Identity politics

From Charles Krauthammer on the degeneration of the Democratic presidential race:

If there are no policy issues between them and the personality differences have been whittled down, what’s left? Identity. Race, age, and gender. Is this campaign about anything else?

Nationally, the older white woman — Clinton — carries the senior vote, the white vote and the women’s vote. The younger black man — Obama — carries the youth vote, the black vote and the male vote. . . .

The pillars of American liberalism — the Democratic party, the universities, and the mass media — are obsessed with biological markers, most particularly race and gender. They have insisted, moreover, that pedagogy and culture and politics be just as seized with the primacy of these distinctions and with the resulting “privileging” that allegedly haunts every aspect of our social relations.

They have gotten their wish. This primary campaign represents the full flowering of identity politics. It’s not a pretty picture.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    How kind of Krauthammer to front-load his article on identity politics with paragraph after paragraph of what reads more like an equal-opportunity hit piece than an actual discussion of identity politics. How he forgot to mention Jeremiah Wright is beyond me.

    There are differences between the two (health care, the Iraq war — or at least its genesis, fuel efficiency, Cuba — and foreign policy in general, energy policy, taxes, housing, etc.), but they are both Democrats, so if you only view them through Republican lenses, you may not notice the differences.

    Noting that they both support health care for all is to look at things through a Republican view. Noting how they want to implement that is to look at things through a Democratic view.

    So I disagree with the premise of Krauthammer’s article — that is, most of it — that hangs on his “if”.

    And if anyone believes that identity politics will somehow not affect Republican voting — that is, you believe that older, white, well-to-do veteran men will not vote for McCain, I have some property I’d love to sell you.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    How kind of Krauthammer to front-load his article on identity politics with paragraph after paragraph of what reads more like an equal-opportunity hit piece than an actual discussion of identity politics. How he forgot to mention Jeremiah Wright is beyond me.

    There are differences between the two (health care, the Iraq war — or at least its genesis, fuel efficiency, Cuba — and foreign policy in general, energy policy, taxes, housing, etc.), but they are both Democrats, so if you only view them through Republican lenses, you may not notice the differences.

    Noting that they both support health care for all is to look at things through a Republican view. Noting how they want to implement that is to look at things through a Democratic view.

    So I disagree with the premise of Krauthammer’s article — that is, most of it — that hangs on his “if”.

    And if anyone believes that identity politics will somehow not affect Republican voting — that is, you believe that older, white, well-to-do veteran men will not vote for McCain, I have some property I’d love to sell you.

  • CRB

    With the state our country is in economically, internationally, et al, I think it makes little difference, really, who becomes President. Whoever gets the position, he or she will not be able to do much in the way of solving he myriad of problems we have in this country. NO PERSON is capable of doing that, even with help. If the leadership of this country does not make national security the #1 priority, it really will not matter what programs, plans, etc. that a politician comes up with for the rest of the stuff!

  • CRB

    With the state our country is in economically, internationally, et al, I think it makes little difference, really, who becomes President. Whoever gets the position, he or she will not be able to do much in the way of solving he myriad of problems we have in this country. NO PERSON is capable of doing that, even with help. If the leadership of this country does not make national security the #1 priority, it really will not matter what programs, plans, etc. that a politician comes up with for the rest of the stuff!

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