In a year-old video that has resurfaced following the 2020 election, failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams declared that “identity politics” are the future of the Democratic Party. The racial, gender, and sexuality politics of the hard Left, according to Abrams in 2019, are “exactly” who the Democrat Party is and how they “won” in the midterms.
“The notion of identity politics has been peddled for the past 10 years and it’s been used as a dog whistle to say we shouldn’t pay too much attention to the voices coming into progress,” Abrams said at the Center for American Progress’ Ideas Conference in may 2019, adding, “I would argue that identity politics is exactly who we are and it’s exactly how we won.”
Abrams argued identity politics have “brought new folks to the process” for the Democrats.
A “failure to focus on racial differences would give minority voters the impression ‘they have no reason to engage and no reason to show up,'” she asserted, according to The Hill.
“When I hear Democratic candidates, progressive candidates, American candidates decrying the identity of their voters, I’m deeply worried for our democracy,” the Peach State Democrat added.
Abrams’ past remarks take on new meaning in context of newly exposed inner turmoil among elected Democrats following the 2020 election. During a leaked conference call following the 2020 election, freshman Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) reportedly unloaded on the hard Left of the Democrat Party for echoing chants to “defund the police” and openly supporting socialism. The cries to “defund the police,” in particular, are tied to identity politics via the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Daily Wire reported on the leaked call:
“No one should say ‘defund the police’ ever again,” said Spanberger, reports Politico. “Nobody should be talking about socialism.”
Other Democrats on the phone call also spoke out about the effects of the “defund the police” rhetoric on their congressional races, according to CNN.
“Spanberger, who represents a historically red district in Virginia, reportedly warned others on the phone call about the effects open radicalism would have in the 2022 congressional midterm elections,” The Daily Wire noted. “She said that Democrats would ‘get f****** torn apart’ should the party continue in that direction and called the 2020 House election results a ‘failure’ for them.”
The hard Left has not taken well to the calls for moderation and the abandonment of identity politics. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), for example, claimed the sentiment amounts to “silencing” her and her voters, The Daily Wire noted:
Tlaib pushed back against the calls to moderate in an interview with Politico on Tuesday. Moderates in the party have blamed poor results in a number of close races, with several incumbent Democrats losing to their GOP challengers, on the extreme stances of many prominent Democrats such as Tlaib and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Tlaib said that the moderate Democrats’ complaints are an attempt to shift blame and avoid responsibility. Tlaib also accused the moderate members of the party of attempting to sideline the party’s progressive wing as former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden is likely to win the presidency, according to Politico.
“We’re not going to be successful if we’re silencing districts like mine,” Tlaib said. “Me not being able to speak on behalf of many of my neighbors right now, many of which are black neighbors, means me being silenced. I can’t be silent.”
“We are not interested in unity that asks people to sacrifice their freedom and their rights any longer,” the Democrat continued. “And if we truly want to unify our country, we have to really respect every single voice. We say that so willingly when we talk about Trump supporters, but we don’t say that willingly for my black and brown neighbors and from LGBTQ neighbors or marginalized people.”
— The Hill (@thehill) May 22, 2019
Correction: This article has been revised to reflect that Abrams’ comments were made in 2019.