Sensing a growing backlash against their toxic ideology, identity politics cultists are preparing to mount a fightback
Check out this epic rant in the New York Magazine, in which TV producer and playwright Elizabeth Meriwether fumes that even contemplating whether the rise of identity politics may have contributed to political division and a Trump presidency is so dangerous that she needs to seal herself off in a sleeping pod to protect herself from further betrayal by the traitorous “white liberal males” asking the question.
Bear with me…
I’ve decided that the best thing for Democrats to do for the next four years is to stop caring about “identity politics” and focus on the needs of white men all around the country. From now on, as a woman who makes her living and pays taxes in the blue bubble of California, I will shut up and enter a medically-induced coma and only come out when liberal white men ask me to come out. I will develop a special, secret knock that these liberal men can use to wake me up inside my sleeping pod when they deem it safe for me to emerge and start ruining elections again.I hope that other women and minorities will do what I have done. Democrats can either care about income inequality or we can care about “women and minorities,” but we can’t do both. It’s impossible. Just try. Close your eyes right now and try to care about creating jobs, offering debt-free college, redistributing wealth, and protecting the rights of minorities and women. Do you see what I mean? It’s impossible. You either care about class or you care about civil rights. I am being fitted for my sleeping pod as we speak. And, because I am an elite, it’s entirely made from reclaimed wood and the tube that will pump food into my stomach will do so in the form of small tapas-style plates that are meant to be shared. Bon Iver will be playing nonstop, and I will be covered in organic cotton and sprinkled with chia seeds. My rescue dog will be hermetically sealed into my sleeping pod with me, and the whole thing will be plugged into an outlet like an electric self-driving car that also cuts off dicks. I will be allowed out of my sleeping pod if and only if I choose to have sex with a white liberal male. But the terms of this agreement include listening to him monologue about what went wrong in the election and allowing him to prove me wrong with various facts and figures and statistics. I will not be allowed to look any of those statistics up on my phone under any circumstance, although I will be allowed to disagree with him if I quickly concede the point and if I am squeezing my tits together into a pleasing butt-shape.
Way to miss the point. The point of criticising identity politics is not to suggest that we stop trying to fight for genuine egalitarianism and equality of opportunity. The point is that continually dividing Americans and playing off various “victim groups” against one another – and always against “white males”, no matter how desperately poor or marginalised they may themselves be – is actively feeding the toxic political atmosphere which has led to two Americas which can now barely tolerate each other’s presence.
Meriwether then continues her long digression about sex, for no reason other than the fact that people like her seem to have to shoehorn the subject into every political conversation – part of the identity politics cultist’s desperate need to make all politics personal, I suppose.
The diatribe continues:
Finally, talking about protecting the rights of minorities makes white guys feel like we are not talking enough about them — see above when I explained that we can’t care about more than one thing at a time — so it’s better if we all stop seeing ourselves as part of separate groups and start seeing ourselves however white guys want us to see ourselves. That would honestly just make it easier for everyone, and as I said before, is really the only way that Democrats will ever win another election again. The only way to come together as a party and defeat Trump is if we blame women and minorities for everything. This is the end of “identity politics,” by which we mean that this is the end of women and minorities being allowed to talk about issues that white men don’t care about.
Yes. Opposing identity politics means secretly wanting to construct a giant woodchipper, rounding up all the Evil Minorities and dropping them into the machine, one by one. The only possible reason that anyone might oppose the Cult of Social Justice and Identity Politics is a desperate desire by white males to get their boots back on the face of women and minorities. No other possible reason.
Of course we can care about more than one thing at a time. I don’t know of one serious commentator or criticism of identity politics which has argued otherwise – that identity politics or economic growth, identity politics or national defence, identity politics and healthcare reform are zero-sum games, with only one able to prevail. The problem is not that identity politics crowds out other issues. The problem is that for true believers like Meriwether, identity politics becomes the prism through which every single issue must be considered.
The problem with identity politics is that it empowers a select clerisy (the SJWs and politicians who court them) by encouraging everybody who is not a “white male” to consider themselves peculiarly fragile and vulnerable to physical and mental harm, either from normal everyday encounters or from offensive and unpleasant behaviour which would otherwise be written off in a dignity culture, confronted in an honour culture but which are taken as grounds for public complaint and petitions to higher authorities in our increasingly victimhood culture-oriented society.
The problem with identity politics is that it infantilises fully grown adults and teaches them that they are without agency or responsibility for their own lives and decisions – that anything bad which happens to them is the result of oppression (by the afore-mentioned bogeymen, “white males”) which can only be lifted by enacting a suite of leftist policies and laws which restrict what people can say and how they behave, often in ways which run completely counter to the spirit of the US Constitution. And the feedback loop of self interest ensures that
As regular reader of this blog, AndrewZ, put it in a recent comment on another blog post:
If people from a designated victim group are able to overcome difficulties and succeed by their own efforts then they can’t be as “oppressed” and “marginalised” as the theory demands. Therefore they must be indoctrinated into a mentality of helpless victimhood in order to protect the theory from inconvenient realities.
But if the whole world is divided into victims and oppressors then it becomes immoral for a member of a victim group to be strong and successful, because the theory says that they can only succeed by becoming part of the system of oppression. Equally, a person who does not belong to an official victim group can only make themselves socially respectable by embracing a victim identity.
The problem with identity politics is that it has become so much more than a simple struggle for egalitarianism – a cause which nearly everybody (save the real racists in society) should be able to happily get behind.
Hence we find people like Liz Meriwether – successful screenwriter and TV producer, and oh yes, a wealthy white woman – and taking to the pages of New York Magazine to wail that life is so tough for her that she needs to take to an escape pod for the next four years – not to escape from Donald Trump, but from normally like-minded “white liberal males” who committed the heretical thought of asking whether we really need to consider a person’s race, gender, sexuality, and horoscope before assigning weight to their words and arguments.
This is the corrosive power of identity politics. This is why we need to fight back against it with every ounce of strength we have. Because the Cult of Social Justice and Identity Politics takes strong, successful, independent adults (and adolescents perfectly capable of becoming strong, successful and independent themselves) and convinces them instead that they are weak, pitiable victims in need of constant rescuing by external authority figures. And the authority figure is inevitably the government, and the government inevitably seeks to protect each one of the victim groups petitioning for redress by further restricting the freedoms of the general public.
Identity politics is cancer. What else to call it, when somebody as outwardly successful as Liz Meriwether can write a nonsensical, stream-of-consciousness rant about she suffers systemic oppression when her white male liberal contemporaries fail to linger long enough while engaging in oral sex with her, and have that piece published with all seriousness in New York Magazine?
Identity politics is cancer. And it needs to be surgically removed from our political discourse, and any remnants blasted with whatever rhetorical equivalents of chemotherapy and radiotherapy we can lay our hands on, lest it return.
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