Fox News contributor and Democratic pundit Jessica Tarlov has just about had it with the left’s woke mob — and she wants her party to understand that if they keep following the uber-liberal throng, they are going to make loyal voters “cranky” and turn them into “disenchanted Democrats.” Which, she believes, will cost her party electorally.
In an op-ed for The Hill this week, Tarlov began by citing HBO’s Bill Maher who has become known of late for his criticism of the woke left and the Democratic Party. She admitted that she hasn’t been a Maher fan, having often been offended by things he says about race and Islam, but now, she said, he is hitting “all the right notes.”
And she has “been loving it” — especially the focus on “mean woke” people who are turning leftists like Maher into “cranky liberals” and “cranky Democrats.”
“Liberalism has changed dramatically over the past few years, and the impact of these changes can be felt across a broad spectrum of issues that are turning a lot of happy Democrats into cranky ones,” Tarlov wrote.
Then she called out three major issues where the “mean woke” members of her tribe are hurting the party.
1: Defund the police
The movement to “defund the police” has been a killer for the Democratic Party, Tarlov wrote. And it’s a topic that does not sell with the American people:
First and foremost, is the so-called movement to “defund the police.” Since this slogan burst onto the scene following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, it’s been a complete disaster. Politicians have contorted themselves into unattractive knots trying to explain what it actually means — because no one in their right mind thinks that we should actually defund police departments. […]
There’s no reason to be talking about defunding police when only 18 percent of Americans support the concept overall — including just 28 percent of Black Americans and 34 percent of Democrats. What has been central to President Biden’s success is that he does popular things. That’s how you get elected and keep your approval rating above 50 percent. As crime continues to soar in major cities, it is now a top issue in the New York City mayoral race, and I cringe every time I hear that terrible slogan.
Democratic leaders admitted that it cost the party big time in 2020.
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) told fellow Democrats on an election post-mortem conference call that if the Democrats “are going to run on Medicare for All, defund the police, socialized medicine, we’re not going to win,” according to Politico.
Moderate Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger (Va.) agreed and scolded the party for pushing extreme messages.
“We need to be pretty clear,” she reportedly said on the call, “It was a failure. It was not a success. We lost incredible members of Congress.
“We have to commit to not saying the words ‘defund the police’ ever again,” she added. “If we run this race again we will get f***ing torn apart again in 2022,” according to the Washington Post.
2: Cancel culture
It used to be that it was just conservatives who complained about getting canceled. Many on the left mocked the idea as right-wing victimhood. That has changed significantly, Tarlov noted — and Democrats had better pay attention.
Second, so-called “cancel culture” is becoming something more than right-wing complaining. According to recent polling, over 60 percent of Americans see the cancel culture as a threat, including a growing number of Democrats. Just a few years ago, who even knew what cancel culture was? Today, nearly everybody does and 48 percent of Democrats say they see it as a problem, compared to 52 percent who don’t.
That’s way too slim of a margin to ignore. And I can understand why it’s becoming more and more of a hot-button issue. We have European publishers who have been fired as translators of Amanda Gorman’s poetry because the translator wasn’t a Black woman, even though Gorman picked the white Dutch translator herself. We have seen employees at Smith College get called racists for following school protocols and asking a Black student to leave an area that was off limits to everyone. And one of the most egregious examples is that of Mimi Groves, a white teenager who used a racial slur in a Snapchat video when she was 15, apologized and still had her college admission revoked after a fellow student decided to make her past actions a current problem.
Tarlov urged her fellow Democrats to accept the reality of cancel culture and to reject the desire to “exact revenge on conservatives.”
3: Critical race theory
Democrats had better understand the problem that much of the new anti-racism curriculum poses to American schools and families. Though Tarlov favors revisions to curriculum to address racism, it cannot come at the “exclusion of historically important curriculum,” which is currently getting the “heave ho” from the left, she said.
“Anti-racism teachings and world history must coexist and complement each other,” Tarlov wrote. And if the Democrats can’t get a handle on this, they’re going to see even liberal families pulling their kids out of a left-wing system.
From refusing to talk to students about Christopher Columbus and why we celebrate Veterans Day, according to one public school teacher I met, to the drama playing out over race at my alma mater, the Dalton School in Manhattan, even the most liberal parents are wondering if it’s time to pull their kids.
Virginia’s Fairfax County is about to pay nearly $300,000 for an equity consultant, and in the private Brearley School families must sign an “anti-racism pledge” to be considered for admission. Many parents feel their children are too young for such complex conversations that schools are pushing, and I can’t say I disagree. This is about liberal pushback, not conservative opposition. It’s about parents who share the same progressive values as these schools who feel like things are going too far.
And if it’s a threat to schools and families, it’s a threat to the Democratic Party.