Identity Politics

One of the common memes going around the punditry today is that the Democrats lost the election because of identity politics. This is meant to say that, because the Democrats are the party connected with Civil Rights for people of color and Equal Rights for women, they are making big mistakes and ignoring a group of hard-working, honest, tax-paying people - in short, white men. The commentary has routinely suggested that the Democrats should abandon this stance and start listening to the people variously termed "working class", "flyover country", "gun-owning, church-going patriots", or, in rare moments of honesty, "white men".

Taking the stance that all American citizens aren't entitled to the same rights, same opportunities, and same paycheck as the one group that has been on top of the heap throughout the entire American experiment is, in my opinion, not only ugly and bigoted, but a disastrous policy. Too many people spit out this phrase without thinking about what they are saying - oh, you stand for women's rights? Identity politics. You think the police should stop reflexively shooting unarmed black youth? Identity politics. You think hard working, taxpaying Mexican-Americans should have the right to live and work in peace? Identity politics. Stop it right now. It's identity politics, and wrong, wrong, wrong. Say what? What sort of monster is the left becoming (yes, I hear this more on the left than on the right; The right just says "pfffffffffffffffft" and "suck it up, libtard"). The left - THE LEFT - is actively advocating the idea that the opinions and feelings of white males matter more than the rest of the Americans who call this massive diverse country home. They are also suggesting that the left abandon the groups that loyally vote for them and support them in hopes of winning a few votes from a group of voters who will never, ever, ever, ever vote for a Democrat (or a "liberal", which doesn't actually describe most Democratic politicians all that well anymore).

This is not to say that I disagree that identity politics gave Trump the election. It did, actually. But only if you consider this: touting the view that one should listen to and care only about white males is, in fact, identity politics, even though it is never called such. It is identity politics more than any of the other groups I mentioned above. Why? Because when "identity politics" promotes the rights of women, people of color, LGBTQ, minority religions, or any other group that is currently called "identity politics", they are not promoting the loss of rights from white males, or any other group. They are fighting for equal rights for all people, regardless of race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, or any other category you might care to name. The true identity politics, the only true identity politics, is that which proposes that a single group of people should, in fact, rule the country without challenge. This is the Trump agenda, and all the nonsense about white males being ignored (they are not), the middle of the country being ignored (that is impossible; they shout loud, vote early and often, and have the Congress scared shitless of crossing them), the working class (the majority of Trump's voters were wealthy businesspeople wanting tax cuts), or any other disenfranchised group is exactly that - nonsense. Trump voters are the single most enfranchised group in the US, and always have been.

So, shut up about identity politics already, unless you are going to apply the term appropriately.