Placing Race and Gender Over Ideals and Achievements

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Democratic U.S. congressional candidate Rashida Tlaib (C) celebrates at her midterm election night party in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

In the mid-term elections, Democrats won control of the House of Representatives while focusing more on the ethnicity or gender of the new legislators than on their ideas or agendas.

The media prattle endlessly over the election of the first two Muslim women in Congress, or the first two Native American Women, one of whom is a Mixed Martial Arts fighter who’s also lesbian. This may be interesting, but race, gender and sexual orientation do no more to enhance qualifications than they do to detract from them. The addition of 30 new Democrats can make a big difference on how the House operates, but what changes by the presence or absence of one minority group or another?

One of the worst aspects of political correctness is this concentration on identity politics—who we are, rather than what we do, or where we hope to lead.

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  1. Ty  •  Nov 8, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    If you are really concerned about identity politics, look in the mirror on the right.

    Identity politics exists on the left on the right, but it's far more potent on the right because there are natural barriers for racial identity politics to scale. How strongly is the entire democratic coalition going to feel about issues that affect black people much more than others? How would policies that lifted up one group over others fare?

    These barriers exist to a much lower extend to the right, because unlike the democratic coalition which is filled with white and black and brown and asian people that share a general common idea set, the ties that bind the right are NOT policies on things like economics or even healthcare policy (look at the ballot initiatives in conservative states on medicaid expansion that overperformed democrats and republicans), they are much more heavily weighted in SHARED IDENTITY.

    WE ARE ALL CHRISTIAN… oh wait, conservative jews, we will grandfather you in because we need you there for end times prophesies where you will later be asked to convert or DIE. (lovely "friends" there)

    We share a common "culture" what does that mean? are you setting up your own cultural religious preferences up in contradistinction to outsiders? Watch how the caravan talk dies down now that the midterms are over, they stirred the white identitarian pot to increase your FEARS of the immigrant other that was going to come in and take up resources and not work and get free stuff (you know you all either think that yourselves as conservatives or have heard plenty others express the same sentiments). Of course, if Trump and conservative media did that now, it might make it seem like Trump was not sticking it to the people you hate, so the fear message dies down.

    God conservatives are so easily played and pushed and pulled. The media messages are so crystal clear and obvious to see from an outsider and honest conservatives without their heads stuck up their .. whatever.

    Last point, since selfish identity politics does not scale the same way on the left as it does on the right, what you do see takes on a VERY different character. Left wing identity politics is generally focused on trying to expand who is included in positions of power and general representation.

    Now, bonus points, think of what right wing identity politics tends to be focused on? EXCLUSION! We want to make sure THOSE people don't get in here, are not allowed to STAY here after crossing illegally against their will at 2 years old (ask the nativists if they want to allow the dreamers to stay, you KNOW the answer)

    Exclusion, this is for OUR people, not your people. That kind of identity politics is the most repulsive of all, and not surprising it exists in the modern republican party, because the party of lincoln has been taken over by the children of the daughters of the confederacy.

    • Ty needs counseling  •  Nov 8, 2018 at 11:05 pm

      You are completely wrong Ty, as usual. Conservatism is based on ideas, none of which depend on race or ethnicity. Conservatism transcends race and ethnicity. Less government control of the economy, more individual freedom, strong national defense, and traditional morality have zero to do with race and ethnicity. If you would let go of your feelings of racial inferiority, and your rage at feeling like you don't belong, you would be a much better person.

    • Ty needs counseling  •  Nov 8, 2018 at 11:24 pm

      This county was founded and became great when it was overwhelmingly western European and Christian. The very basis of our government and morality is based on western European and Christian thinking. But Ty wants to pretend that we have no common culture and that a person from a completely foreign culture, say an Arab or African Muslim is as American as an American that actually shares American culture. Ty, there is an American culture whether you want to admit it or not. And there is nothing wrong with not wanting the country to be overrun by people who don't share American culture. That isn't anything immoral or wrong about wanting to preserve American culture and prevent the country from being overrun by people who don't share American culture. I know you hate American culture and want to destroy it. But that doesn't make it wrong for conservatives to want to preserve it. You can stamp your feet and turn red in the face and call all the names you want – racist, white supremacist, xenophobe, nativist, bla bla bla. That won't change that fact that American culture is based on western European and Christian ideas and there is nothing wrong with wanting to preserve that. Sorry you can't fit in. That does not lead to the conclusion that I should support cultural suicide. Maybe you should just go somewhere else, rather than try to tear this nation down.

      • Rizzo  •  Nov 9, 2018 at 6:43 am

        Well said!

      • Ty  •  Nov 9, 2018 at 11:09 am

        Of course there is an American culture, but by specifically highlighting it as "european" and "christian" it does kind of suggest that if you want to preserve that, why bother letting in too many non europeans and christians.

        The truth of the matter is that America is both multicultural but also used to have a larger American common culture that most people bought into. That last is what seems to have shifted as we've become increasingly sorted into different parties and tribes. And one tribe, the liberal tribe, just as a matter of reality has a higher tolerance for different cultural expressions it can accept while still considering people part of the fold.

        I don't care if an immigrant is white and/or christian, I care that they are decent. And of course, I do not link those two criteria as necessary to maintain an ideal America. Too many conservatives in modern times do, your nativist wing is quite vicious.

        If I was a conservative, that sense of a greater benefit of the doubt and grace extended towards the outsider would be replaced by a larger sense of fear and dread for the future of the nation. Oh dear, how will we maintain the nation as the great beacon it is if too many of "those" people come here and make up the population.

        This fear is real, and it needs to be acknowledged and addressed, because left unchecked, that is the logic behind a foundation of an ethno state and mono religious culture. The intense nihilism and pessimism of the conservative mind to the resiliency of the American system is immense. I suppose they see some of the cultural losses they have "suffered" like greater acceptance of gays and recoil. But the irony is that many native born Americans of European descent and a christian background have higher rates of acceptance of things like gays and gay marriage.

        So even the targets of potential preservation are off. Our divisions are not coming from outside, they are generated inside the nation, based on where we live. I don't interact with a single conservative in my personal life that I am aware of. Not a single one. I've talked to a few, listened to them complain about wanting to leave California for Texas, but not some ongoing relationship. No doubt many conservatives outside family have similar realities.

        And now there are some real and genuine incompatible sub cultures within America that are all American. The liberals of this world have taken up the mantle of being more open to welcoming the stranger, while conservatives in their fear are more likely to try to keep them out.

  2. Rizzo  •  Nov 9, 2018 at 11:54 am

    No country can survive with open borders, unlimited welfare, and ZERO ASSIMILATION.
    But, for a leftist like you, that’s precisely the point. You don’t want America to survive. You want to help destroy it. We have been far too successful, and now we must be punished. We must know the pains that the rest of this world faces. Not only do you leftists promote equality of results among the American citizens, America must be equal to the rest of the world. American Exceptionalism be damned! Because, as all good leftists know, that’s not fair. If one person or country suffers, it must be a direct result of another’s success. The successful must BE PUNISHED!

    • Ty  •  Nov 9, 2018 at 6:12 pm

      I don't want open borders. I don't want unlimited welfare. I don't want ZERO ASSIMILATION.


      I've told you and others before, I have one clear demand. If you are going to rail against me and what I believe, do it based on what I Actually believe, not what you made up in your head because that is the only thing you think you can argue against.

      • Rizzo  •  Nov 9, 2018 at 6:49 pm

        If you don't support open borders, QUIT BITCHING ABOUT BORDER SECURITY.
        If you oppose open borders, then what's your plan?
        If you support assimilation, then what's your plan?
        If you support limiting welfare, then what's your plan?

  3. Nani Tavares  •  Nov 11, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    The bottom line of ID politics is simple. The only group that has no rights are White, Straight, Religious males. There is no equality only a scramble as to who should be on top of the give me privilege heap.

    • Rizzo  •  Nov 11, 2018 at 6:37 pm

      Perfectly concise and correct!
      Thank you!

  4. Audrey A  •  Nov 16, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    Ty points to a really disgusting article in the Economist that quotes a (stupid) study that found if you are a racist, or if you have a "high level of white consciousness" that predicts you will be a Trump supporter. The Economist then makes the appalling leap that the Republican party is full of people obsessed with being white and are racist to boot. What rubbish. That's like saying if a study showed felons are more likely to vote Democrat, the Democratic party is full of felons. With that kind of vapid reasoning printed at the Economist…we are doomed.

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