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Identity Politics Is Shattering Democrats' 2020 Hopes

October 23, 2019 - 6:00am

The conventional wisdom that earlier this year projected the 2020 political demise of Donald Trump and the Democratic control of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives lies in tatters.

Democrats themselves are responsible for dashing those high, if unrealistic expectations. The majority of Americans abhor identity politics, but major contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination employ that questionable strategy and their supporters have picked up on it to the 10th power.

"Identity politics" is defined as a tendency for people of a particular religion, race, social background, etc., to form exclusive political alliances, moving away from traditional broad-based party politics.

It is believed identity politics has its roots in late 18th century Western Europe, triggered by animosity towards the Enlightenment’s universalistic values and human solidarity. More recently -- in the 1960s and 1970s -- identity politics dovetailed with victimhood, the emerging moral authority.

The practice boils down to pandering instead of addressing the many burning issues afflicting the majority of Americans. The narrowness of identity politics shunts aside broad-based political movements that strike a chord with large voting blocs.

Elizabeth Warren wants transgender illegal aliens to bypass detention protocols and be released upon their arrival.

"We must end unnecessary detention and enforce strict standards to keep trans migrants and asylum seekers safe -- and I’ll continue holding our government accountable when they fail to do so,” she tweeted.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg has worn his religion, youth, and gayness on his sleeve as he pursues a coalition that makes him competitive in the primary season. His centrism and chumminess with Facebook mogul Mark Zuckerberg seem to be campaign afterthoughts.

Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Sen. Cory Booker stress and that they favor legalizing marijuana and removing pot-related convictions from criminal records. The two also oppose the death penalty and cash bail.

They are positive racial appeals and are considered noble by many, but the pair have pigeonholed themselves instead of addressing the worries of a wide swath of the electorate.

Sen. Kamala Harris, apparently unaware that identity politics has historically proven to be a net minus, was unapologetic about using it.

“I have a problem, guys, with that phrase, ‘identity politics’,” she told a progressive gathering ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. “Because let’s be clear, when people say that, it’s a pejorative ... That phrase is used to divide, and it is used to distract. Its purpose is to minimize and marginalize issues that impact all of us. It is used to try and shut us up.”

Is it any coincidence that her polling has gone from 15 percent to single digits?

Candidate Andrew Yang appears to be the lone Democratic voice rejecting identity politics. “I understand the impulse, but identity politics are a great way to lose elections,” he said. “We need to bring people together.”

Many post mortems of Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 campaign point to the overemphasis on identity politics.  Clinton is viewed as having spent too much time trying to appeal to people based on race, or gender, or sexual orientation instead of discussing issues vexing the electorate: health care, jobs, education, climate change, economic disparity.

She invoked terms such as “white privilege” and “Black Lives Matter,” while marginalizing pocketbook issues.

Identity politics makes the insulting assumption that blacks, Hispanics, Asians, LGBTQs and women are only concerned about group issues and that they don’t share the concerns of other Americans.

As preposterous as the Democratic candidates have been, their adherents have taken identity politics to the precipice. The Democratic footprint on social media is rife with ageism, racism, sexism, and less-than-subtle anti-Semitism.

A sampling:

  • “No more old white men.”

  • ”We need a woman in the White House.”

  • ”I’m not against Jews but they have too much influence.”

Comments of this type are frequently found on Facebook pages such as Progressive Nation, Democrats Stronger Together, Blue Revolution, Prominent Democrats and their acolytes by and large are promoting divisiveness, not unity. It is not only a moral outrage but a losing strategy.

Jim Bleyer, a former reporter at the Orlando Sentinel and Tampa Tribune, identifies himself politically as an "NPA who leans left." He is the creator of and


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Au contraire! Newt Gingrich and his so-called strategy of "The Politics of Personal Destruction" - initiated in the mid-'90s - is what has caused the uber-partisanship, the mindless extremism, and the currently irreparable division in this country's political milieu! And - you can see and hear Republicans practicing the philosophy to the max in every media today. And, the way they do it - especially foul-mouthed bullies like Trump, Jordan, Gaetz, Meadows, et. al., makes it a natural 'hate-generator'. We no longer have the 'Democratic Party' and the 'Republican Party' - we have the "I hate Democrats" and the "I hate Republicans" parties - now - nothing more than sparring tribes - getting ready for another Civil War.

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A great reason to vote Republican in 2020. Nice work, Jim!

The fascism designed into the Democrat party platform is despicable.

After the democrats lose the House, and President Trump is re-elected, most people envision a breakup of the Democrat party. Future generations will scorn them much like they did to the Nazis and for similar reasons.

In other words white straight conservative Christian are above the others...…Nice Jim...……….And a losing strategy except in the racist repub primaries. ……………...No repub identity politics at all Brad?.. s …...…...... But not going to fly next election as such racists, etc in the repub party has driven so many away that 54% want Trump impeached and removed from office............….Personally I hope the Senate doesn't convict him leaving him in to continue the rot the reub party has become all the way to election time...…...…..Since he'll likely go to jail after he leaves, gets kicked out or quits office for multiple crimes impeaching him doesn't matter except Presidents can't be allowed to be so stupid and break laws continuingly......….....But that immunity goes away once he leaves...…………..

First, 'Sunshine State News' is a Republican publication. Second, if Trump lives out his time in office, he's clearly going to go to jail. At the very least, New York State will hang him on multiple counts of tax fraud. And, should the Democrats win the Presidency, House, and Senate - they will undoubtedly bring federal charges against Trump for criminal obstruction of justice, Beyond that, Republicans have become the masters of "identity politics", now taken to the level of tribalism. The party has become fascist in nature, racist, and anti-democratic.

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Multiculturalism is not compatible with a Nation. USA and most of the west has been destroyed by design after WW2.

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There's just way to much hate emanating from the policies of the Democrat party.

...the understatement of the century.

Well said, Jim!

I sure wish that Mr. Bleyer would have detailed what are the burning as he stated "addressing the many burning issues afflicting the majority of Americans". I agree that America First collectively should be the overriding concern, then we can argue which car is better Chevrolet or Ford.

Well, I would call "the burning" a: *destruction of American values *a pandering to mental health disorders like declaring yourself binary, deciding that gender is a fluid thing *forcing young girls, who are just now achieving even a small degree of equality in sports programs, to compete against men who biological have a different musculature, a larger lung capacity, etc. *instead of encouraging self-reliance, practicing victimhood and the blame game *the newest thing out of California is that pedophilia is just another sexual orientation and they should be allowed to freely express their sexuality WHILE VICTIMIZING AMERICA'S MOST VULNERABLE GROUP- CHILDREN *Citing white privilege for everything. It wasn't WHITE privilege that gave me an IQ over 130. It was great genes, early development of my oral language skills, a relatively stable family life that encouraged me to explore the world and new ideas. Idiots like Chelsea Handler saying that it was her "white privilege that let her get away with shoplifting". I'm whiter than her and I got followed all around a department store because I was carrying one of my blouses in my hand. They thought I had stolen it, security grabbed me and forced to go with him to an office at the back of the store. I had worn the shirts and not washed them, so I asked them if they wanted to smell the arm pits. Now, it was being a stone cold, take no prisoners bitch that made me force him to walk me back to where he grabbed in the store and loudly apologize for his mistake. Plus, I threatened to sue because he had grabbed me BEFORE I left the store ( a big no-no from my part-time jobs in retail) AND as a teacher in the community he had negatively impacted my standing in the community. Is it white privilege to know the law and your rights under that law? * Trying to turn America into a haven for LGBT community. I don't believe in discrimination, however, that does not mean that I want to see them pouring into this country. I have partied with the LGBT community and some of their morals/behavior is not something I would like to see become the norm, such as going to online web sites where men show pictures of their naked buttocks, selecting what locals you want to meet up with for the night and then making multiple appointments for sex at a club with each one. Yep, Glory Holes in every bathroom stall does NOT appeal!

I hate to bring up this question, but are you on some kind of psychiatric medication? Why would you bring a blouse to a department store, isn't that asking for problems? As for a lot of the matters you write about, it seems to me that keeping good company is preferred to socializing with people with character problems and not visiting places or web sites that offer glory holes.

You meant: declaring yourself NON-binary

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