IDENTITY POLITICS AND THE GUILT TRIP

Representation of an ornamental hermit in Germany in the late 18th century (1795) by Johann Baptist Theobald Schmitt: Eremit in Flotbeck. (from here)

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.

  • BTW – just curious Tom; by no means do you have to answer. But I’m kinda ‘full disclosure’ on my site. You can see a real photo of me, taken just a few weeks ago. I’m posting under my real name. You can run a search on me on bing or google, and you’ll find my voting and license registrations, my former addresses in Ohio an Virginia, maybe as far back to my college days in Tennessee. You won’t find a criminal record, a judgement for non-payment, or anything negative on me. I’m addressing you as Tom, but I know that’s a pseudonym in deference to the great Thomas Paine – whose secularist ideas, by the way, were in much greater harmony with my opinion than with yours.

    I’ve also disclosed my healthcare status on my site, as I find it disingenuous to discuss what should apply to Americans in general without doing so. What’s your healthcare status? Did you have employer-provided insurance for most of your working life – something people in their 20s and 30s increasingly don’t have access to? Are you a recipient of Medicare or Medicaid? These are very personal questions, I know, and I understand if you don’t want to disclose. But I just want to make it clear that I am first of all, not a hypocrite or partisan, and secondly, that I’m not advocating for programs out of self-benefit. Much of what I support would raise my taxes considerably once I return to the US.

  • Don

    When Thomas Paine first started writing in support of the American Revolution, he did so anonymously. Since the British probably would have hung him, he had a much better reason than I for writing under a pseudonym. Nevertheless, part of the reason….well, this quote is on my About page.

    Who the Author of this Production is, is wholly unnecessary to the Public, as the Object for Attention is the DOCTRINE ITSELF, not the MAN. Yet it may not be unnecessary to say, That he is unconnected with any Party, and under no sort of Influence public or private, but the influence of reason and principle. — from the introduction to “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine

    Am I a member of the Republican Party? Am I a Conservative? Yes and yes. I don’t go to great lengths to hide my identity. Nevertheless, if what I say does not make sense, then no one has to attack me. They can revel in attacking the DOCTRINE ITSELF. If the DOCTRINE ITSELF does make sense, however, then no one has any reason to attack or make me the issue. Therefore, who I am does not matter.

    You see it differently. You make known who you are. You think it matters. Then I suppose you think personal experience very important. Sometimes it is, but with respect to issues of public policy, I don’t give the experience of one person much weight. Granted, some people take a political position just for personal gain, but I don’t read minds. I am not equipped to judge that sort of bias. Therefore, I try not to argue against the policy positions of ordinary citizens on that basis. So rest assured I will do my best, especially where we disagree, to focus on the DOCTRINE ITSELF, not the man. Rather than needlessly anger someone, I think it better to make a friend.

  • I think more direct to the point, Tom, is that there are people who argue against public healthcare when they are beneficiaries of such – Congress, for example – seems a bit hypocritical to me. It’s not my experience that matters – my experiences are important only to me – it’s my objectivity. If, for example, you were arguing against public healthcare for others, while receiving it yourself – I think that would be important for people to know. A lot of people out there preaching one thing while benefiting from another. The purity of the message can be diluted, even spoiled by the messenger.

  • Identity politics of some sort always seems to be something of an issue. Even if I cannot be objective, how about you? Why don’t you just pretend I am a black, transgendered, abused spouse? If that is not enough, you can add that I am a disabled, Muslim, short, refugee (illegal immigrant) woman from Haiti. Thus, I can appropriately as speak as a huge victim on almost any consequential issue of the day.

    Are you talking about a real problem? Yes. If a poor man robs a rich man, other poor men may tend to lack sympathy. Other rich men will, however, find the incident more disturbing. We see things from our own point-of-view, but our point-of-view does not change what is right or what is wrong. Robbery is wrong regardless of who robs who.

After my last comment, added this tidbit and closed comments.

  • Tom your last 2 answers are just a lot of dissembling – reading your comments helps me to understand the audience Kellyanne Conway actually makes sense to. My question was whether you were arguing against public healthcare for others while enjoying the benefits thereof yourself. I’d find that incredibly hypocritical if you were – more support for the title of this post.. But in all the verbiage above I find no answer – really yes, no, or none of your business is all that’s required.

    It has nothing to do with identity politics or ‘victims’ – it’s all about transparency and objectivity. The fact that I disclose who I am allows readers to judge both for themselves.

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?

 

THE MOST FEARED BEAST OF THE JUNGLE?

A Pembroke Welsh Corgi, the more common of the two breeds of Welsh Corgi (from here)

What is the most fearsome beast of the jungle? Do you think it is an animal with razor sharp claws? Perhaps a predator with big teeth? You would be wrong. Read on.

An Englishman went on safari in Zambia, taking his faithful corgi along for company. One day the corgi decided to go do some exploring on her own.

As she was wandering around, she saw a leopard approaching with the obvious intention of having her for lunch. Just in time, she noticed some bones on the ground nearby, and settled down to chew on the bones with her back to the approaching leopard. (continued here)

SHE CAN’T GET THIS RIGHT?

The special election (See www.pwcvotes.com.) for Prince William County’s Clerk of the Court, scheduled for April 18,2017, has been a relatively quiet affair, but we do have some funny fireworks.  So here is a reminder to vote and a few details about what I hope was just a snafu.

Who is running for the job?

Smith apparently is either an inexperienced candidate, or she is devious. The Republican Party of Virginia seems to think her devious, but I will give her the benefit of the doubt.

BREAKING: PWC, Manassas, Manassas Park Democrat Activists Distribute Illegal Sample Ballots

In a special election in Prince William County, Manassas City, and Manassas Park City local Democrat Party activists are handing out illegal ballots with intent to fool voters! The “sample” ballots have an official seal on them with a disclaimer from the local electoral board and a marking for the Democrat candidate. The problem is all three of these issues run directly counter to our state’s election law!

Even more ironic, the special election is for the Clerk of Court position which oversees the areas courts. Local Democrat Party activists are breaking election laws in an attempt to insert someone to oversee the court system!

We will not let the Democrats get away with this travesty! RPV has notified the authorities and is fully prepared to take legal action to ensure this election is not rigged against our candidate.

Make sure to let the local Dem candidate know that we are on to her supporters illegal dirty tricks. Call her campaign at 571-529-9379! (from here)

What the picture shows is a flyer held over a sample ballot. Since it lacks detail, I am guessing the picture is just a picture someone took with a cellphone.  The sample ballot is marked for Jacqueline Smith. Apparently, Smith’s campaign just took the official sample ballot off ww.pwcvotes.com (see that ballot here) and edited it. That’s a no-no, and a lawyer ought to know that.

Here is the official guidance from Virginia Department of Elections. Note that the “§” references are to sections in the legal Code of Virginia.

7. Sample Ballots:

a. On sample ballots, any official authority statement of a local electoral board or the State Board of Elections must be deleted, and replaced with the publishing candidate’s or group’s authority statement (or “disclaimer”). § 24.2-622.

b. For federal offices, the disclaimer required by federal law must be used. For all other offices, the required identification on campaign material is specified in the Code of Virginia. For details, see the State Board of Elections website or call Department of Elections.

c. Samples of any ballot (or part of a ballot) cannot be printed on any shade of white or yellow paper and must contain the words “ SAMPLE BALLOT ” in type no smaller than twenty -four point. § 24.2-622.

d. The voter is allowed to carry sample ballots and campaign material into the polling place but must not display them to other voters. §§ 24.2-622, 24.2-604.

(from here)

Because they copied an official sample ballot and printed it on blue paper (They know they are Democrats.), they got some of it right, but anything else they could have gotten wrong, they got wrong.

If Jacqueline Smith cannot prepare a sample ballot right, we probably should not trust her with the county’s official records. Please vote for Jackson Miller (R).

WHO DO YOU WANT TO TELL YOU HOW TO BE A _________________?

The donkey is the Democratic Party’s logo. Is this truly America’s symbol of tolerance? Really?

This is sort of a reblog. ColorStorm has a somewhat lighthearted post, Thought for the day, that raised a topic I thought worthy further exploration.

This cracks me up. Really busts my buttons.

Image result for bust my buttons

People who do not believe one word of scripture, who pretend to lecture they who believe every word of it, as if the unbelievers are PhD’s in telling believers they are doing Christianity all wrong. Yikes.

They who know nothing of God’s laws, statutes, ordinances, covenants, precepts, edicts, judgments, commands, and most importantly grace………..sit in judgment of believers as if we are some type of monkey who does not know how to turn a leaf on a book. Strange I tell ya.

And I got news for you. The so-called doctors of the law……..to whom, and through whom the law was given, were a few doughnuts short in the box of understanding WHY the law was given in the first place.

Imagine a young punk who just learned the alphabet………now lecturing an English professor on the improper use of ending a sentence in a preposition. Ouch kid. You may want to put a few years of learning and context in your life before you strut your foolishness. (continued here)

In response to someone who does not believe in Christianity, I commented on the post. That commenter dragged “tolerance” into the discussion.

Here is the bulk of my comment.

Toleration is not the subject of this post. Before I quit my apostate ways and decided I had made a dumb mistake, I became a Conservative. When I took the time to listen to the Democrat Liberal news media, I often found myself torn between grimacing in disgust and laughter. For some reason the talking heads always felt more qualified than Conservatives to tell Conservatives what to do. If only Conservatives would do such and such they would be much better Conservatives. It’s silly! Any Conservative dumb enough to go to Democrat Liberals for advice is not a Conservative; he or she is a Democrat Liberal (or a RINO).

Similarly, no Christian in his right mind is going to go to an unbeliever WHO HAS REJECTED Christianity for advice on how to be a Christian. Because that person is not a Christian, he or she will not be filled with the Holy Spirit. That person has rejected Jesus and the Holy Spirit. So what would be the point? Without God’s help, we cannot understand. Until we ask for understanding in Jesus’ name, we cannot understand. We cannot be wise in the way that the Bible speaks of wisdom.

Are there people who have not heard of Jesus or read the Bible who are wise? Yes. Are some Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, and so forth wise? Are they capable of giving good advice? Yes and Yes. Will Jesus save some people who are not Christians? I think so. Jesus is God. People can know God without being Christians. Still, if one wants to be a Christian, it is best to go to someone who is a devout Christian with the gift of teaching. (from here)

When I was much younger, I earned a reputation as something of a know-it-all. If I had been a real know-it-all, I suppose I would have known better and kept my mouth shut, but I was full of myself and quite ready to give advice. After being ridiculed sufficiently, I reconsidered the matter. I decided to blog anonymously on the Internet. I also observed that the people that other people go to for advice wait to be asked.

The respect that comes with expertise requires study and patience. If we yearn to teach, we have to build the expertise. If we yearn to teach, we have to wait for people to recognize our expertise and ask to partake of it.

All will not recognize our expertise. All will not ask. If you wanted to be a Buddhist, would you go to a Catholic priest for instruction? If you wanted to be a physical therapist, would you go to a school that teaches people how to be a chiropractor. For better or worse, we seek the gifts we value from the people we respect.

Toleration is just learning to accept the fact that others have the right to make their own choices.  We accept what is a lesser evil than tyranny. What is tyranny? We tyrannize our fellows when we arrogantly force them to accept our choices.