- That we lost the election by underperforming with white voters
- That (super paradoxically) we need to start treating white voters as a political identity and we need to improve our outreach to it as a constituency
- That those of us who aren't straight white men should subsume our parochial concerns to a "post-identity" push and "educate [ourselves] about parts of the country that have been ignored."
Item 3 is wrong and dangerous. Women, minorities, and LGBT people really do experience power, inclusion/exclusion, and prejudice differently. That spike in hate crimes and harassment is real, and it isn't directed at straight white men. That line about how "America is sick and tired of hearing about liberals' damn bathrooms" is not only obnoxious and condescending, but also reveals a fetishization of the mythological white working class and a disregard for the social/economic anxieties of anyone else.
The whole identity politics critique also totally confuses a failure of outreach with a failure of policy. These are not the same things. The Clinton campaign famously produced detailed policy proposal after detailed policy proposal for everything from raising the minimum wage to reining in Wall Street and drug prices to job placement and retraining for the unemployed to treating opioid addiction to promoting unions. All were substantive and practical ideas aimed squarely at lifting up the working class.
Hillary Clinton might have lost the Rust Belt because she didn't spend enough time campaigning in the rural Midwest, but some on the left are using this to push their narrative that we lost a contest of ideas. We did not lose a contest of ideas We lost a contest of channeling blind ethno-populist rage.
The worst way for us to overlearn the lesson of this defeat is to think that we should ask marginalized people to take a backseat at the table of power while we reshuffle the chairs in search of Midwestern voters who won't vote for us even when our policies are better for them.