Because some people abuse the privilege of anonymity, anonymity is an issue on the Internet. Some people put their names out there proudly and fearlessly. Perhaps as a consequence of what they have said others have no desire whatsoever to be exposed. Since I blog about politics and religion, I suppose I might seem to be in the latter category. Am I dreadfully fearful of being exposed? Could I be shivering in my hiking boots preparing to spend my last days hidden in a wilderness cave. That is an interesting thought to some, I suppose, but it is not the subject of this post. This post is about identity politics and the guilt trip.
I just finished an interesting debate. Neither of us minced words. Considering my host called his post Healthcare Hypocrisy and I probably qualify as one of his hypocrites, we did well to avoid name calling. As the debate careened to its ending, my host (The blog is named american secularist.) posed a question. Here is his question and the dialogue that followed.
After my last comment, added this tidbit and closed comments.
When I had no desire to make either of us the issue, insisted upon making the issue personal. Ironically, he was so determined to lump me into an identity group, he did, “the audience Kellyanne Conway actually makes sense to”.
What is the point of identity politics? Why is it a danger? Well, one is rather obvious. We tend to form political factions. That is, we combine forces with people who have similar interests. As James Madison explained in The Federalist, Paper # 10, the Constitution was at least in part designed to combat factional politics (See also my post, THE ADVANTAGE OF A REPUBLIC OVER A DEMOCRACY.). What I had not considered more seriously is the way those who make use of identity politics use it as a scheme for shaming their opponents. However, that is probably the main point of identity politics. Is not every identity group also a victim group? Don’t Democrat Liberals try to shame us as selfish or bigoted if we don’t give in and spend Federal dollars on this or that program for this or that identity group? It is either give in or suffer a guilt trip. Right?
So what is the solution? Do we need to update the Constitution so that is unconstitutional for Democrat Liberals to shame Conservative Republicans? When Democrat Liberals don’t pay attention to the Constitution, what good would that do? In this case we need to laugh. We are going broke taking this nonsense seriously.
Consider. Here we have an openly professed Secularist trying to guilt trip us into adopting his politics. What is the usual complaint we get about Christianity from unbelievers? Christianity is a guilt trip?
Consider what John 10:10 says.
John 10:10 New King James Version (NKJV)
10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Jesus died and rose from the dead so that we might be forgiven, not loaded with guilt. When we discuss politics, religion, or anything else, what matters is doing the right thing for the right reason. When people try to shame us to get what they want, we need to encourage them to reexamine their paradigm for problem solving. Shaming people instead of seriously considering the issues does no one any good.
On the health care issue, posed as an objective observer, but there is no such thing. The minute we take a public position and start arguing for that position our ego involved. Ironically, the very thing he wanted me to do makes losing a public debate more threatening. Because he has publicly identified himself and staked out such a fiercely maintained position, anyone could easily question his objectivity. How willing is he to admit a mistake?
So what about being a hermit? Well, it is a possibility. Know any rich guy who needs a Garden hermit? I have no desire to be an object of amusement, but I would happy to give that rich guy advice. Anybody have Donald Trump’s phone number?