22 Oct 2012

McGovern and the Politics of Group Identity

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James Taranto, in the Wall Street Journal, defines George McGovern’s contribution to American politics.

One might say McGovern reinvented the Democratic Party by putting identity politics at its center–by encouraging members to think of themselves first in terms of sex or age or skin color (or, later, by sexual orientation). E pluribus, multis.

In the 1973 book “Sexual Suicide,” George Gilder speculated that such an approach “would find its reductio ad absurdum in a President who is an exact ethnic and sexual composite of the American demography–some kind of multiracial hermaphrodite from Kansas City.”

When Gilder wrote that, Barack Obama was 12.

Hat tip to Clarice Feldman.

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