HAWORTH: Can We Ever Criticize Women In Politics?

Senator Kamala Harris, Democratic vice presidential nominee, speaks during the Democratic National Convention at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. Harris's prime-time speech is the first glimpse of how Joe Biden's campaign plans to deploy a history-making vice presidential nominee for a campaign that has largely been grounded by the coronavirus. Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg
Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Driven by their growing obsession with identity politics, the Left never fails to take race and gender into account when deciding someone’s political and ideological value. Assuming the flawed notion of intersectionality  the Left’s theory on overlapping categories of victimhood — a person’s sex and skin color are routinely lauded as a proxy for one’s virtue, or applied as a shield against attack.

This defensive strategy is becoming increasingly common. In 2016, Hillary Clinton’s defeat was not met with objective analysis or self-reflection, but the assumption that she lost because she was a woman. The media decried the “wave of misogyny” which was supposedly triggered by her candidacy. Satisfied with this conclusion, they frequently ignored or downplayed the many glaring reasons for her failure. After all, why question yourself when you can just claim that anyone who disagrees with you is sexist?

With Kamala Harris suffering a resounding political rejection by her own party that somehow culminated in the announcement that she would be Joe Biden’s running mate, the Left are pre-empting the potential re-election of Donald Trump by laying the same groundwork of faux victimhood. Meanwhile, criticisms of Harris are being pro-actively rejected by claims that they are motivated solely by sexism and racism the Left’s favorite duo.

It would be naive to argue that some opposition to Harris will not be at least partially rooted in sexism or racism. Both forms of bigotry are an unfortunate reality of human nature, and apply to more than just “women of color.” There are those who oppose Jewish candidates because they’re Jewish, old candidates because they’re old, or rich candidates because they’re rich. But to try to suggest that all arguments against Harris are driven by a hatred of “women of color” is an obvious act of intellectual dishonesty. If we accept this bizarre premise, isn’t the Democratic Party sexist and racist when they enthusiastically rejected Harris during the primaries? Was Tulsi Gabbard also a woman of color sexist and racist when she calmly listed “problematic” moments in Harris’s political history?

In reality, the Left only references identity groups when there is the potential for political leverage. The premise necessary for this strategy of selectively claimed victimhood is the belief that Democrats are uniquely equipped with the ability to determine what is and is not bigoted. Often, they even know what’s best for you, even if you are a member of the “minority” they are “protecting.” Such logic allows them to continue to act with their trademark brand of arrogant paternalism, accuse their opponents of bigotry without evidence when it’s politically advantageous, and shamelessly ask loaded questions like “why do white women keep voting for the GOP and against their own interests?”

At the heart of this issue is the inherently bigoted claim that people can be labeled as “good” or “bad” based on their genitalia or the color of their skin. While Biden may believe that there is no diversity amongst African Americans, for example, those of us who exist in reality understand that you cannot judge anyone in such binary ways and that to do so based on immutable characteristics which are entirely unrelated to one’s character is the very definition of bigotry.

What we are witnessing from the Left is the intentional application of bigotry in order to achieve political objectives under the guise of achieving “equality.”

But what is equality? Surely equality does not mean treating some people more favorably than others based on their race or gender, or that certain races or genders are not subject to legitimate criticism? If we assume the Left’s premise, why is criticism of Nikki Haley, Candace Owens, or Sarah Palin permitted, even celebrated?

The answer is obvious. Haley, Owens, and Palin are individuals. Their gender or race is completely irrelevant when it comes to the subjective validity of their viewpoints. The same is true of Kamala Harris. To enforce unequal treatment whether critical or not of any person in the political arena based on their race or gender is to endorse the ultimate antithesis of equality.

If we want equality, then we have to be able to criticize everyone, including women — even Democratic women.

More from Ian Haworth: The Hidden Difference Between Absentee And Universal Mail-In Voting

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