George Sarant

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INSIDIOUS IDENTITY POLITICS

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 The mainstream media echoes the Democratic party obsession with identity politics, relishing pointing out the alleged lack of “diversity” in the Republican party. Never mind that they deliberately cut away from speakers at the Republican convention that would contradict this, for they have an ideological need to maintain it. 

 The most ridiculous myth is the alleged Republican “problem” with “women.” But, just maybe, there is a Democratic party problem with men. The prevailing assumptions about gender are not only misleading, they are dead wrong. This only makes sense if you accept the ridiculous liberal notion that women somehow constitute a homogeneous interest group. However, in reality few women identify first and foremost as “women,” for they are wives, mothers, and sisters before anything else, and vary tremendously in their career and life choices. Obviously their political beliefs are going to vary accordingly. The notion that any woman “represents” women makes about as much sense as saying a particular man represents “men.” Apart from a few left-wing fanatics we don’t maintain our perceptions in this fashion. 

 Nevertheless there is a difference between how the aggregate of men and women vote, but the reasons have little to do with “women’s issues.” For one thing, married women tend to vote Republican. It is among single women that there is a significant disparity, and here the reasons are largely economic; i.e. think of single mothers on welfare. Those in the lower income brackets tend to identify historically with the Democratic party. Ideology only plays a role for those with higher incomes.  

 Then we have the notion that Republicans have a problem with minorities, due to voting patterns. However, here again it is just possible that the Democrats have a problem with white people. After all, no Democrat running for President has won a majority of whites since Lyndon Johnson, five decades ago. So it is by no means clear just who has the real problem. 

 When the Democrats and their allies in the liberal media incessantly point out how the Republicans are predominantly white, it presumably means that minorities are “underrepresented.” However, the reverse of this is that minorities are overrepresented in the Democratic party. They never consider that though. It is unclear why minorities carry some special grace and greater value as people in this warped calculation. 

 Along these lines we have the notion that the Republicans are doomed to minority party status because minorities represent the “future,” presumably due to a disproportionate increase in population, as the white birthrate plummets to European levels. However, it is not completely clear just who is a “minority.” In one sense, everyone is, to some degree. But the liberals mean people they have defined and stereotyped into categories, such as “Hispanic” and “Asian,” who are in some sense “nonwhite.” But here they categorize people into nonexistent groups, because no one is “Asian” or “Hispanic.” Each belongs to a discrete and unique culture. Thus there are Mexican-Americans, Cuban-Americans, etc., but there are no “Hispanic” Americans. Even more preposterous is the “Asian” label that  is supposed to cover people from very different and geographically distinct cultures. What do people from India have in common with people from Japan, that warrants imposing a shared identity upon them? 

 On closer examination the liberal’s dream world falls apart. First of all there are white “Hispanics,” which means they are not a racial, let alone a political, monolith. Second, many in the “Asian” category have an entrepreneurial proclivity which, longer term, would probably lead to identify more with Republicans. 

 We need to go back several decades to understand where a lot of this silliness came from. In the New York State legislature initially the Democrats had a “black caucus.” Then it became the “black and Puerto Rican” caucus. Then it changed to the “black and Hispanic caucus,” and ultimately, the “black, Hispanic and Asian caucus,” as ridiculous as that sounds, thus enabling some politicians to claim they represent all “minorities,” usually without their consent. It is the liberals that segment and divide people into group identities, preferably with a grievance, as opposed to conservatives, who see them as individuals. 

 The future of this country does indeed depend on which vision prevails, in terms of how people identify themselves. Will they be members of an ethnic group first, or Americans? A good start would be to stop the federal government from forcing group identity on people. We know the pernicious efforts of the left to keep people in group categories will continue, while conservatives encourage them to be individuals within a unified whole, and only time will tell which concept will prevail. 

 
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Written by georgesarant

August 31, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

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