In this environment, being a white male — particularly a white male not obsessed with gender and race — is a risk factor. This is a major vulnerability of Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose outright socialism is no defense.
Segments of the left jumped on him this week for doing the same State of the Union response that he has done for the past couple of years. This time was different, because he’d be following the African-American activist Stacey Abrams and somehow or other supposedly upstaging her. Activist Marc Lamont Hill called Sanders’ choice “racially tone deaf.”
In every presidential campaign, candidates have to explain and backfill to get with the party’s latest program. What will make this process so much more intense for Democrats is the belief that even past mistakes involving the choice of words or symbolism are affirmatively injurious of other people. And the belief that such mistakes represent deep sins to be repented.