I don’t remember the first time I felt a sinking feeling when I heard someone speak of “guys like me” as “white males.” Being male was a tremendous indictment. Remember the Billie Jean King tennis match against Bobby Riggs that was touted as the “Battle of the Sexes?” That’s the first time I realized there was an American culture battle against males. But now it’s “white males?”
Over time, I learned that, to a certain set of people, there was something positively wrong with being white. “We” were the great privileged oppressors of history. And “we” were the great privileged oppressors of the present. Since the introduction to me of how evil “white males” are in the World today, I have learned to know that in politics, we are no longer Democrats, Republicans, Independents, or Libertarians. No, those labels are long gone. The principle categories for us are far more vast and varied and include a variety of labels that are mind-boggling. There are so many labels that “experts” have come up with a name for the science of labeling us in even smaller subsets of characteristics. Oh no: being a woman, a man, a white or “minority” woman or man is passe. The labeling process is now so sophisticated and complicated it has been labeled itself: Identity politics.
Identity politics, also called identitarian politics, refers to political positions based on the interests and perspectives of social groups with which people identify. Identity politics includes the ways in which people’s politics may be shaped by aspects of their identity through loosely correlated social organizations. Examples include social organizations based on age, religion, social class or caste, culture, dialect, disability, education, ethnicity, language, nationality, sex, gender identity, generation, occupation, profession, race, political party affiliation, sexual orientation, settlement, urban and rural habitation, and veteran status. Not all members of any given group are involved in identity politics.
So, no longer can I be just a guy from Louisiana. Now to be politically correct I must wear a label to fit the parameters of politically correct Identity politics. I instead am a 64 year old Evangelical, Middle Class, English speaking, college educated, white male, business owner who is a heterosexual registered Independent urban citizen who did not serve in the military. (I doubt my Mom and Dad thought much about aspirations for me to achieve the majority of those labels!)
Identity politics is now so prevalent in American society and has become such a damaging factor that it while not always top of mind for people as inter-relation with others occurs, has changed the way Americans think about pretty much everything. Think about this: everything in our lives revolves around PEOPLE who are in our lives. It does not matter where we go, what we do, or even if we stay locked up inside our homes, PEOPLE are directly involved in all of this. And in the atmosphere of Identity politics, labels mean everyone has a mental perspective of everyone else, even though there is a good chance whatever label is given will be incorrect.
This “insanity” is why so many on the Left have found it somewhat easy to pass their ideals along to those who comprise small (and even large) minority groups who intrinsically experience alienation in varying ways simply because of what label has been placed on them. The political correctness that has been demanded for decades has become the fuel of Identity politics and has now been exposed as the political scourge of this century. And we have only seen the beginning.
For a moment just think this through: no longer are political inclinations simply a product of the thoughts and ideals possessed by a voter that shape who that voter is and who they align themselves with regarding each political issue. Sure, that may be sufficient for the voter, but Identity politics ideologues demand much more. No longer can one simply “think” through social and political issues and make choices, now those choices are pretty much made for them.
Remember in yesterday’s story about Socialism I stated that in a true Socialist state there must be someone who is empowered to be the ultimate arbiter for all things? The same holds true in Identity politics — someone has to pull the trigger. Through history we’ve seen it happen again and again: Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Hirohito, FDR, JFK, Churchill, and that list goes on and on of people who have on a world stage accepted authority of Identity politics. In almost every case for them, something desperate among their constituents initiated the action that gave them that permission.In most cases those desperate things came through wars or other horrors within their countries.
Today, however, there are major differences. With the exception of the dictators in that group who simply get their “permission” to structure Identity politics from taking it, in the cultures and societies in which others live, they receive that permission from those around them: citizens, voters, heads of corporations, politicians, etc. The main point is that they are “given” that permission rather than simply taking it. So we enter the 21st Century and how Identity politics have changed.
“Permission” that was historically granted in other societies other than the totalitarian examples listed above is now simply demanded and assumed rather than given and/or earned. There is the rub: there IS no permission. No longer do persons have the right and ability to determine their political identity simply because of their education, lifestyles, spiritual moralities, and personal preferences. It is almost as if today there really are thought police who read minds and then assume authority to determine who people really are. And think deeply about what I am about to say: “While no one has the anointing, permission, right or obligation to determine political identities, there are plenty who step up to claim the authority for that and do so anyway.”
Let’s end this with a perfect example: it matters not what your opinion of abortion is today. That issue is probably the most controversial issue in the U.S. political structure today: Pro Life or Right to Life. While no one in Identity politics has any permission to label anybody, if/when you verbalize your support or your angst of abortion, Identity politicians immediately determine which basket you fit in. They then — without even thinking about it — tag you with all of the attributes and thought processes that they believe go along with that position. If you are a white Southern male, not only are you racist, you are a right-wing Pro Life Republican who simply has to be homophobic, Islamaphobic, xenophobic, and Southern Baptist.
Have you ever been called a racist? Probably. Have you ever countered that tag by saying or thinking, “How could someone call me a racist who doesn’t know me, my life, my family, my business, who my friends are and with whom I socialize? They cannot possibly know if I’m racist.” It happens every day. The bottom line: it does NOT matter what or who you really are, all that matters in Identity politics is the label that someone puts on you even without knowing anything about you.
Who are the purveyors of Identity politics labels? Anyone can take that role, but most often those on the extreme Left are the ones that do. What qualifies them for that role? Nothing. But remember this: the Left does not need for anything they say or feel or think to be real for them to say, feel, or think. Because their fundamental starting point is that they are smarter than anyone, know better what is best for people better than anyone else, and that because of their superiority and far advanced intelligence, they have the anointing to be the purveyors of Identity politics labels.
Keep this in mind when you watch Democrat press conferences or interviews in which they make the most outlandish and unsubstantiated allegations against Republicans. Ever wonder why so many liberals cried when Hillary lost or how they could be so nasty even now to President Trump and those who support him? It’s because they have been given permission to do that. They are simply acting out their role.
I’ll end by pointing something out: those on the Left in the media honestly feel they have something akin to Divine permission to label you and everyone else. And all thoses time when you are simply tempted to throw a soft drink bottle at your television when watching an interview or a CNN talk show host sarcastically make fun of Ivanka or Melania or VP Pence or some other Conservative, remember why they do it: It’s their role in this political system to determine for you who you are and where you fit. It’s simply because of Identity politics and they have permission to do so….or think they do.