We liberals need self-criticism

First, stop obsessing over identity. We can and should support policies that benefit disadvantaged groups, from criminal-justice reform to a higher minimum wage and affordable health care. But our tendency to insert race, sex and sexual orientation into everything gives the impression that we are more committed to narrow groups than Americans as a whole.

Second, change the Manichaean outlook. Liberals increasingly tend to shame and “cancel” anyone who doesn’t conform to our thinking on complex social issues. We wield political correctness like a club. It’s been well-documented that voters in 2016 saw Trump as an antidote to political correctness—and it isn’t only conservatives. Eighty percent of Americans—including three-quarters of blacks and more than 80% of Asian-Americans, Hispanics and American Indians—disapprove of political correctness.

Third, cultivate a fuller understanding of justice. Our fanatical embrace of the oppressor-victim narrative finds us quick to assign guilt or innocence based on narrow identity markers like race and sex, seeing women as always victims, men as always aggressors, minorities and immigrants as by definition innocent. We’ve rightly drawn attention to disparities in everything from police brutality to mortgage lending, but we’ve become reckless in the process. Think of the way progressives believed Jussie Smollett ’s preposterous hate-crime claim and condemned Al Franken without evidence.

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