Are Social Issues For Proles?

Abortion… gay marriage… affirmative action… feminism… are these issues distracting from the real deal?

I’m beginning to wonder. At first, I scoffed at Thomas Frank’s What’s the matter with Kansas, because it seemed to imply that Democrats should stop talking about civil rights and only talk about class.

The CW is that Dems lost their advantage on foreign affairs starting with Humphrey/McGovern/Carter, lost their advantage on class issues when people allegedly stopped caring in the 80s, and only really maintained middle ground lead on things like race. So, the DLC was founded on being “tough” in foreign policy and ignore class issues. Well, that sure backfired. Despite Clinton (who won on his own personal merits), since that time, the Democrats have won nothing else.

Now, I’m starting to wonder. Is it time to kick NARAL and company to the curb and reembrace labor unions–or is there a 21st century working class movement to support?

I’m starting to wonder if so-called social issues aren’t inextricably linked to economic ones. In other words, is America really now safe for minoirities of all kinds with money to the point where it furthers their lot more to advance their economic interests than their identity issues?

I’ve also felt that there is a serious conflict between labor and the environment, but I’m also starting to wonder if that’s real. To the extent that labor can’t or doesn’t start it’s own businesses, it will lose if existing business loses–but assuming you can go green and hire people with realistic retraining, that may not be the case either.