I too continue to feel baffled by what the left has become and where this has me situated. Politically homeless.

As a Canadian living in the US and now a dual citizen I’ll be voting for RFK Jr and feel excited by his growing appeal that crosses partisan lines. He speaks to what matters, not what’s fashionable.

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The terms " right" and "left" are also divisive. We need to transcend labels and talk to people thoughtfully, listening as we share ideas and outlooks.

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I strongly agree that we should stop using race as a basis of discrimination, whether for schooling, jobs, the criminal system, or elsewhere in our society. I do not see why Barack Obama's daughters need a "leg up", while the son of an unemployed white West Virginia coal miner does not.

While discrimination based on class is better, it still leaves me queasy. The goal should be to consider humans as individuals, and react to them as individuals, whether to their strengths or their weaknesses. I fear that a class-based discrimination system will once again treat humans as symbols rather than as individuals.

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The present application of racial ideas, coming from the New Left, is a policy doomed to failure. The pursuit of an "Equality of Outcome" has never created true equality as the arbiters of the pathway will always consider themselves higher up the ladder than the ones they govern. Structuring the culture to allow for an "Equality of Opportunity," regardless of race or any other personal descriptor, is, by far, the better way. There will still be self-imposed free-riding individuals and we must graciously serve them until they get tired of the lower rungs of the ladder, and pick up their own destiny.

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With the new left, the radical left, the woke left... and with much of the left in general... including the old guard liberal elite... it is never really what they say it is. And it is always generally that which results in negative consequences unintended in some cases, but then maybe not in others. Theirs are "luxury beliefs". A good term coined by Substacker Rob Henderson.

Luxury beliefs are "owned by moronic members of the elite who think they are helping people when often their ideas and policies cause immense harm. It is especially repugnant when they disguise their own self-interest as virtue and, as Thomas Sowell has put it, use self-congratulations as a basis for social policy."

I think that is the basis for what we should understand with respect to this argument on race-based anything coming from the left. It isn't that they advocate for the people of that race, it is that they feel to benefit in some way by promoting social and political norms that leverage race (and other group) divisiveness.

Frankly, I think, that the people in this cult of forced racial division, and it is educated white female dominated, are really waging war against what was becoming a race and gender-neutral ubiquitous human meritocracy. Their fear was that minority groups would see that light... that it wasn't racial oppression holding them back, it was their victim mindset combined with their refusal to assimilate into the successful behavior standards that had been refined over decades in the successful market economy... and that yes, had been dominated by white males. Asians in general have figured this out... assimilating into the behaviors that lead to economic well-being.

You can see the motivation with primarily educated women to remake society. Men and women tend to be wired differently - biologically. For example, men tend to be more individual and disagreeable. Women tend to be more socially collaborative and agreeable (at least on the surface, but then also more sensitive to hierarchy and prone to passive-aggressive social politics to compete for status). These are scientific findings that of course are constantly challenged by the woke academics that find the science inconvenient to their goals.

For reasons that can be criticized, men... primarily white men... have dominated the economic and hence social systems of western democratic countries like the US and Canada. So it was white men that primarily competed in the hyper-competitive market economy... developing competencies that worked and advanced the economy and system. The best practices for what resulted in individual success were established. And those standards appealed to, and better worked for, men. And the system naturally tooled for men, primarily white men... making the track to them to assimilate into and repeat the patterns of career and life that had the greatest opportunity of success.

One can make the case that white men had been privileged, but the mistake has been to reject what they demonstrated in competency, because it would be too uncomfortable and difficult to adopt. That is what we see with the general Asian American population... acceptance of those standards and great effort to assimilate into the process of success. No victim mindset. No rebellion against the "white male patriarchy".

Most conservatives fundamentally get this... that it isn't a gender or race thing, it is a behavior and value orientation thing. It is a merit thing. Conservatives don't care about gender or race in general. They care about standards that are proven best-practice in terms of satiating the human condition. Those that exploit gender, race and other group divisions are really just lazy... seeking a shortcut around those standards that are in fact brutal and demanding... but so rewarding when adopted and accomplished.

Related to this is the fact that education is really nothing. Getting a degree isn't anything but a delay into the launch of career and life. It might help with the launch, but it also might only delay the launch. We have way too many people that think their education attainment was part of their launch, and they are bitter that it did not propel them immediately to high social and economic status. These people are the malcontents that are involved in the cult of woke that attempts to divide by race and gender... because they are resentful and instead of buckling down and doing the work... taking a couple of steps backward in order to take more steps forward... they are attempting to break the system that is, in the twisted expectation that it will result in a magical advancement in their social and economic status.

The ONLY system that works is a group identity neutral merit-based system. MLK had it right.

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Every good thing we do is for "us". We help others, and in doing so elevate ourselves. Drawing distinctions that divide us, doesn't build, it tears down. I'm not sure how we raise everyone up, but it must be done in a way that lifts us all.

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For me another area of disorientation due to the revised version of what now is called "the left" (not to mention the Democratic Party establishment) is that it has dispensed with any pretense of being anti-war and apparently embraced the military industrial complex, at least when it comes to the Ukraine proxy war.

I came of political age during the War in Vietnam and have opposed every U.S. war since, including Afghanistan. I voted for every Democratic Party presidential candidate from McGovern to Obama because the GOP candidates all seemed far worse on the issue of war. It's my absolute top issue when it comes to voting in presidential elections because it is the president who is the elected official who gets us into or out of wars, especially since Congress has essentially turned its war powers over to the presidency. Every one of these wars has been an inexcusable strategic and moral disaster for the United States and for humanity.

For me, voting for Hillary Clinton in 2016 was out of the question and so is voting for Joe Biden now. I didn't vote for Trump (or Biden) in 2020, but I might vote for Trump in 2024 if he is the only anti-war choice. Meanwhile, I support Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in the Democratic Party primary for his anti-war position on Ukraine and don't care if he's completely wrong about vaccines or Israel/Palestine. I also support Cornel West and the Green Party, and hope he is able to wreck Biden's chance of winning in 2024, no matter who else is on the ballot.

It's very disorienting, not to say discouraging, to find myself in this "politically homeless" situation but I know I'm not alone (or crazy), in part because of this valuable substack and other independent media that connect me to others going through this collective "disorientation" process. Thanks Tara!

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yes many of us are terribly disoriented by recent attitudes coming from the Woke or Left or whatever they are. Good article - please keep writing and speaking up. I want to note Heather McDonald's article (link following ) helps me understand the where and maybe why of my disorientation. If one does not care to read the whole piece, consider thes lines quoted from the second paragraph: [Coverage of this alleged culture war demonstrates the Left’s most important power: the ability to set the default. The Left engineers disruption after disruption to longstanding social practices, each more sweeping than the last. And as soon as those changes are in place, they become the norm, treated as having existed from time immemorial. ] I hope this link is ok to post: https://www.city-journal.org/article/a-battle-for-cultural-survival

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There is no money to be had in a colorblind society.

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Tara: I concur with the spirit of the first two paragraphs and consider those disappointments to be the bitter fruit of identity politics and political correctness. The troubling part for me is that you seem to have genuine ( but unstated) hopes for solving our problems ( economic inequality, affordable housing, the environment, women’s rights, etc.) using methods and solutions from our friends on the ideological right. I don’t see a strong history of supporting progress toward resolving these issues from that side. Please explain!

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Sometimes I think it's nothing more than Millennials making noise and throwing their weight around because they can - like maybe there's no real substance behind any of their rhetoric at all.

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