going to be greater, more united, more powerful than it’s ever been. This is not astrophysics. And by the way, that’s every nationality, every race, every religion, every sexual preference.”