Rebecca Traister: This Is How the Establishment Maintains Its Grip

“This is what it means to have an Establishment really bear down on a contest, bringing the full weight of its media, its institutions, and its party. But Establishment thinking — which often includes sexism, racism, and anti-left bias — doesn’t just operate in opposition to any would-be interlopers or disruptors. It also gets those interlopers to replicate its attitudes and aim them at each other. A primary race is the perfect place to perform this trick, since support for competing candidates naturally turns partisan and ideological allies against each other.

So there were the Chapo Trap House guys tearing into Warren, and Jacobin writers seeding doubt about her having been a public-school teacher or experienced pregnancy discrimination, while the National Organization for Women proclaimed last week that Sanders had done “next to nothing for women” (despite a robust history of advocating for them). Warren supporters began to see a left that leveraged racism and sexism in order to find common ground with right-wing resentments and cast feminism and the desire for a progressive female president as fundamentally conservative; some Bernie supporters began to see feminism, and the focus on a female candidate, standing in opposition to their preferred candidate, as being more concerned with individual advancement than the success of a left-wing campaign that could deliver policies that would be better for all women.

This is how Establishment maintains its grip: left feminists vilify feminism, and feminist leftists vilify leftism, and everyone is doing the work of the white capitalist patriarchy, and neither CNN nor the DNC has to lift a finger.”

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