The Democratic Party and the Left wing segment of the political realm has always been the prominent viewpoint of media coverage. Much of the mainstream news outlets falsely predicted that Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton will win the 2016 election. Many polls were released to the public expressed Clinton’s lead over Republican candidate, Donald Trump. Everyone thought she will win until Trump defeated her in the election. Since then, the downward spiral of the Democratic party has been imminent and apparent to the public while my political consciousness has slightly shifted to the center.
I am a Liberal, college student. I am for government regulation of Wall Street and small businesses, expansion of Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and other programs for the needy and sick, women’s rights and gay marriage. Technically, I am the primary target of the Democratic Party, but I was never really a registered Democrat. I was too young to vote in the 2008 and 2012 elections, where former President Obama won both elections. I turned eighteen in 2013 and registered as an Independent to express my freedom from the two party system. But there was a time where I believed in the party and it’s ideals. I believed that the Democratic Party stood up for my ideals regarding social justice for people of all races and ensuring that the economy remain stable. My mother was a Democrat; my whole family was. I believed the mainstream media’s lies that Hillary Clinton will win and continue President Obama’s legacy in bettering the country. But something happened. Something that shook my beliefs to the core.
Donald Trump’s surprising victory shook me and the rest of the world to the core. I just couldn’t believe that he had won the 2016 election. I couldn’t get up out of bed on the ninth of November and had to force myself to get out of bed to go to school. I was upset for weeks. Why did America elect such an incompetent buffoon to the highest position in the land? I said to myself. It was all so surreal. Little did I know that, I had begun my journey of shifting political consciousness closer to the center.
Up until February 2017, I began searching and wondering why Donald Trump won the election and why the Democrats lost seats in both the House and Senate. At the time, it just didn’t occur to me why all of this was happening. I still clung to intersectional feminism and all things Black empowerment. Somehow, I believed that America had rejected equality to turn back the time where Black people sat at the back of the bus. It never occurred to me that many American were actually rejecting the ideals and ways of the Democratic Party. But an argument over Youtube on the comment section of a Breukelen Bleu video I watched changed everything. I expressed my political views in the comment section and a bunch of trolls were attacking me for my political views. Mind you, Breukelen Bleu is a Youtube and social media personality that specifically caters to the issues affecting Black women in America. I expected that my opinions would be safely protected and positively received as always. Instead, all I received was bickering and going back in forth to the point that it interfered with my studying for a Math test. I decided to delete the comment and unsubscribe from her channel. I decided to focus on doing well in College Algebra and balancing my job and school simultaneously.
It was right at the moment that I realized this lesson: identity politics doesn’t work. All this time I have been trained to believe that identity politics was the way to go, but all it does is exacerbate the problems of inequality in society. It also promotes up the charade of oppression olympics while failing to actually finding a solution to the problem. I realized that there is more to life than constantly focusing on inequalities regarding race, gender and social class. As I lifted the weight of such burdens off of my chest, I feel like I can freely assess my life and goals without the pressures of assessing everything to my background or identity.
Political correctness and a lack of cohesion of thought and unity are other reasons why I find myself growing more dissatisfied with the left. Their use of political correctness has actually alienated many Americans particularly Conservatives. I will admit that I am quite savvy in my usage of political correctness to get my point across. But I realize that political correctness only stifles creative thinking and influences those to keep their real beliefs under wraps. It is more preferable that one openly expresses their beliefs and views than hiding their views to avoid stepping on eggshells. The lack of cohesion of thought and unity among the left turns me off as well. Not many of them could find ways to resist the evils that the Trump administration will affect the working class and average American. Nor could they try to find ways to improve their party’s message or find a message that speaks to the concerns of Americans.
Ultimately, I believe the true reason why Democrats and the left are on the wane is due to the fact that their message doesn’t convene with the American people. Americans aren’t really concerned about whether or not a transgender woman should be able to use the bathroom. The average American is more concerned about the economy, healthcare, sending their children to good schools and being able to retire on a good pension. I don’t approve of Donald Trump or his administration, but if the left wants to win elections, why start connecting with what Americans truly want for themselves and the country?