How the Left’s Identity Politics Is Polarizing the Nation
Written by Kevin Catapano on 03/11/2019
According to folks on the left, an individual can be judged based upon his or her identity. Rather than acknowledging the fact that each person is an individual human being complete with unique and varying personal experiences molding their belief systems and ambitions, the left has decided that it is possible to determine a person’s identity based solely on their group’s experience both historically and presently. The left seeks to unite and include people of all races, gender, religions, and cultures in its wonderful utopia of social justice, but, through the incessant summoning of intersectional identity politics, has divided this country and fractured its social fabric into a million identical pieces.
In 1989, a feminist scholar by the name of Kimberle Crenshaw coined the term intersectionality. Essentially, intersectionality is the analysis of the effect that social categorizations of race, sex, and class have on the marginalized and oppressed groups within a given society. In effect, intersectionality gives rise to the notion that the experience of an individual is directly related to that of his or her social group. In other words, an African-American man, according to the left, must have suffered severe and distinct discrimination within the United States because America has had a historical inclination to oppress black people. A woman, according to this ideology, must have suffered discrimination in the United States because America has had a historical inclination to oppress women.
The thinking continues along these lines. If it is possible to identify the experience of the collective and apply it indefinitely to the individual, then it must, according to Crenshaw and her ilk, be possible to stamp a particular set of beliefs on the collective, as well. This is where the poisonous ink permeates into the fabric of American politics.
The term identity politics refers to the notion that people sharing in a particular social grouping will inevitably tend to share the same political beliefs. In theory, African-Americans should, as a collective, support political leaders who support the expansion of increased social welfare programs, for example, because this will supposedly benefit the marginalized African-American community.
An intersectional leftist could be traversing happily down the street only to cross paths with an older African-American gentleman with gray hair and glasses. The leftist might naturally assume that this particular man, being black, has suffered discrimination in America and, as a result, is supportive of leftist economic policies designed to redistribute wealth to poor, marginalized minority groups at the expense of wealthy Americans. Little would this leftist know that the man they just passed was none other than esteemed economist Thomas Sowell who has authored dozens of books over the past century praising free-market capitalism and condemning the socialist redistributive programs proposed by the left.
An intersectional leftist might assume that a woman would support 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on the sole basis that HRC is a female. Of course, Hillary Clinton absolutely must have suffered patriarchal discrimination throughout her career in politics and, therefore, will support the radical feminist agenda at all costs. This would be precisely why the left was so critical of Sarah Palin in 2008.
She was sharp as a tack and tough as nails. Refusing to kowtow to militant feminist radicalism, Palin was obliterated by the left for betraying her gender and “getting in bed” with the patriarchy. Sarah Palin simply believed that women were responsible for their own successes and failures in the freest country on earth and proof that women can succeed without government intervention. Unfortunately for her and John McCain, however, that 08’ election would mark a historic victory for intersectionality and lay the groundwork for the turbulent future of American politics.
Intersectional Identity Politics
Without a doubt, there were folks in 2008 that supported then-candidate Barack Obama on the basis of principle. These voters sought higher taxes on the wealthy and increased redistribution of wealth; they desired increased firearm regulation and a softer approach to foreign relations. Obama/Biden was certainly more willing to comply than McCain/Palin.
But, there was also a massive subset of Americans who viewed that election as a historic referendum on the state of race relations in America, folks who voted Obama/Biden because they wanted to see the first black president. In 2016, the same rule applied to Hillary Clinton. There were a wealth of voters who sought to shatter the glass ceiling at all costs in order that America might have her first female president.
This right here is why American politics is as polarized as it is.
While folks on the right believe in voting for candidates on the basis of policy, folks on the left believe in voting for candidates based on their intersectional appeal.
The Rainbow Party
After the 2018 midterm elections, CNN’s Van Jones, who called the 2016 election of President Trump a “white lash,” praised the Democratic Party for becoming “younger, browner, [and] cooler” in what he described as a “rainbow wave.” Van Jones is an intersectional leftist.
According to Jones, the election of President Trump was indefinitely a “white lash against a changing country” and, in part, against “a black president.” So, the election of President Trump, a Republican, had to be a nationwide act of racism as opposed to a direct rebuke of President Obama’s punishing economic and foreign policies which crippled the American economy for eight years.
Likewise, the election of Trump over Clinton had to be sexism.
As a nation, we’ve predominantly ceased to judge our political leaders on ideology. Instead, we determine their value to the nation by their intersectional appeal. Nowhere is this more evident than within the Democratic Party as it barrels toward the 2020 presidential election like a rainbow bowling ball.
The Democratic field includes a number of candidates that can be ranked according to the left’s intersectional hierarchy. The hierarchy is based on the level of suffering that a candidate’s social group has historically and presently endured. Keep in mind, of course, their ranking has nothing to do with individual personal experience, only the group as a whole.
Many believe Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) to be the frontrunner within the Democratic Party due to its radical embrace of intersectionality. According to the left, Sen. Harris, who is black and a woman, belongs to two groups that have suffered historical discrimination: African-Americans and women. Harris has been a Senator for approximately ten minutes and was one of the worst attorney generals in the history of California. Yet, she is a presidential candidate because she collects not one, but two intersectional ribbons.
Sen. Corey Booker (D-NJ) is one of the worst Senators in Congress, representing a state wrought with atrocious economic numbers and high rates of crime. He has had a number of bonehead flubs recently, including his “Spartacus” moment during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings and his recent branding of the Jussie Smollett hate crime hoax a “modern-day lynching” only two weeks before it was proven to have been staged. Yet, because Sen. Booker is an African-American man, he ranks high on the intersectional hierarchy, but lower than black women like Kamala Harris.
Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand,
These three Senators are outranked on the left’s intersectional hierarchy because they are white, but they rank higher than the white, male candidates. Consequently, they have been forced to embrace radically left policies in order to remain competitive with their more intersectional colleagues.
This is the reason that Sen. Elizabeth Warren has repeatedly made a fool of herself on the campaign trial by viciously attacking wealthy corporations and businessmen in an effort to appear tough in her stance against capitalism. She seeks widespread socialist redistribution of wealth, nationalized healthcare, and free education. These are all ideas that play well to naïve college students with a juvenile understanding of basic economic principles, but not to the majority of American voters. This would also be the reason that Sen. Warren lied about her supposed Native American victimhood status for four decades; and why she now has about 1/1020th of a chance to be president.
Bernie Sanders, Beto O’Rourke
These two candidates are at the bottom of the hierarchy because they are white, heterosexual, males, the worst type of candidate according to the left. Their respective social groups’ historical benefiting of societal oppression automatically disqualifies them from offering the country anything of value. This is precisely why they have both been forced to embrace radical views in order to pander for votes. Sen. Sanders (I-VT) has embraced full-scale socialism replete with free college tuition and nationalized healthcare. Beto O’Rourke, who is currently unemployed, wants to actually tear down the U.S.-Mexico border wall, or, at the very least, sections of it.
If this all sounds ridiculously stupid, that’s because it is.
We don’t judge people by their race, sex, or economic class, but by the content of their character if judgement cannot be withheld at all. We certainly don’t determine a political candidate’s value by these superficial identifiers or their group history, but by their qualifications, accomplishments, and policy proposals.
This is absolutely damning for the political left. There is little evidence to suggest that Americans in aggregate actually desire socialism. Most understand that free healthcare and education are pie-in-the-sky fever dreams; that massive redistribution of wealth is immoral and increasing taxes on the rich will tank the U.S. economy.
If Democrats continue to double-down on this garbage, they will lose elections. While I think that’s awesome, it is terrible for the social fabric of this nation because ours requires unity through negotiations and concessions, not a polarized political environment comprised of headstrong, partisan hacks on both sides. We are One Nation under God regardless of race, gender, class, or even religion. This is the greatest, freest country on the planet and in the history of the planet and folks can’t even stand up for the goddamned National Anthem.
Until the left understands this, the Democratic Party will continue to discriminate against itself and the nation, as a whole, will continue to suffer.