Identity politics is a vague catch-all term encompassing every political issue that doesn’t primarily affect white, straight, cisgender men. It’s often paired with political correctness to invoke the oppressive expectation that white, straight, cisgender men should make an effort to consider other people’s feelings or take seriously issues that aren’t of immediate concern to them.
Urging Democrats to refocus on the issues that straight, white, cisgender men care about has become something of a cottage industry among the people who make their living opining. The go-to example of out-of-touch liberalism and the obsession with identity is those “damn bathrooms,” as Mark Lilla put it in the New York Times. (See also CNN’s characterization of political leaders “fussing over gay marriage and transgender bathrooms” or Rich Lowry decrying the “political hothouse” in which concern over trans bathroom access can bloom.)
Now, in the growing backlash against identity politics, transgender bathrooms, which function as a proxy for transgender rights, have come to symbolize out-of-touchness, frivolity, and misplaced priorities.
Where does that leave trans people struggling to get by, particularly those facing homelessness, violence, unemployment, or struggling with their mental health? Nowhere good.
Lowrie says it’s just “Washington thinking” to look at whether modest-income Americans will wind up shouldering much more of the tax burden. He repeatedly refused to say how much more of the tax burden would be borne by the poor and middle class than under the current system. But he implicitly acknowledged the problem by saying that the campaign would “fix this” with a new empowerment-zone plan that would be laid on top of the 9-9-9 plan and would presumably lower taxes in inner cities. But how fair is that to people living elsewhere? And aren’t we back to more complexity?
BY THE WAY … Lowrie isn’t an economist. He’s a “wealth management” consultant, whatever that means.
Trump’s 1st Amendment: have the FCC fine and ban from air people who insult him
And here we’ve finally reached the point where I will openly say that I oppose Donald Trump’s bid for the Presidency of the United States. It’s not because he’s rude or confrontational but because he clearly does not believe in the fundamental liberties of the United States.
Here’s Donald Trump’s tweets from last night, responding to individuals on Fox News who he feels insulted him:
Now, what did Rich Lowry say that got Trump’s nickers in such a wad?
here’s the video:
To be fair, saying Carly Fiorina “cut his balls off with the precision of a surgeon” is crude. It’s not the kind of thing you’d want your kids to start saying.
However, should it be illegal? Should it be necessary to get the Federal Government involved?!?!?!
No, no way! The 1st Amendment exist specifically to protect this kind of speech. It exists to protect Americans’ right to speak out against the government and the government’s leaders. Meanwhile, the President’s primary job is to defend and uphold the Constitution.
Who does Donald Trump think he is? King George of England?
We cannot have another President who uses the Federal government as a bludgeon against his political opponents, and sadly, last night in two tweets, Trump has shown that he’s willing to do exactly that.
One of the unexpected consequences of Donald Trump’s angry pessimism is that it has forced the GOP to cede some of their strongest themes to Democrats.
Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, noticed this during night three of the Democratic National Convention:
“American exceptionalism and greatness, shining city on hill, founding documents, etc–they’re trying to take all our stuff”
It’s usually the GOP that hammers away at family values, patriotism, and American exceptionalism. But Trump has tossed away all those messages — allowing the Democrats to seize on them and redefine them. Democrats have taken this chance to argue that they have always believed in the same things too, just a little differently.
Back in 2008, Sarah Palin pounced on the notion that there was a “real America” — an America that excluded the coasts and anyone who voted for Democrats. Now, thanks to Trump, the Democrats have managed to turn that attack back around, arguing that they represent the real America — or at least the America that the nation aspires to be.
Meanwhile, throughout the convention, Democrats have implicitly argued that it is they who love America before — because, unlike Trump, they recognize it is already great.
Vice President Joe Biden gave this argument its purest expression on Wednesday night, in a full-throated argument for a proud, liberal nationalism that explicitly catered to the self-image of working-class people who already considered themselves “real Americans”
“We have the finest fighting force in the world. Not only do we have the largest economy in the world, we have the strongest economy in the world. We have the most productive workers in the world. And given a fair shot, given a fair chance, Americans have never, ever, ever, ever, ever let the country down. Never!”
When businessmen run for office, often as Republicans, they tend to argue that people who have run businesses understand how to get things done — they’ll bring practicality, competence, and a level head to politics. (George W. Bush, who had an MBA, made a version of this pitch in 2000. So did Mitt Romney in 2012.)
Bloomberg, during his speech Wednesday night, turned that rhetoric around and used it to make an impassioned case for Hillary Clinton. He’d been a businessman, he said, and he could testify that what America needed was “a problem-solver, not a bomb-thrower.”
The case he made was essentially that as a businessman, he knows what it requires to run the country — and the person with those skills is a lifelong politician who’s spent little time in the private sector. It was the 2012 argument in favor of Mitt Romney’s candidacy, employed in favor of a Democrat.
One of the most memorable lines Wednesday night — one that got cheers from the Democratic audience — was about the greatness of John McCain, Obama’s original opponent in 2008.
“I served in the same Navy as John McCain,“ said retired Rear Admiral John Hutson. "I used to vote in the same party as John McCain. Donald, you’re not fit to polish John McCain’s boots.”
Democrats aren’t just embracing McCain; they’re portraying themselves as the party that stands up for the military, and for veterans, after Donald Trump called it a “disaster.” And it’s not just the military.
In part because Clinton was a senator from New York in 2001, this could well be the first convention in 15 years where Democrats have discussed the 9/11 attacks — and honored their victims and the first responders — considerably more often than Republicans did.”
Meanwhile, Obama’s speech was shot through with Republican-sounding themes — approving references to Ronald Reagan and the “City on a Hill,” reminders about the importance of the founding documents, a paean to American democracy. (And it wasn’t just Obama — partly because the convention is in Philadelphia, speaker after speaker has included a quick nod to the writing of the Declaration of Independence there.)
Obama could do it in part because nobody at the Republican National Convention was leaning on those metaphors.
Nothing has stopped Democrats in the past from arguing that they’re patriotic too, or nationalistic too, or want the best for business too — and that they just have different ways of expressing those values. They often have. But because Republicans have leaned so hard on those arguments, the “too” has always been there, implicit or explicit.
What Trump’s campaign has done is allow the Democrats to replace that me-too-ism with something stronger. The case they’ve made over three days is that they are the party of family values, period — not that they have family values, too, just different ones. They’re the party of patriotism, period. They’re the party of business, period. They’re the party of the military, of veterans, and of honoring the member of 9/11, period.
They’re the party of real Americans, period.
Republicans? The Democrats have left them nothing but being the party of Donald Trump.