PRESIDENTIAL PROS AND CONS: IDENTITY POLITICS

Hillary Clinton

When Hillary Clinton was running against Bernie Sanders, Daniel Denvir ended his column in Salon with this observation.

The Clintons rose to power by marginalizing the left and dividing working people against each other. Little, it seems, has changed. (from here)

Denvir complaint is not against identity politics, which he apparently supports. His problem was the way H. Clinton approached class issues. Sanders, as a socialist, focused on class warfare. Clinton?

Clinton, who not so long ago bragged that Obama had failed to attract the support of “hardworking Americans, white Americans,” is now tweeting through the lens of intersectionality and entreating white voters on the campaign trail to “recognize our privilege and practice humility.” Clinton, however, is using racial justice against class-based grievances as a tool to attack Sanders from the right. Her campaign has gone so far as to suggest that Sanders’ pledge to make public universities tuition-free is racist because it would exclude private historically black colleges and universities. Only this campaign, this year, could cause a Democrat to suggest that free public education is racist. (from here)

Intersectionality? I had to look that one up too. Denvir’s column is full of pseudointellectual babble, but he did observe something important. Instead of being about freedom and resolving our conflicts, the battle between Clinton and Sanders came down to a dispute over identity politics. Of course, now that H. Clinton has defeated Sanders tuition-free public universities are no longer racist; they are a “right”.

Cal Thomas begins his column on Hillary Clinton and Identity Politics with this wry observation.

Have you heard that Hillary Clinton is the “first woman” ever to be nominated for president by a major political party? Of course you have. The media have repeated the line so often it is broken news.

Hillary Clinton’s nomination and the euphoria in the press (one NPR female reporter said she has seen women weeping over the possibility of Hillary becoming president) eclipses any discussion about the real issues facing the country.

To quote Clinton in another context, “what difference does it make” that she is a woman? A liberal is a liberal, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity. (continued here)

Thomas goes on to remind us that “tolerance” in the hands of Liberal Democrats politicians is just a weapon, not a sincerely held belief. When Conservative minorities (women included) reach high positions of power, Liberal Democrats don’t applaud; they attack.

Donald Trump

Of course, Liberal Democrats try to tie Donald Trump’s rise in presidential politics to racism. H. Clinton called Trump’s supporters deplorable, even irredeemable.  Inevitably some academics, Eric D. Knowles and Linda R. Tropp, went out to find “proof” she is right.

Many political commentators credit Donald Trump’s rise to white voters’ antipathy toward racial and ethnic minorities. However, we believe this focus on racial resentment obscures another important aspect of racial thinking.

In a study of white Americans’ attitudes and candidate preferences, we found that Trump’s success reflects the rise of “white identity politics” – an attempt to protect the collective interests of white voters via the ballot box. Whereas racial prejudice refers to animosity toward other racial groups, white identity reflects a sense of connection to fellow white Americans.

We’re not the first to tie Trump’s candidacy to white identity politics. But our data provide some of the clearest evidence that ongoing demographic changes in the United States are increasing white racial identity. White identity, in turn, is pushing white Americans to support Trump. (continue here)

We have politicians who make it their business to stir up and exploit racial divisions. Therefore, whites are growing nervous about being exploited. That’s Trump’s fault?

Blacks largely vote Democrat, but why? What do they get out of it? Consider the view of a black pastor, Rev. Bill Owens.

As a child, I picked cotton for three cents a pound. As a young man, I stood up against racial discrimination, marching with leaders like the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. as part of the great Civil Rights Movement. As an adult, I worked to pass on the value of education to a new generation through the Give Me a Chance Ministry and later founded the Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP).

For much of that time, like many other African-American men, I considered myself a Democrat. Then came the moment when I realized that the Democratic Party had abandoned me and my values. Now, I am astounded to see the harm they have caused to the black voters that have supported them for so long.

State-sponsored dependency, launched through Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and perpetuated in endless government programs, has robbed us of our dignity and enslaved our people. Failed housing policies have destroyed the inner cities and helped turn black-on-black crime into the scourge of our communities. Abortion-on-demand has had a near-genocidal effect on our population, and all of these policies have helped encourage illegitimacy, the destruction of the family, and a terrible cycle of poverty. (from here)

Is Trump the man Owens sees as the solution? We don’t know. Owens does not tell anyone how to vote, but I think Owens sees God as the solution. What is also plain is that Owens thinks the Democrats have abandoned God. The purveyors of identity politics do not seem much willing to tolerate Christian beliefs.

So what is remarkable about Trump? How did this outsider gain the Republican nomination? Perhaps it has something to do what with Monica Crowley calls Trump’s most profound words.

In the 16 months since Donald Trump announced his candidacy, he has said many hard-hitting and provocative things.

But he has also said the single most important thing of the campaign.

It was a statement that was so obvious and deceptively simple that it largely evaporated into the political ether. But it was also a statement of such power that it transformed the Republican presidential race — and may very well determine the future path of the nation. And it was only five words long.

“I’m rich!” he exclaimed. “I’m really rich.”

That declarative statement was as profound a statement any candidate for president could make — because for eight long years, President Obama and the left have waged a vicious, relentless war on the wealthy, individual success, business and the nation’s prosperity. Personal wealth has been endlessly attacked and demonized, and economic growth has been stifled. Mr. Obama and his comrades have used brutal class warfare to radically redistribute wealth in order to achieve what he called “the fundamental transformation of the nation.” (continued here)

America use to praise success. Now too many of us envy it.  When we covet what others have, devious people just pit us against each other. Instead of making America great, they encourage us to tear our country down.

Can Trump resolve our divisions, America’s epidemic of identity politics? No. Only God can heal our self-inflicted wounds, but listen to the video above. What Trump offers is far more healthy than what his opponent offers. The subject is his First 100 Day Plan.

To Be Continued

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14 thoughts on “PRESIDENTIAL PROS AND CONS: IDENTITY POLITICS

  1. “Have you heard that Hillary Clinton is the “first woman” ever to be nominated for president by a major political party? Of course you have. The media have repeated the line so often it is broken news”

    What should be more troubling for women to consider to choose her to represent women is she may also turn out to be the last women candidate chosen to be President..

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tony

      Scatterwisdom,

      I don’t know you. I don’t know that I always agree with you, but I sure enjoy your way of putting things. You seem like a class act. Goodwill blogging back atcha. ☺️

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on Rudy u Martinka and commented:

    “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!”

    This statement made by former Secretary of State Madeline Albright is a prime example of identity politics being employed by Hillary Clinton. I recalled this statement after reading this blog post.

    Will women respond and vote for Hillary just because she would be the first woman President and no other reason? With the mounting evidence of her being proven a liar, plus the Wikileaks information proving her ties to special foreign and domestic interests for big money donations, I wonder why would women want to identify with her at all?
    Also, perhaps, based the accusations which she will not respond to other than to accuse Trump of being supported by Russia, that after her term expires, there may never be another woman elected.

    Frankly, I would think that Russia would want to support Hillary instead of because she approved the sale of twenty percent of the USA mining of uranium to Russia. Perhaps Russia, if they are indeed the source, may be upset for some other reason we also do not know about?

    I recommend you read Citizen Tom’s blog about how identity politics serves to separate our nation instead of resolving the issues which now are dividing us.

    In my opinion, I wonder if woman who do not vote for Hillary because they do not want to identify with her will instead have a special place in heaven.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tony

      It seems to me that many here are judging Secretary Clinton by a different standard than they would ever judge a man. I think this has to do with deep seated cultural and psychological resentments that both men and women share against women who are ambitious for political power, even though such ambition is a necessary character trait for anyone, male or female, who would seek a high political office, much less for someone seeking the highest political office in the land. Men who seek and wield political power are expected to be coldly calculating and shrewdly manipulative, but when a woman does it, it is denounced as a character flaw.

      For example, take the Wikileaks revelations. Stretch your imagination. Start by imagining that an adversarial foreign power hacked Trump supporters’ emails in order to influence our elections in favor of Hillary Clinton, and that the voracity of each item likely has been tampered with. Now, if you can, imagine the same emails as attributing whatever it is that is negative toward Donald Trump instead of Hillary Clinton. If the leaked item made Trump seem ambitious toward power, coldly calculating and cunningly manipulative, would you, find that to be admirable qualities for a negotiator, or at least would you give Trump a pass and explain it away. Many here have repeatedly given Trump a pass for much, much worse. So why the double standard? Why the false equivalencies? And who is really playing “identity politics” here?

      When a black man is pulled over repeatedly and questioned by police for doing nothing more than being black, then his only recourse is to point out to everyone that he is being discriminated against for his identity of being male and black. If a woman seeking political power is subjected to a different standard than a man seeking the same office (eg. “nasty woman”, not “nasty person”, not “nasty politician”, but “nasty woman”) then doesn’t she and the women who support her have a right, even an obligation, to point out that that sort of prejudice is being applied? Who are actually the ones unfairly using “identity politics” here? Certainly not Clinton or her women supporters.

      Of course, we all want basic integrity in any President, but we also want a strong streak of pragmatism. For any politician who would run our country, I hope that they are ambitious, politically calculating, sly almost to a fault and exceedingly manipulative with our nation’s power, especially when it comes to protecting our citizens. You can swoon with idealistic notions about power if you want to, but the fact is that no one, man or woman, would actually be qualified or even rise to the nomination of president if they did not have most of these leadership traits.

      I think if they were capable of being honest with themselves, many of Clinton’s critics would realize that they were judging Clinton by a different standard than they would ever judge Trump, and that at least one of the main reasons for their the types of criticism that are applying is because Clinton is a woman. This whining about “identity politics” is mostly just a smoke screen for the failure to have a basic epiphany about how our own prejudices effect our decisions. The reason why the majority of women are voting for Clinton is that they are having that epiphany, throwing out the double standard, and measuring the two candidates as leaders instead. On this standard, given everything we know about the candidates’ records and what they have said, there is not even a real comparison. Trump is an unabashed, self-serving scoundrel, and Clinton is a shrewd and tested leader.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. You see the sun shinning on a cloudy day. I see a nasty storm coming and I am trying to seek better cover than another empty suit politician in the White house. Regards and goodwill blogginng.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Tony

          Scatterwisdom

          And if you don’t like Clinton’s or the Democratic Party’s policy platfrom, or if you prefer Trump’s or the Republican Party’s policies, then that is a fair argument. However, if we are going to make this a personality and character contest (as it should be to some extent), let’s make sure that we are using the same ruler for both candidates rather than one that is bent by our own unrecognized prejudices for one and not the other.

          Has any other Secretary of State been so incessantly hounded and investigated for other tragedies like what happened in Benghazi? We have had many other tragedies you know. What other Secretaries of State have had their public and private emails subject to such scrutiny? The fact that, out of thousands, only three sent to her account were arguably misclassfied and then ambiguously marked at the lowest level of classification does not surprise me. What surprises me is that there are not more than just three. Who is demanding to look at Secretary Rice’s and Secretary Powell’s private and public email accounts to see if their record is as good? And some here seriously wonder why Clinton has had to be so secretive?

          Or for that matter, let’s just suppose that Secretary Clinton had not stood by her philandering husband, but instead was the philanderer herself. Let’s imagine that she had a series of extramarital affairs with very young men, and that she had been married three times, with her latest husband being young enough to be her son. Would the same people claiming concern about Clinton’s religious convictions while at the same time so strangely giving Trump a complete pass turn the same sort of blind eye if those manizing shoes were on Clinton’s female feet? I don’t think so, but each one of us has to look in our own soul and see if we are judging this in a way that we would not want ourselves to be judged, and if our own unrecognized prejudices are effecting that judgement.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. “Has any other Secretary of State been so incessantly hounded and investigated…”

          There is a 3000 year old proverb that I believe appropriately addresses your comment.

          However, before I relate it to your statement, allow me to explain why I believe Hillary Clinton is not my choice and why millions of Americans are disenchanted with long term politicians in my opinion.

          Politicians, including Hillary, bold face lie. Her husband did the same when he stated “he never had sex with that worman. “ Nixon the same.

          The fact that she and her husband were paid by Corporations to give speeches for up to one million dollars for one speech and no quid pro quo was involved is to me a statement that we are fools to believe her.

          Like snow in summer and like rain in harvest, So honor is not fitting for a fool. 2Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, So a curse without causedoes not alight. (Proverb 26:1.2)

          Regards and goodwill blogging.

          Liked by 2 people

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  5. Tony

    Scatterwisdom – like I said, I sure enjoy the way you put things.

    I share most of your sentiments regarding professional politicians. However, the system is what it is unless we change it systemically. Newt’s sweep into power with the “Contract with America” had term limits if I remember it correctly, but it seems that was quickly forgotten once they got in.

    In most side-by-side comparisons of politicians, Clinton does no worse and fares much better in most categories. As far as mendacity goes, she has lied, but on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst lying politicians and 1 being the most truthful and 5 being the average, Clinton is probably at the low end of the scale. Trump, by most objective comparisons of truth is off the scale at the high end of mendacity. Many fact checking organizations have Trump lying about once every three minutes on his stump speeches and during the debates.

    As for speaking engagements, I find it disturbing that any politician does this because, whether or not there is an actual quid pro quo, it has, as we used to say in the Navy, a disgusting amount of the appearance of impropriety. On the other hand, it is just not very unusual for politicians in either political party to do this. So once again, as long as we are to judge Clinton by the same standard, then she is no better, but certainly no worse than the norm.

    There is some truth to Trump saying that the system is rigged against outsiders. There is also some truth to the fact that purpose of political parties is to be gate keepers against just the charismatic neophytes and dangerous demagogues that Trump represents. Perhaps we should be careful what we wish for.

    I’m all for systemic reform, but it should be incremental, consitutional and well thought out so as to avoid negative unintended consequences. I’d love to see more learned ministers, priests, nuns, teachers, professionals and businesspersons in politics, but that will take both top-down and bottom-up reform, not the explosion of the whole constitutional system that electing a self centered conman like Trump portends.

    What I find amazing is that any conservative Republican actually thinks Trump is a conservative Republican. Trump is not a moral idealist or ideologue of any stripe. He is the ultimate pandering populist politician more in the mold of Huey P. Long than Ronald Reagan.

    The Tea Party took over all the energy in the Republican Party and Trump coopted the Tea Party, but he is no ideological Tea Partier and never has been. Look at what he is planning. Like any populist demagogue, Trump is bribing taxpayers with “bigly” projects, but he plans to have our taxpayer grandkids pay for them. And mark my words carefully, if Trump gets elected, he will repeal Obamacare, but he will also replace it with a single payer system, and working class people will applaud him for it even though it explodes the deficit, and it might even get Trump reelected. Trump’s not playing by the Republican rules that you think he is. Trump is playing by populist rules that belong to neither Party’s basic ideologies at this point. Trump is playing the rules that will make him wildly popular, damn who it hurts, damn the whole country, if that is what it takes to make the Trump brand win.

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