, 13 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
This piece is remarkable in that its critique of the Democratic Party for supposedly dividing the country into “us and them” itself employs so many false dichotomies. 1/ nytimes.com/2019/06/28/opi…
“They speak Spanish. We don’t.” More than 40 million Americans are native Spanish speakers. 10 of millions more have taken Spanish in school, many of them able to speak it at least a little bit./2
“They broke the rules to get into this country. We didn’t.” Who is the “we” here? There were no “rules” to get into this country for most of our history. And many of those that were eventually created, like the Chinese Exclusion Act, were manifestly racist. /3
"They pay few or no taxes. We already pay most of those taxes." Read the work of @V_Williamson and many others to learn the truth, which is that low-income Americans pay a lot of taxes. /4
"They willingly got themselves into debt. We're asked to write it off." Really? Who bailed out the banks that were "too big too fail," Bret? You might also check this claim with the President, who has declared bankruptcy numerous times. /5
Is it "demonizing job-creators" by expecting them to pay their fair share of taxes (many pay none) or to regulate corporations so that they serve the public interest rather than, say, stealing and monetizing our private data as Facebook and Google do? /6
The proposal to make illegal border crossings a civil rather than a criminal offense is really not to advocate "open borders, limitless amnesty and, in time, the Third World-ization of America." Moreover, how is the last item on this list not pure and simple racism? /7
Credit to Stephens for quoting Everett Dirksen rather than the overused one from Margaret Thatcher, but the idea that Democrats are less fiscally responsible than Republicans, who just passed a huge budget-busting tax cut for the wealthy & corporations, is really not credible. /8
The strangest part of this column is that, with it's we/they false dichotomies, it exhibits precisely the “common-enemy identity politics" that Stephens deplores. /9
This sentence. Wow. "Making white Americans feel racially on trial for views they may have held in the past on crime, busing and similar subjects is not going to help the Democrats." /10
I'm not sure what "racially on trial" is supposed to mean and the more I try to unpack it the more confused I am as to what Stephens intends to suggest here. Does he mean we shouldn't make white people feel bad by suggesting that these policies had a racist impact? /11
Perhaps seeking to create a more just and equal society requires recognizing the (sometimes inadvertent or even unanticipated) negative impact of past and current policies. /12
One final point re: Stephens's comment about the candidates he liked being like "square dancers at a rave." This comment takes on added meaning in light of this fascinating history of the racist origins of square dancing by @RobynElyse. /13
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