August 17, 2017

Identity politics can only unravel further what binds us

To be clear, I am unequivocally against every form of division and hatred whether on the left or the right.  I am for what brings us together and lifts us up.

The Liberal Crackup by Mark Lilla

Liberals should reject the divisive, zero-sum politics of identity and find their way back
to a unifying vision of the common good

It is time to admit that American liberalism is in deep crisis: a crisis of imagination and ambition on our side, a crisis of attachment and trust on the side of the wider public....

To meet the Reagan challenge, we liberals needed to develop an ambitious new vision of America and its future that would again inspire people of every walk of life and in every region of the country to come together as citizens. Instead we got tangled up in the divisive, zero-sum world of identity politics, losing a sense of what binds us together as a nation. What went missing in the Reagan years was the great liberal-democratic We. Little wonder that so few now wish to join us.

There is a mystery at the core of every suicide, and the story of how a once-successful liberal politics of solidarity became a failed liberal politics of “difference” is not a simple one. Perhaps the best place to begin it is with a slogan: The personal is the political.

This phrase was coined by feminists in the 1960s and captured perfectly the mind-set of the New Left at the time. ....This was an innovation on the left. Socialism had no time for individual recognition. Rushing toward the revolution, it divided the world into exploiting capitalists and exploited workers of every background. New Deal liberals were just as indifferent to individual identity; they thought and spoke in terms of equal rights and equal social protections for all. Even the early movements of the 1950s and ’60s to secure the rights of African-Americans, women and gays appealed to our shared humanity and citizenship, not our differences. They drew people together rather than setting them against each other.

How ‘Diversity’ Is Tearing America Apart Rod Dreher

Lilla is exactly right when he says that a foundation based on personal identity “sets up a wall against questions” and that “the more obsessed with personal identity campus liberals become, the less willing they become to engage in reasoned political debate.”
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It is not easy to live in a pluralistic democracy. Left-wing identitarians and those who empower them — I’m especially looking at you, university administrators and corporate managers — are making it much harder. A workplace where people have to be on edge for fear that they will be reported to Human Resources for microaggressing someone by engaging in “lookism” is a place that, sooner or later, is going to blow.

The Poison of Identity Politics  WSJ Editorial

The new identity politics that again seeks to divide Americans by race, ethnicity, gender and even religion. “Diversity” is now the all-purpose justification for these divisions, and the irony is that America is more diverse and tolerant than ever.

The problem is that the identity obsessives want to boil down everything in American life to these categories. In practice this means allocating political power, contracts, jobs and now even salaries in the private economy based on the politics of skin color or gender rather than merit or performance. Down this road lies crude political tribalism, and James Damore’s recent Google dissent is best understood as a cri de coeur that we should aspire to something better. Yet he lost his job merely for raising the issue...Identity politics can destroy democratic trust and consent.

Weimar America by Daniel Greenfield

You can’t legitimize one form of racism without legitimizing all of them. The media may advance this hypocritical position. Obama used the shameful “reverse racism” euphemism that distinguishes between black and white racism. But propaganda and spin don’t change the physics of human nature. Either all racism is bad. Or all racism is acceptable.

Charlottesville is what happens when you normalize racism and street violence. Every normalization of extremism equally normalizes the extremism of the opposite side.  A civil society depends on a consensus. ‘Racism is bad’ is an example of such a consensus. If you normalize black nationalism, you will get more white nationalism. If you normalize leftist street violence against Trump supporters, you will also get more street violence against leftists.
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Compromises are uncomfortable. After the Civil War, the Union was preserved, but Southerners were allowed to honor their cause. It was an uncomfortable compromise, but it helped limit the violence from a conflict that had claimed the lives of 2% of the population. The Taliban campaign by black nationalists to tear down Confederate memorials was a deliberate effort at shattering a compromise that kept civil society working.

Washington Post Editorial Openly Calls for Political Violence

Its title "Charlottesville showed that liberalism can't defeat white supremacy. Only direct action can."
It concludes with, “Start throwing rocks."

Here’s A List Of All The Monuments Liberals Want To Tear Down So Far

including the Jefferson Memorial and Mt. Rushmore.  On Wednesday, a bust of Abraham Lincoln was defaced after someone doused it with a flammable liquid and then set it on fire.

What Do We Say About Decent Men Who Died for a Wicked Cause? Spengler

" Of course they're not going to be stop with a few Confederate generals.
They're just getting started. Pretty soon it will be all statues. Then it'll be movies. Then books. They're on a roll and they're not going to stop until they've turned the entire country into 'Fahrenheit 451', Mao's Cultural Revolution, and '1984' all mashed up together and managed by Google" 

Posted by Jill Fallon at August 17, 2017 6:06 PM | Permalink