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Identity Politics Do Not Work

Updated on February 14, 2017
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As an avid follower of political and social issues, Chris has developed strong insights into the world around him.

What Is Identity Politics?

Identity Politics is a political strategy that essentially divides people by their gender, race, religion, or other criteria and uses these divisions in order to gain political support. Those who employ this strategy then attempt to convince people that they must share the collective opinions of the group.

Another variation of identity politics is lumping people together in one group in order to collectively demonize them. An example of this would be saying that all Trump supporters are anti-women.

Women's March in Baltimore, Maryland, 2017.
Women's March in Baltimore, Maryland, 2017. | Source

Identity Politics Have Been Around For Ages

Identity politics is certainly not a new concept, it has existed as long as politics itself. In fact, it would be difficult to name a single politician from history that did not use this strategy in one form or another. Politicians place people into various categories and then assume all members of each group share the same views.

They then attempt to rally support from the various groups of people. There is nothing wrong with this approach, it is actually a solid strategy. Where it goes wrong is when they take identity politics too far, creating a backlash. I believe this backlash played a role in the outcome of the 2016 Presidential Election.

Identity Politics and the 2016 Presidential Election

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African-Americans Are Not All Democrats

Sure, if you listen to the mainstream media, Democrats can always count on the support of the African-American community. This is mostly true and has been for decades. Indeed, the Democratic Party is so certain of this support that they no longer feel the need to earn it. Their votes are taken for granted and members of the African-American community are beginning to notice.

Women Are Not All Pro-choice

Many activists would like us to believe that all men are pro-life and all women are pro-choice. In reality, it is not that simple. One's stance on the issue has more to do with personal and religious beliefs and less to do with gender. Assuming all women are pro-choice and equating pro-choice with women's rights alienated a large number of women from the women's rights issues.

Women Are Not All Democrats

This goes hand in hand with the above mentioned idea. They assume all women are pro-choice and therefore support the Democratic Party, which is also largely pro-choice. The problem with this thinking is that they have reduced women's rights issues down to the argument over abortion. I feel safe in saying that all women are in support of women's rights, but not all women support the right to terminate the life of a fetus.

Not All Immigrants Are Opposed To Border Control

All Americans, with the exception of Native-Americans, can trace their family tree back to a point where their ancestors first came to America as immigrants. We understand that our country was built on the idea of immigrants from varying walks of life coming together. We are a melting pot of people and ideas and many of the immigrants here today understand this.

However, many activists try to equate a secure border with anti-immigration. This is simply untrue, we still welcome immigrants from all over the world. We just want to be sure of who is entering the United States, this is especially true in our current world. Many immigrants understand there is a right and wrong way to enter America.

Identity Politics Only Divide Us

We have allowed the political elites to divide us into special interest groups for long enough. Instead of openly discussing individual issues, we are allowing politicians and the media to blind us with the idea that we must follow along with the group and remain silent on our personal beliefs. If an individual does voice an opinion that is not in line with the opinion of the group, they are cast out and ridiculed.

We are all aware of how African-Americans who came out in support of Donald Trump were treated. The same can be said for women, immigrants, LGBT and other minorities who publicly supported Trump. This attempt to silence people who have different opinions needs to stop if we are ever going to solve the problems we are facing.

Trump Did Not Win Because Of Hate

This is another type of Identity politics being employed by the Democrats and the media. They continue to enforce the narrative that those who voted for Donald Trump did so out of hatred and anger. This idea is simply not true, however it leads to people viewing Conservatives not only as the enemy, but a dangerous one.

In Conclusion

As a Nation, we need to take a step back, pause and think about what is really happening around us. Give thought to what your personal values are, while looking at the world around you. Form your own opinions, instead of blindly following along with what the mainstream media tells you to think. Believe me, your best interests are not what they have in mind.

© 2017 Christopher J Wood

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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 8 months ago from Oklahoma

      Interesting analysis.