America has almost always been a nation divided, facing internal political, social and economic struggles throughout its history. The 2016 election exemplifies such struggles quite well.
In an ideal world, we would all agree on everything, and every aspect of our society would run perfectly. But this is not the case and believe it or not, this is a good thing.
In every conflict, many people determine their positions based on their individual and group identities. In any event, these identities are normally based on values, race, gender, religion or a combination of any of these things.
The idea of using identity to push a political agenda is known as “identity politics.” Modern identity politics play a huge role in how people vote and what people think. Unfortunately, it has slowly devolved into a quasi-communist mob mentality that is silencing dissenting voices.
Identity politics silence dissent in two ways. The first is that it perpetuates the idea that if you belong to one group, you must agree with that group’s collective opinion, or else you are ostracized. Highly intelligent and successful people, such as Sen. Tim Scott (R – S.C.), and political commentator Larry Elder, have repeatedly been shamed and ostracized by the leftist black community. They have been called names such as “Uncle Tom” which exemplifies the inherent bigotry of this hive mentality.
When Larry Elder challenges a mainstream leftist movement like Black Lives Matter by positing that crime problems within the black community are due to an internal cultural problem, black community leaders criticize him for not conforming to the accepted view.
People like Elder are consistently told that they must think a certain way because of their identity, and when they dissent, they are essentially cast out. This phenomenon is not unlike that experienced by liberal Christians during the rise of the “religious right” and exists across all ideologies. Do you see the hypocrisy yet?
If not, consider the fact that identity politicking also silences dissenting voices by telling people that they cannot speak on an issue that is traditionally attributed to one group.
If you are at all aware of the social justice movement, you may have used, or at least heard, the word “mansplaining.” It essentially means that a man is speaking on a topic over which society believes that women should solely govern — such as abortion — and he should therefore hold no opinion.
The absurdity and hypocrisy of this thought process is unimaginable. In the instant case of abortion, this statement casts “pro-life” men as hateful against women, which is empirically untrue.
By saying that one group of people cannot have an opinion about a policy due to their race, gender or other perceived identity ultimately discredits what could be a valid, constructive opinion. This is akin to saying, “I don’t agree with you, and therefore I will find some arbitrary reason to devalue your opinion based on an attribute that you cannot control.”
This is bigotry, and is counterproductive to a goal of equality and open discourse.
The most troubling aspect of identity politics is that it gives the oppressing party an unearned sense of moral superiority that it tends to exercise over opposition.
The mob mentality of identity politics magnifies the sense of moral superiority in each individual that subscribes to that identity group.
Make no mistake, this mentality is prevalent on both the right and the left and is inherently elitist and hypocritical.
Ultimately, the divisive nature of identity politics has no place in objective discussions of law or policy.