The explosion of support for Hamas’s assault on human decency could well turn out to be the high-water mark of the progressive Left. The authoritarian multicultural ideology generated on campuses and transmitted dutifully by the established media has reached its apex and may now begin to descend.
The signs are tentative but some are unmistakable. Corporate and university Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) departments are being slashed, and increasingly seen as both burdensome and discriminatory toward whites, Jews, and Asians. One-third of DEI professionals lost their jobs in 2022. Brands that posted Pride month messages in 2022, such as Lego and Miller Lite, have abandoned such posturing. Even the Navy deleted Pride-related messaging from Instagram and Twitter.
Perhaps more significant may be the rebellion of donors to the leading universities, prime movers of the ideology that drives everything from the DEI establishment. Money is the mother’s milk of politics and universities and foundations alike. The overt hostility toward Israel on campuses, and the resulting feeling of threat among Jewish students, makes Jewish and non-Jewish donors wonder where their money is going.
Even liberal Jews, such as Berkeley Law School dean Erwin Chemerinsky, have been shocked by the rise of racialized and antisemitic politics at prestigious institutions. A possible loss of Jewish voters matters little at the presidential level but could prove relevant in Pennsylvania and Michigan. Unlike their French, Canadian, and British co-religionists, they may function as a rearguard in reining in the far Left.
But the biggest loss may be financial, as well as intellectual. As William Domhoff pointed out in his 1972 book Fat Cats and Democrats, wealthy Jews have been, since the New Deal, major leading donors of the Democratic Party. Jews provide roughly half of all donations, and comprise many of Biden’s top contributors.
This shift, however, extends well beyond Jews, as many long-time Democrats recoil from the party’s embrace of an ideology—propounded by influential leftist intellectuals such as Frantz Fanon, Herbert Marcuse, and Michel Foucault—that justifies criminal violence if committed by an oppressed identity group, a policy calculated to spark ever more ethnic turmoil. This perspective divides the world into “oppressors” and “oppressed,” and demands that society restructure itself in favor of the traditional out-groups. This includes an open assault on the idea of merit, essentially undermining the very basis of liberal society, and demeaning the potential of upward mobility due to racial factors.
Read the rest of this piece at American Mind.
Joel Kotkin is the author of The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class. He is the Roger Hobbs Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and Executive Director for Urban Reform Institute. Learn more at joelkotkin.com and follow him on Twitter @joelkotkin.