Why is it that the Democratic Party always makes its life more difficult? In the 2004 presidential race, just as John Kerry was finally regaining some momentum after the vicious smears concerning his Vietnam service, the gay community launched a gay marriage initiative. This sparked a huge turnout in red states that opposed gay marriage on religious grounds and contributed to Bush’s win. Now, just as the Republicans’ tax bill is handing the issue of income inequality to the Democrats on a silver platter, the airwaves are full of nothing but #MeToo accusations. We have ended up taking out one of our best senators and perhaps an untold number of Democratic congressmen so that our holier-than-thou party can harp on Donald Trump’s sexual transgressions in 2018. What we should be talking about is how this tax bill will solidify class in America and make it impossible for those not born with money to improve their lives. We should be offering an alternative tax scheme that truly alleviates the burden on the poor and middle class without driving up the deficit to untold heights. We should be holding seminars on TV on how trickle-down economics does not work, citing actual historical experiences with real people who were affected, not just statistics, which no one trusts anymore. I am a supporter of gay marriage and as a woman who has worked for corporations all my life, a victim of sexual harassment and pay discrimination. However, we should focus on the issues that are at the heart of the American people’s discontent—wage stagnation, jobs and automation, and the growing power of the corporate elite. Where are our plans to handle these problems?
This is not to say that sexual harassment should be ignored, but it should be handled in a dignified and codified fashion with opportunities for both sides to present their case and with proportional punishments. What we have now is an “identity politics” circus. I predict that we will see a huge backlash and the Democratic party will continue to lose support among white males—even young white males. I hope that we can learn from the experiences of 2004.