Friday, November 18, 2016

"Expressive, Not Persuasive"

"Some years ago I was invited to a union convention in Florida to speak on a panel about Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous Four Freedoms speech of 1941. The hall was full of representatives from local chapters—men, women, blacks, whites, Latinos. We began by singing the national anthem, and then sat down to listen to a recording of Roosevelt's speech. As I looked out into the crowd, and saw the array of different faces, I was struck by how focused they were on what they shared. And listening to Roosevelt’s stirring voice as he invoked the freedom of speech, the freedom of worship, the freedom from want and the freedom from fear—freedoms that Roosevelt demanded for 'everyone in the world'—I was reminded of what the real foundations of modern American liberalism are."

Mark Lilla in The New York Times argues that "the age of identity liberalism must be brought to an end." (Ross Douthat reacts, as does Lovia Gyarkye at The New Republic.)

Emmett Rensin at Vox, back in April, criticizes the "smug style" of liberalism.

And Kyle Scott Clauss at Boston reports on remarks by Bernie Sanders in which Sanders argues that to stop Donald Trump, Democrats "have to do it in a way that we have never done it before, and it's essentially reaching out to people who do not or may not agree with us on every single issue." (Graham Vyse at The New Republic reacts, and Max B. Sawicky at The Baffler defends Sanders.)

Michelle Goldberg in Slate joins the debate as well. (And she refers to Ellen Willis's essay "Identity Crisis" from 1992, republished by n+1 magazine.). Jamelle Bouie calls for a "renewed Rainbow Coalition."

Eric Levtiz at New York tries to bring everything together.

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