Understand that if the Democratic party actually takes the advice of Columbia professor Mark Lilla here, they are done and the party of Trump will rule for a generation.
One of the many lessons of the recent presidential election campaign and its repugnant outcome is that the age of identity liberalism must be brought to an end. Hillary Clinton was at her best and most uplifting when she spoke about American interests in world affairs and how they relate to our understanding of democracy. But when it came to life at home, she tended on the campaign trail to lose that large vision and slip into the rhetoric of diversity, calling out explicitly to African-American, Latino, L.G.B.T. and women voters at every stop. This was a strategic mistake. If you are going to mention groups in America, you had better mention all of them. If you don’t, those left out will notice and feel excluded. Which, as the data show, was exactly what happened with the white working class and those with strong religious convictions. Fully two-thirds of white voters without college degrees voted for Donald Trump, as did over 80 percent of white evangelicals.
The moral energy surrounding identity has, of course, had many good effects. Affirmative action has reshaped and improved corporate life. Black Lives Matter has delivered a wake-up call to every American with a conscience. Hollywood’s efforts to normalize homosexuality in our popular culture helped to normalize it in American families and public life.
But the fixation on diversity in our schools and in the press has produced a generation of liberals and progressives narcissistically unaware of conditions outside their self-defined groups, and indifferent to the task of reaching out to Americans in every walk of life. At a very young age our children are being encouraged to talk about their individual identities, even before they have them. By the time they reach college many assume that diversity discourse exhausts political discourse, and have shockingly little to say about such perennial questions as class, war, the economy and the common good. In large part this is because of high school history curriculums, which anachronistically project the identity politics of today back onto the past, creating a distorted picture of the major forces and individuals that shaped our country. (The achievements of women’s rights movements, for instance, were real and important, but you cannot understand them if you do not first understand the founding fathers’ achievement in establishing a system of government based on the guarantee of rights.)
The very "identity groups" that Lilla is denigrating here are the voters that turned out for Hillary Clinton by the largest margin. Abandon them at your own peril, Democrats. And while Democrats are busy eating their own and people like Lilla are complaining about the state of education in America, Republicans are busy doing things like this.
Despite concern from LGBTQ activists, a Texas state senator's office says a bill addressing parents' right to full disclosure of school information would not force schools to "out" students who identify as sexual minorities, her chief of staff said.
Sen. Konni Burton, R-Fort Worth, filed Senate Bill 242 on Thursday for the 2017 Texas Legislative session that begins Jan. 10 in Austin.
The two-page bill states that a parent is entitled to all of a school district's written records about their child's "general physical, psychological or emotional well-being (except information related to child abuse). An attempt by a school employee to conceal or encourage a child to withhold information is grounds for discipline, the bill states.
Equality Texas, a nonprofit organization that works to secure equal rights for sexual minorities through legislation and education, on Friday issued a statement opposing Burton's bill.
"Until kids are not kicked out of their house for being gay or transgender, and until kids are not being beaten by parents for being gay or transgender, we owe it to kids to protect them," said the statement from Steven M. Rudman, Equality Texas board chairman. "We believe Sen. Burton's legislation would essentially destroy protected communications between a student and an educator...."
Some also worry that the bill would also put lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ) Texas youth at risk of being placed in so-called "reparative therapy," which is based upon the premise that homosexuality is a mental health problem, according to the progressive website TheNewCivilRightsMovement.com.
"That is an unfortunate interpretation," said Elliott Griffin, the senator's chief of staff, on Friday.
Nothing in the bill should be construed to mean that a child could be forced into reparative therapy, he said. "I have no idea why they would draw that conclusion."
And let's remember the next vice-president is a big fan of "reparative therapy" and thinks all LGBTQ folks need to be "fixed". Making common cause with the Trump administration and the people who voted them into power will come at the expense of the most vulnerable in our society. And I refuse to do it.