The transformation of the Democratic Party

It is rapidly turning into the Diversity Party:

Democrat Andrew Gillum rode a surge of liberal support from young people and African Americans to a stunning primary victory Tuesday and the historic opportunity to be the first black governor in Florida’s history.

With 94 percent of the votes counted, Gillum had an unofficial 3 percentage point lead over his closest rival, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham. Gillum overwhelmed Graham in Miami-Dade and Broward, the state’s two largest Democratic counties, by more than a 2-to-1 margin, in the highest turnout for a midterm primary election in Florida history.

“I am overwhelmed,” Gillum told a cheering crowd of supporters at a victory party at Hotel Duval in downtown Tallahassee. “I want you to know that this thing is not about me. This race is about every single one of us. Those of us inside this room. Those outside of this room. Those who voted for me. Those who didn’t vote at all. And those who didn’t vote for me because they are Republicans. But I want to be their governor, too.”

Running to the left of his rivals and despite being vastly outspent, the charismatic and proudly liberal Gillum built a devoted statewide following of progressives. He had a well-received message of social justice and lifting up the downtrodden and an appeal to Florida’s growing diversity.

The more Republicans understand that the division is no longer between Democrats and Republicans, but between Diversities and Whites, the better they are going to do. All politics in a multiethnic, multireligious society are identity politics, and as more and more newly retired white and Jewish politicians are learning, there is no more reliable way to lose than to play by the old ideological rules in the new identity game.

Unfortunately, Republicans may not be learning from the fate of their old foes.

At DeSantis’ victory party in Orlando, the GOP nominee said: “I think he is way, way too liberal for the state of Florida.”

On the other hand, this is exactly the right sort of thing to say if you understand that “liberal” is now an identity politics code word for “not American and not even white.” Because even the power and money of the professional bi-factional ruling party can no longer keep a lid on the identities that divide, at least, not while maintaining its democratic pretensions. It’s no longer possible to play the “back to the center” game when the center is smaller than the so-called extremes.

Liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans loyal to Donald Trump scored victories in nominating contests for Florida and Arizona, giving momentum to the insurgent wings of America’s two main parties ahead of the November mid-term election.