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Response to forjusticethunders (Reply #84)

Thu May 12, 2016, 09:52 AM

126. There is some overlap in our positions, but...

I agree with 2-5 because they are concrete and logical. I completely disagree with 1.

Identity politics has historically been shown to provoke irrational, easily-manipulable backlash and polarization. It solidifies the group and fragments the society. Just because you say it is not allowed doesn't mean that it is not completely divisive.

IMHO, identity politics has been the death of liberalism. It is tribalism**** to demand that a person be identified by one and only one aspect of their lives. Nixon started us on this road when he began handing out Federal jobs based on race ( Philadelphia Plan ). His intention was to set the largely white, racist labor movement against the Civil Rights movement. That is what happened. Over time, this lets-you-and-him-fight manipulation has led to identity politics, and total success for the GOP, the Southern Strategy, etc.

Whatever happened to equal rights? Equal justice under law? That is all you can get in a society dominated by a rapacious 1% who play divide and conquer games all the time. Identity politics is doing the 1%'s work for them.

Tell me, when I am arguing against a non-tribal issue, like income inequality, how do I "place marginalized people in the front of the movement"? If I pick a tribe, then all the other tribes say - look this is more favoritism for tribe X. I will not support this. When the issue is broader than a tribe, as it is with income, to focus on one group, to say one group is the most burdened is to start a "who is more victimized contest" that leaves everyone angry - both the most victimized who feel dissed, and the other victims who feel ignored.

Identity politics has reached ludicrous levels with children as young as five deciding they are transsexuals. Please. A kid that age has no idea what he or she is saying. But "liberal" parents feel they have to defend their child on this ludicrous claim. There have been tomboys since forever. But now, they or their parents say they are transsexuals. I am willing to accept that they might turn out to be gay; but that they are "in the wrong body and require surgery"? Give me a break.

There is now a new identity group: "binaries". These are kids who demand to be treated as male one day and female the next. I am not joking. My wife is a psychologist and she has to deal with this complete nonsense. The fact that it blew up out of nowhere right after gay rights was settled makes the whole thing seem like a plot to keep the tribalism going.

I do not support the outlandish overkill that is identity politics today. I support the kind of civil rights movement approach to enforcing the laws impartially. Of course, since we do not enforce many laws at all, when it comes to the 1%, corporations, or the MIC, I doubt what I want will happen. But I will not support the divide-and-conquer mistake of identity politics.

**** I do not use "tribe" as a codeword for "race". I use it to mean the kind of politics based only on group loyalty and not on explicit political principles or Constitutions. That is why people call the Middle East "Tribes with Flags".

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