Obligatory Post-Electoral Denunciation of Identity Politics

All the cool kids are doing it.

I understand the temptation for marginalized groups to take up identity politics as a tool: when the problem you’re facing comes from the category society places you in, it makes sense, on the face of it, to push back as members of that category.  However, it is important before using any political tool to consider whether it’s safe to bring it out of the box where the other guy can get at it.  Liberalism and leftism both had historically distanced themselves from identity politics because, while it is often useful for mobilizing people and creating solidarity, it is extremely dangerous in the hands of a demographic majority.

Unfortunately this inversion isn’t merely academic.  For years now, popular wisdom on the American not-right held that the demographic clock was ticking for the right.  This in its turn lead many dumb sods (including me) to count the days until whites were a minority and their power as a voting bloc was broken.  The problem with this, in hindsight, is that the left focused their message heavily on minorities while also gloating over apparently-favorable racial demographic trends, just as the the right realized that they could start playing this game again, with sneakier racism this time.  As the grassroots right began to see their culture and social position as threatened primarily by changing demographics, their rhetoric became more racialized.  This is not to absolve American whites of responsibility. There were two choices available to them: the better road was at least hinted at in the 2013 autopsy report, which urged party leadership to work to make the Republican party more racially inclusive.

Now that the Yam has prevailed, it looks as though the transfer of identity politics from the center left to the racial majority on the hard right is complete, according to the ancient principle by which What Is Good For The Goose Is Good For The Gander.  Minoritarian identity politics is typically less disastrous for a society insofar as for practical reasons it tends more towards separatism than towards eliminationism.  Majoritarian identity politics always turns nasty sooner or later.

TL;DR:  Eventually white people steal everything.


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