Modern American liberalism is far from dead - there are still far too many willing to blindly accept its maxims whole cloth. Nevertheless, a recent speech by Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison clearly displays the intellectual turmoil that is undermining the far left's worldview and reveals that even the stalwarts may be choking for air.
In a speech at the Campus Progress National Conference (see video below at 16:30), Ellison accuses conservatives of "want[ing] mom to get back in the kitchen, and take her shoes off, and get pregnant.... [Conservatives] are offended by a strong, powerful women [sic]." Ellison's desire to harp on such tired and outmoded rhetoric speaks volumes about the left's waning star.
The unavoidable fact is that today's conservatism undeniably does not ascribe to such sexist notions. The left, however, needs to drum-up conflicts between women and men (just like between races) because its intellectual foundations are firmly rooted in such assumptions. Modern American liberalism views the world through a lens of conflict between the powerful (who are morally culpable in their mind) and the oppressed.
But as progress has demonstrated, the old-fashioned view of the world as a battle between underdog and "overdog" has been proven false. Because of this, nothing is more threatening to the far left than a successful conservative women (or minority), who simply by existing not only disproves the powerful-oppressed dichotomy but soundly rejects leftist ideology.
As Ellison demonstrates, this leads the most ideologically-blinded liberal through severe cognitive contortions in order to maintain their long-held but misguided beliefs. Ellison concludes his argument by stating, "And here is the sad part, some of them are women themselves - Michele Bachmann being an example." There is nothing more laughable than arguing that strong, empowered, confident and successful, conservative women have achieved so much (and daresay are running for president) in order to put themselves "back in the kitchen".
Such statements should be easily dismissed except for the fact that they shed so much light on the state of the far left. The movement, which had its shining moment some four decades ago, struggles to maintain relevance by consistently reinventing bogeymen. After defeating a number of entrenched enemies (sexism and racism) in the 1960s, they are compelled to deny their own successes in order to justify their continued existence. Such thinking is backwards and detrimental and the likes of Ellison should be embarrassed; not so much for the lunacy of this argument but for the fact that it nakedly displays the bankruptcy of their ideology.