|Source: Andrew Harnik/AP, as published in Left Voice|
Ezra Brain, a regular columnist for Left Voice, is a smart and interesting guy. His election night summary is excellent, and dated Nov. 3 is entitled Election Night 2021: The Right Strikes Back. Another well written post from Left Voice author Tatiana Cozzarelli is dubbed Teachers Unions Must Fight the Attacks on Critical Race Theory and on Trans Kids. We'll also take a look at Terry Evans' piece from Nov. 22nd Militant headlined What do the 2021 election results mean for the US working class?
The problem for the progressive left is that one can't win people's votes by constantly accusing them of being racists. Surely reporters like Mr. Brain have to make some effort to understand what people are really thinking rather than just assuming they're all hopelessly obsessed with race and can't think about anything else. The best way to understand what people actually believe is to listen to what they say and to take them seriously--and then not assume you know more about their motives than they do themselves.
For example, Mr. Brain writes
"Jack Ciattarelli, the Republican, also ran against critical race theory in schools. Ciattarelli essentially argued against the teaching of the terrible history of racism in the U.S."
I don't think CRT was the primary issue in New Jersey, and nobody is saying that racism and its history shouldn't be taught in schools. That's just a red herring. The real issue in New Jersey was exemplified by Governor Murphy's gaffe, when he said “If taxes are your issue, then New Jersey’s probably not your state.” A vote for Ciattarelli was a vote for lower taxes--not a vote for "racism."
Ms. Cozzarelli apparently imagines that on those rare occasions when us white folks aren't thinking about race, then we're thinking about sex. She writes.
Attacks on trans kids in schools take many forms, from the right to bathrooms to the right to play on sports teams. Eight anti-trans sports bans have passed in the past few months in Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Montana, West Virginia, and Texas. These laws ban trans kids from playing sports on teams that correspond to their gender. Texas’s law was publicly litigated, and trans kids came in to plead their case. 8 year old Sunny Bryant told the Texas State Legislature: “My first visit to the Capitol should have been on a school field trip, not defending my right to exist, but if I don’t show up, you won’t see the real stories. Kids like me whose futures will be crushed, opportunities taken away even before I’m given a chance to try.” Her powerful testimony didn’t stop the bill—it passed in Texas, and others like it passed in multiple states across the country.
I confess I find the problem trans people pose to be intractable. I do know a couple trans women quite well, and both have undergone a strenuous and debilitating medical procedure to make the transition. They are smart, honorable people who have overcome serious odds. I honestly wish them the very best, I hope others treat them courteously and respectfully, and I strongly oppose any infringement on their Constitutional rights. I have no problem with them using the women's washroom--and I can't see why anybody else should have an issue with that, either.
I do have a problem when a junior high or high school boy wakes up one morning, puts on a dress, changes his pronoun, and then claims he's a girl--asserting for himself the right to use the girl's toilet and play on girl's sports teams. Perhaps he's legit--i.e., he really does think he was born in the wrong body and will eventually undergo the medical procedure. Or maybe he's just pwning us, or just trying to get on a varsity sports team, or something less honorable than that. Either way, he devalues the travails of real transgender people, such as the two women of my acquaintance.
My basic disagreement with the Woke left is that I don't believe gender roles are fluid. For almost all of us sex and gender are fixed at birth. For a very few (<1%), something goes wrong (or at least different) and they really are transgender. But the notion that some kid can switch genders at will--which seems to be the dogma of most Trotskyists these days--is simply wacko. I can't take that seriously, and therefore I can't take the Woke notion of "trans rights" seriously.
Men and women, boys and girls, are different--even from birth. Their bodies and brains are constructed differently. Boys are bigger and stronger; girls have a thicker corpus callosum that connects the two halves of the brain. Boys excel in visuo-spatial skills, i.e. they can throw a ball further and aim it more accurately. Conversely, girls excel in verbal skills. Etc.
Letting boys play on girls' sports teams is just unfair, and therefore trans people are going to be left out. I'm sorry--as I said, the problem is intractable. But bathroom rules can be very simple: if you have a penis, you need to use the boys' bathroom. If you don't have a penis--either you weren't born with one or you've had surgery--then you may use the girls' bathroom.
I think a large majority of the world's population agrees with me, and the Woke effort to radically remake gender roles is doomed to failure.
If Mr. Brain and Ms. Cozzarelli articulately represent the Democratic Left, then the The Militant's Terry Evans is similarly adept at arguing for the Republican Right. It's odd that they both identify as "Trotskyists," at least in some loose sense of the term. They both agree on what the end outcome should be: we need a mass labor party independent of the Democrats and Republicans, and the working class eventually needs to take state power.
Mr. Evans insists that blue collar white people are members of the working class. Our friends from Left Voice suggest that white folks can be workers only if they're grad students or somehow otherwise associated with the academic left. You need a graduate degree to not be a racist.
Mr. Evans' lede paragraph, in my opinion, represents an accurate description of Left Voice's authors.
The 2021 elections registered a sharp rejection of the anti-working-class politics of the liberal and middle-class socialist wing of the Democratic Party by workers and farmers across the country. From “defund the cops” referendums in Minneapolis and Seattle to the election results nationwide, candidates reflecting these views went down to defeat, taking other Democrats with them.
Regarding defunding the police, Mr. Evans quotes a fellow comrade this way:
“What is of great concern to workers, however, is anti-social violence within working-class communities. In addition to the immediate consequences for those affected, it saps workers’ confidence and tears at social solidarity,” Nelson said. “The rulers’ cops and courts are aimed against us, but it is far better to live under their rule of law than without it, where warlords, gangs and vigilantes fill the gap. ..."
I've expressed a similar point of view, and still assert that our Left Voice friends unwittingly want to deny Black citizens access to the 911 emergency system. This is a shameful position.
The true home for working class Americans of all races--as opposed to the top 10% and the lumpen intelligentsia--is the Republican Party.