On Monday something very different happened when former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and former neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson announced as candidates for the presidency of the United States. Here were two very accomplished individuals — and for those who want to attack, Ms. Fiorina ask yourself, what had Barack Obama ever endeavored to lead in the private sector?
What made these announcements so profound was that they happened in a GOP primary race. I know, you can hear the liberal progressive lefties laughing but that may be the case. However, these two Americans have accomplished resumes and it is not just about being in “politics.”
But there is something greater happening here. Politics at the national level have become more about image and identity. The focus has become more about “firsts,” well-marketed personas and the cult of personality rather than quality, character, and accomplishment. Someone sits back in a secret room and runs marketing models and language tests in order to create the perfectly acceptable culture of candidacy. Think back to when this all started, and it was the televised debate between Kennedy and Nixon. Now of course I wasn’t around, but in researching this event you get two completely different results.
If you watched the debate, there was a clear advantage to a young dashingly-appealing Kennedy. The televised image of Kennedy was just that overpowering. However, if you just sat and listened to the debate, focusing on the words — Nixon won the debate. And so it is where we have devolved to today — the politics of identity politics.
The liberal progressive Left realized if a progressive socialist agenda was to ever take root in America and occupy the White House, there had to be a gimmick — so you raise and prepare the first black president. Some claimed Barack Obama’s 2004 DNC keynote speech as one of the greatest in American history, because the image was the focus and was overpowering.To sit and listen to the words, well, I could hear the same iambic pentameter rhyme speech on any given Sunday in any given black church. But the identity politics of the day was something new to America. That’s why the Left realized Hillary wasn’t the one in 2008 — it was the time for the identity politics of the first black president. And here we have Hillary Clinton believing it is her time — meaning it’s time for the first female president. Unfortunately, she is not the chosen one to carry forth the progressive socialist agenda, hence why the liberal left is exposing her for greater scrutiny. Sadly, as Bill Clinton said, the Clintons first had the race card played on them, and now they’re having the female card played. The left wants a woman but they don’t trust Hillary Clinton — that we can all agree with. They want another identity politics moment consistent with their leftist agenda — that means Elizabeth Warren. And after that, well, expect for the first Hispanic presidential candidate and he’s already being groomed — Julian Castro — former mayor of San Antonio, now HUD Secretary.
I feel sorry for plain ol’ white guys in the Democrat Party — y’all ain’t got a hope in Hades. Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, and Jim Webb should just go fishing — they don’t advance the politics of identity politics.
So back to the original premise of this missive — this is why Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson are vital. Their voices must be heard and they must be on the stage. It is not about affirmative action — that is a liberal progressive equality of outcomes policy. They have earned a spot there, and they are not the same ol’ faces the GOP always throws out there.
I hate to admit it, but national-level elections more resemble American Idol than anything else. They are centered in image and if someone is unsuccessful in conveying a likable persona, then her or she will never get their message heard. And let’s admit it as well, the GOP needs variety — heck, even Star Trek had all kinds of different folks on it (not saying we need Klingons or Romulans to run for office, but Vulcans couldn’t win — no light humorous side).
If you look at the GOP presidential primary race right now you have two Hispanic Senators, a private sector female CEO, and a world-renowned black pediatric neurosurgeon.
Now that is driving the Left nuts. What you’ll soon find out is who is the most racist, sexist, and xenophobic party. You’ll see how the liberal progressive left will claim that Rubio, Cruz, Fiorina, and Carson are not “REALLY” what they are — not really Hispanic, not really female, not really black.
And that’s because these are individuals who have accomplished exceptional things due to the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. Their identity is not what defines, them nor is it their calling card. We will see what character assassination means because these four individuals are the greatest threat to the progressive socialist left — because some folks, based on image, may just pay more attention to them.
Carly Fiorina will soon find out what the real “War on Women” is — that continuing assault against conservative women.
The GOP would be rather smart to not just dismiss the idea of the politics of identity politics. In battle, the victory goes to the commander who can adapt and adjust strategies and tactics. If folks like Karl Rove break out the magic little white board in order to dispel the four people who have finally broken the phalanx of the Republican party, they will suffer.
However, if these four individuals have a platform, there is a possibility that more people will give another look — and then you can give them the superior message of the opportunity society rather than the failure of the welfare nanny-state dependency society.
Nope, this ain’t pandering. That’s what the Left does by running empty suit rhetoric — folks who desperately need a teleprompter or run and hide from scrutiny.