Democracy and “Listen” …

I’ve been reading around my usual haunts, and something just struck me. In the United States, at least, white people are in the majority. Yet the progressive and Social Justice concept of “Listen” has been, as I’ve noted before, that people and most importantly political institutions need to listen to the concerns of minorities, but doesn’t need to listen to the concerns of the majority white people. Except that democracy, first and foremost, is about listening to the concerns of the majority. Thus, the Social Justice narrative was, in fact, anti-democratic. Sure, in a democracy the minority needs to be listened to as well, but in general if people are voting we expect that the concerns of the various majority groups are the ones that the political institutions will listen to and most try to implement. And that, in fact, is the whole point of democracy.

And you can’t argue that the only reason to not listen to the majority group is that their concerns are listened to by default and define, say, culture, because the whole point of democracy is, in fact, to get the people to explicitly state and vote on the basis of their concerns, because the political institutions might not know what they actually are. There’s no point in getting people to vote and doing what the majority wants if you are confident that you already know what the majority wants. Voting itself, then, presumes that every election year you want to find out, at least, if you still know what the majority wants.

The progressive approach has been to try to convince the majority group to not care about or act on their own interests, but on the interests of others. And they seem surprised that, eventually, the majority group will indeed say that that’s not how things ought to work, and actually use their political power to reflect what they think is in their self-interest. You can call that “white supremacy”. But in reality, for the United States, it’s just democracy.

Thus, for progressives to gain ground, they need to get buy-in from the majority instead of trying to guilt-trip them into it. Alternatively, they can wait for shifting demographics and hope that those shifting demographics skew more progressive, even as the shifting demographics increase the populations of groups that aren’t necessarily progressive in terms of outlook. In an election where Trump was explicitly and directly portrayed using his own words as racist and sexist, and where a number of visible Trump supporters actually are white supremacists, Trump did better among all racial groups than the milquetoast Romney did. That’s not a good sign for that strategy.

It’s time for the self-proclaimed advocates for inclusion to include everyone. If they are unable or unwilling to do so, then these sorts of political disasters — in their minds — will continue to occur, even as their wring their hands and wonder why it all happened.

(Note: I think that the other side should include everyone, too. It’s just that they, at least right now, don’t make any pretense of trying to do that. Whichever party gets off its butt and actually starts to include everyone first is going to have massive success. Neither party currently seems willing to do that.)

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