Today's NY Times has one of those panicked editorials written by a Democrat who is convinced that the only way the left can win elections is if we realize the error of our views and get in lock-step with the "majority" of Americans, who, it turns out, hate gays, affirmative action, abortion, and Hollywood. If we come around to that way of thinking, the reasoning goes, we'll start winning elections again.
To say I was offended by the editorial is an understatement. I fired off a letter to the editors, but in keeping with their sound-bite policy for letters, focused solely on the Wilson presidency, which Starr holds up as one of the exemplars of "Democratic liberalism." Wilson, the man who brought you World War I, the rounding up of those who opposed conscription, and the exile of naturalized American citizens who differed with US government policy. But what's a little denial of Constitutional rights among friends?
The editorial smacks of a breathtaking cowardice. In order to preserve the Democratic party, Starr essentially advocates tossing women, racial minorities, and gays overboard, in order to concentrate on the larger issues. Once you've abandoned human rights, I'm not sure what else is left, since I'm one of those stupid leftists who believes that human rights comes first; it's the foundation of everything else. If your economic security is built upon the denial of basic human rights to the other members of your culture, well fuck you. Eventually, you'll lose your human rights, too. Your gilded cage will just look nicer.