The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The Weird Logic of Wajahat Ali

Posted on | November 5, 2021 | Comments Off on The Weird Logic of Wajahat Ali

How many of y’all remember the “white feminism” discourse among progressives following Hillary Clinton’s 2016 defeat? Because I’d spent the previous two years researching radical feminism, this phenomenon caught my attention at the time. What drove this discourse was the exit polls showing that Donald Trump had won a majority of white women voters. In the minds of certain progressives, especially Women of Color (WOC), the problem was something they labeled “White Feminism,” which was critiqued for its allegedly insufficient “intersectionality.” This led to conflict in the “Women’s March” movement.

In a sense, the “White Feminism” discourse was an expression of unrealistic expectations left over from Obama’s “Hope and Change” promises. When you encourage your supporters to believe that your election will bring about a Heaven-on-Earth utopia — “fundamentally transforming the United States of America” — their inevitable disappointment will have many consequences, including a hunt for scapegoats to blame. You could see this coming, almost immediately after Obama was reelected in 2012, as Team Clinton began laying the groundwork for her 2016 campaign. The idea that Our First Black President should be followed by Our First Woman President — because “the arc of the moral universe . . . bends toward justice” — was so taken for granted by Team Clinton that almost nobody seemed to question Hillary’s qualifications as a world-historic figure.

Inside the liberal echo chamber, there was a willful blindness to Hillary Clinton’s notorious “likeability” deficit. Like, why do you think she didn’t get the Democratic nomination in 2008? Wasn’t there a huge clue in the fact that Democratic primary voters preferred an obscure Illinois legislator to the former First Lady of the United States? And when she ran again in 2016, she nearly lost the nomination to a kooky old socialist from Vermont — and would have lost, were it not for the fact that the fix was in at DNC headquarters. You don’t need any conspiracy theories to explain why Donald Trump beat Hillary: People don’t like Hillary.

It’s actually that simple, and yet while Team Hillary was spinning up the “Russian collusion” theory for her 2016 defeat, a significant segment of the Democratic Party’s progressive base was offering their own kooky explanation, blaming “White Feminism” because exit polls showed 53% of white women voted for Trump. And now comes Wajahat Ali to blame the “white rage” of suburban women for Terry McAuliffe’s defeat:

As a student of American history and a person of color, I never underestimate the white, hot rage, anxiety, and resentment of a Karen scorned. You might think you’ve won them over with Beyonce, Oprah, chai latte, and henna, but the cult of Karen will always turn on people of color on a dime to uphold oppressive systems that ensure they remain influential and powerful handmaidens of white supremacy. . . .
In some bright news, 62 percent of college-educated white women went for Democrat Terry McAuliffe, up from 58 percent who went for Biden last year. But overall a majority of white women, around 57 percent, went for Youngkin—a remarkable 15-point swing from 2020 when 50 percent went for Biden and 49 percent for Trump.
I’m not surprised. . . .
The sad truth is that a majority of white women have voted for Republican candidates since 1952, every single time except for Lyndon B. Johnson and for Clinton’s second term.
It makes sense. They vote for their interests, which is preserving whiteness at all costs. . . .

Could someone ask Wajahat Ali what “preserving whiteness” means in this context? Because I am not at all certain how voting against Terry McAuliffe — who is, by the way, a white man — expresses this. Does Ali mean to say that Terry McAuliffe’s agenda is anti-white? If so, why didn’t Terry McAuliffe make this clear during his campaign? But enough with the sarcastic rhetorical questions. What is obviously going on here is that identity politics is the only tool in Wajahat Ali’s analytical toolbox, so that to him, every problem looks like “white supremacy.” His paranoid projection — attributing malevolent motives to his chosen enemies — is analogous to the way radical feminists see the oppressive of forces of heteropatriarchy lurking everywhere. Every segment of the Democratic Party’s coalition has some version of this paranoid scapegoat mentality, including the belief that the evil rich — the “top 1%” or shadowy forces of “corporate America” — are cheating them out of the money that they deserve, and which they intend to get by taxing the rich into bankruptcy.

When your entire political philosophy is rooted in irrational resentments — that is to say, when you are a Democrat — your reaction to electoral defeat will necessarily take the form of a search for scapegoats who can be blamed for this failure. You, of course, bear no responsibility; the whole point of the Democratic Party’s agenda is to absolve its supporters of individual responsibility. Joe Biden kind of shrugged off Terry McAuliffe’s defeat, as if the multiple disasters of the Biden presidency could not possibly have affected the Virginia election. And likewise Wajahat Ali won’t pause to contemplate whether the identity-politics rhetoric in which he specializes might have played some role in this. To be a Democrat is to be forever blameless, and so Wajahat Ali is certain he knows what Democrats are doing wrong:

Democrats might not win the majority of white women, but they haven’t for a while. That ship has sailed. It’s time to court and win over women of color and a diverse coalition that can save this country from itself and its self-destructive addiction to white supremacy. At the very least, now Youngkin can stop playing footsie with Trump and his MAGA acolytes and give them a full-throated bear hug while wearing his winter fleece. However, he should reserve the parade for white women who came out for whiteness like a Bath and Body Works candle sale.

Got that message, Democrats? White women are the enemy!

That’s your 2022 midterm campaign platform. Good luck.



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