When it comes to identity politics, people don’t know what the heck they are talking about. I see people on Twitter claiming to switch from liberal to conservative because they can’t stand the Democrat focus on identity politics. Changing into a conservative because you are frustrated at Democrat identity politics? That would be like moving to LA because you think the traffic in San Francisco has gotten out of hand. Please. Republicans are the extreme players of identity politics in our political era. It’s just like they are with globalization, but nobody cares because Clinton was so awful.
The Dems made a massive mistake by running Hillary Clinton, yes I get it, and I agree. I acknowledge that the Clintons ruined the reputation of the party by removing the concern for workers and replacing it with corporate appointees and social justice memes. However, you need a pretty short memory to ignore the ways that Republicans have leveraged identity to trick poor people for decades. These are the words of a famous Republican political consultant in 1981:
You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”
Republicans used what is called the “Southern Strategy” to drum up fear in the communities of White people throughout the south. Through subliminal references to racial connections, they still constantly swindle poor southerners into blaming their problems on some sort of “other.” Some call this dog-whistling.
Republicans like to pretend racial/gender/religious/etc discrimination doesn’t exist. Then, they claim there is a ‘war on Christmas’ while mocking the ‘war on women.’ They get away with it, because Democrats spend too much time talking about identities recently instead of policy. Neo-liberals like those at the current head of the DNC overuse identity politics, because they would lose their jobs if people learned how much the screw over people in favor of corporations; a real progressive wouldn’t have this problem. Once again, I should remind everyone that the Republicans are even more corrupt, but it’s no excuse. Hillary Clinton tried to run an entire presidential campaign without having a press conference, but she also went with a slogan that SCREAMS identity politics:
I’m with her.
My goodness. And now, with the recent volume of protesters at the women’s march, I’m sure people like Clinton and Wasserman-Schultz are ready to give it another shot. I can only hope that real liberals, who care about the economy more than labels, are somehow able to take the party back (ahem, www.justicedemocrats.com). Don’t get me wrong, I’m furious with systemic racism and I know it exists… but we’re not getting everywhere by calling everyone who was tricked by Trump ‘racist’ or ‘sexist.’ Even if every single one of them was racist, all we would do is argue over it until we ran out of breath. It is still of crucial importance to fight the normalization of Trumpist bigotry, but we can’t overemphasize this at the cost of fixing our economy.
The Republicans aren’t going to fix the economy. Conservative economic theory doesn’t work. But these folks keep arguing for more tax cuts for corporations and rich people. Why? Because corporations give a ton of money to Democrats, but even more to Republicans. It works to their advantage for the Republicans to be loud and strong-willed, and for the Democrats to be lame and feckless. That’s why complete dorks like Pelosi and Schumer remain at the head of the Democrat party right now; they raise a lot of cash and share it with the other corporatists. Corporations don’t want the Democrats to win and possibly raise corporate taxes!
The only identity that you should care about right now, is your human identity. Corporations, upon ridding themselves of campaign finance and banking regulations, are a much more dominant force in the minds of our elected leaders, and that is true no matter which major party you support. The only difference is, the corporate foothold in the Democratic party is easier to defeat. Obviously, encouraging and implementing terrible leadership is a double-edge sword. All we need are enough people who can care a little bit less about how everyone looks, and a little bit more about whether the American economy will still be around in some worthy form for our children.