In 2008, some on the left were indulging themselves in the grandiose fantasy that someday Barack Obama’s likeness would appear on Mt. Rushmore alongside those of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt. Although that fantasy never materialized, today’s collective liberal mindset is more about subtraction than addition:
In light of Black Lives Matter, the Democratic Party rethinks dinners honoring Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. http://t.co/6uf6756fku
— NYT Politics (@nytpolitics) August 11, 2015
The New York Times story the link takes you to is by Jonathan Martin and notes that rituals honoring these great presidents, once a staple of the Democratic brand, are now “colliding with a modern Democratic Party more energized by a desire for racial and gender inclusion than reverence for history. And state by state, Democratic activists are … saying the two men no longer represent what it means to be a Democrat.”
So who does represent what it means to be a Democrat? Martin doesn’t name names, but he does note:
[T]he country’s changing demographics, the diverse nature of President Obama’s coalition and the animating energy of the Black Lives Matter movement have also thrust fundamental questions about race, gender and economic equality to the center of the Democratic presidential race.
Martin specifically mentions Bernie Sanders’s recent capitulation, which includes not only a pledge by the Vermont socialist to “end institutional racism” but tapping 25-year-old racial justice advocate Symone Sanders (no relation) to serve as his national press secretary.
Sanders is not the only Democratic presidential hopeful to pledge allegiance to Black Lives Matter. Hillary Clinton, still the Democratic frontrunner, initiated a BLM outreach in late July, and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley issued a formal apology after foolishly asserting that “all lives matter.”
So what is to become of Jefferson and Jackson, one a founding father and author of the Declaration of Independence, the other the consummate populist? If I were a betting man, I would wager that rumors of their memories’ demise are at best premature. Black Lives Matter has already been compared — aptly, I would submit — to the Occupy Movement and, lacking any core beliefs and principles, is likely destined for the same fate. The willingness of Democratic candidates to accept being shouted down by protesters, moreover, is likely to be viewed by centrists in the electorate as a sign of weakness. It could ultimately galvanize support for a Republican president in 2016.
- New normal for libs: O’Malley apologizes for saying ‘all lives matter’ at Netroots Nation
- Socialist Sanders lets #BlackLivesMatter KICK OFF Monday LA event?!
- 19-year-old coed joins Ferguson protests, but not in the way you might expect
- Ferguson police chief’s call for ‘patience’ interrupted by gun shots on live TV