The Art of Alienation

Pretty much every week brings at least a couple of fresh examples of things that push me further away from the left and from the Democratic Party that it dominates.

Now, let me hasten to add right here that these things do not shove me into the Republican Party. I find the party of Trump repulsive beyond words. No, instead I find myself wandering into a political wilderness where there is no organized political party that represents my left-center, classically liberal views.

The latest example of leftist insanity is the docents of the Art Institute of Chicago. For decades about 100 mostly affluent, mostly white, mostly older, mostly female docents have volunteered their time to lead visitors around the galleries there and to improve their experience.

But recently they were all summarily fired. Why? Because they were affluent, white and older. They were essentially booted because of their race and class. None of them were accused of having said anything offensive. None of them were cited for any sort of ethnic or race insensitivity. No, their sins were their skin color and their bank accounts.

The Art Institute of Chicago. Affluent, white women need not apply.

These people donated countless hours to learning about the objects in the museum and then spent many more hours leading tours. They did it, I suppose, because they love art and because they love the Institute. Their knowledge added immeasurably to the experience of millions of visitors; visitors of all races and incomes.

But to the Institute’s management — held in rapture by the religion of “diversity, equity and inclusion” — they were in the way. If their race and income were really a problem, management could have done more to recruit more docents from diverse backgrounds over time. But, for whatever reason (it hasn’t been explained), the Institute’s leaders decided they needed to wipe the slate clean, leaving the place with no docents at all for now.

Let me pause here to acknowledge that reaching out to a more diverse audience is a good thing. Replacing docents strikes me as the sort of easy and ineffectual thing you do in order to appear to be making progress.

This may seem like a small dust up, and in the big scheme of things it is. But it’s yet another example of how the obsession with race among white liberal elites (who care more about race than Black and Hispanic voters) is leading to ridiculous actions that further alienate anyone who has not drunk the Kool Aid.

Now, in truth I’m actually not that much of a problem for the Democrats. With the Republicans gone over completely to the dark side, I have no choice but to continue voting for Democrats. I’ve simply got nowhere else to go. But Democrats are hemorrhaging support among independents and they’re even losing support among people of color. Some of that is because they’re spending too much time on what average voters see as trivia.

Some nice, well-trained docent needs to lead liberal elites on a tour of America. They might learn that their focus on race (a serious issue that they mishandle) and boutique issues is driving otherwise sympathetic voters into the arms of a Republican Party that is just this side of fascist.

Welcome to the 242nd day of consecutive posts here at YSDA. Thanks for reading!


Published by dave cieslewicz

Madison/Upper Peninsula based writer. Mayor of Madison, WI from 2003 to 2011.

One thought on “The Art of Alienation

  1. Well said, Dave.
    I’ve been enjoying your stuff, only recently having discovered the blog.
    I know you will similarly enjoy a recent column by George Will. The October 8 offering titled “The Woke Mob Runs Into A College Teacher Who’s Fighting Back.”
    I’ve read George’s columns for 40 years. Originally for the writing style, since I used to disagree with everything he wrote. But now I’m nodding my head in agreement on about 70% of his opinions.
    I subscribe to the Washington Post, $100/year, just to read his columns (and partly to support dead-tree journalism).
    Your neighbor up north…Jim Holperin.


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