Obviously the Ethics Alarms “This will help elect Donald Trump” category is outdated now. The ongoing inquiry of why he was elected is not. When I launched the old category late in the campaign, I never thought any of the stories so categorized, alone or in concert, actually would elect Trump; I just was trying to flag how the unsavory Clinton campaign and the divisive and inept Obama administration were giving the chaotic Republicans more of a chance than they deserved. Still, the cumulative effect of the entries in the category persuaded me that my earlier resolve to swallow a lot of Dramamine and vote for Hillary Clinton was professionally untenable, though not as untenable as voting for our new President.
It became clear to me that Republican voters last November were voting against something, just as Democratic voters in 2008 had voted for something, and in both instances, the man their votes brought to power was a beneficiary of a significant emotional release in American society, sparked by events and the conduct of elected officials. Ethics Alarms could not have been more definite in its verdict, stated often, that voting for Donald Trump was an irresponsible and unethical act. As a believer in democracy, American character and ideals, I have to somehow reconcile that conclusion with the shocking results. The Democratic Party’s conclusion that racism, sexism and stupidity explains it all is not valid, and is in fact a big part of why Trump was elected. Also among the major factors, we have learned, are the deeply entrenched undemocratic attitudes that have led so many on the Left to behave disgracefully since the election, and the attitudes in the news media that have led journalists to increasingly abandon whatever shreds of professionalism they had remaining.
Learning and understanding what so many Americans voted against is an unfinished and ongoing inquiry. The new category, launched today, should assist the learning process.
The first episode to earn the new marker is yesterday’s forum for candidates to lead the Democratic National Committee, featuring a group including Boynton Brown, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), former secretary of labor Tom Perez, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley, South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison, Democratic strategist Jehmu Greene and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg. It lasted about an hour and 45 minutes, and covered many topics.
This was a perfect event for a reporter to choose which aspect of the discussion to feature, conveying to the public a distortion of reality like that experienced by the proverbial six blind men and the elephant. Politico, a prominent Democratic Party-supporting political news source, scrubbed its report of any substance that might harm the cause: it told us merely that the candidates “agreed to agree.”
The Washington Post, reporting on the session held in its backyard at George Washington University and presumably reliable, described a session that focused on “diversity and racial justice,” and concluded with Rep. Keith Ellison’s call for action that will show that “the Democratic Party is on the side of inclusion and empowerment.” Another source, Grabien News (this site rates it one of the least biased news sources; I would call it a conservative-biased news site), reveals a bit more:
Early into the event the candidates gravitated toward a particular scapegoat for the party’s poor showing in November: Political consultancies owned by white people.
“We have to stop, particularly with the consultants,” said the chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, Jaime Harrison. “You cannot come to the DNC and get a contract and the only minority face you have is the person answering the phone.” Minority consultants “need to get the same resources that the white consultants have gotten,” said a Fox News analyst and candidate for the chairmanship, Jehmu Greene. “The DNC did a piss poor, pathetic job” attracting minorities, she said.
Democrats must provide “training” that focuses in part on teaching Americans “how to be sensitive and how to shut their mouths if they are white,” urged the executive director of Idaho’s Democratic Party, Sally Boynton Brown, who is white.
The event’s moderator, MSNBC’s Joy Ann Reid, asked the candidates how the party should handle the Black Lives Now movement. The candidates uniformly emphasized that the party must embrace the activists unreservedly.
“It makes me sad that we’re even having that conversation and that tells me that white leaders in our party have failed,” Brown said. “I’m a white woman, I don’t get it. … My job is to listen and be a voice and shut other white people down when they want to interrupt.”
…Another candidate said black Americans are now living with “justified fear” of being killed after Donald Trump was elected president…
. “It’s not just certain parts of the country,” [ Raymond Buckley, the chairman for the New Hampshire Democratic Party] said. “That fear is all across the country. It’s even in rural new Hampshire. So when people say black lives matter, you are damn right they matter.”
Asked whether they would agree to work with President Trump, the candidates agreed they would never do so, which drew some applause from the otherwise quiet crowd at George Washington University.
This angle isn’t fair to the forum either, with its headline, “DNC Chair Candidates Bash White People in Racially-Charged Forum.” Although the event was hosted by MSNBC’s Joy Reid, a serial race-baiter, the undertone of white-bashing only surfaced intermittently, and far from dominated.
Nonetheless, I view the comments emphasized by the Grabien story as res ipsa loquitur. That they occurred at all, and didn’t provoke a negative reaction when they were uttered, reveals a political party poisoned, perhaps fatally, by extremism, racial hate, and bias. (In contrast, I watched enough of the 2013 Republican forums that ended up electing Reince Priebus as RNC chair to conclude that the GOP was fatally stupid). Such racially divisive comments shouldn’t even occur to potential leadership in a national party. If they are made, the reaction ought to be condemnation, not silent assent or applause.
I hate playing this game, but such quotes demand it: what would happen to a party official who said that members had to learn“how to be sensitive and how to shut their mouths if they are black,” or that white consultants rather than minority consultants needed to be hired, or that whites were in “justified fear” of their lives because a black President was in office? Yes, yes, I know: it is naive to pretend that the circumstances of the races are interchangeable. It doesn’t matter. Such statements reek of bias and racism, no matter what the races are, what the context is, or who the speaker is.
All the potential leaders pledging unqualified support for Black Lives Matter is alienating as well.
Yup. “This Helps Explain Why Trump Is President.” So does the fact that the mainstream news media can’t be trusted to report these entrenched attitudes in the Democratic Party leadership, and instead act as de facto partisan PR operations, framing such a forum in the most benign manner possible.
You can watch the whole forum, and see the whole elephant, here.