Identity politics and haters have destabilized America … can we fix it?

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.

Growing up in Florida in the 1950s and 1960s, nearly everyone was a Democrat. If you were a Republican, there was no one to vote for on Election Day because there were almost no R candidates. This all began to change in the 1980s, when over the space of a few years, the national and Florida Democratic Party underwent a dramatic transformation. The Party was captured during that period by a collection of special interest groups—academics, Hollywood glitterati, the media, extremist enviros, labor unions, plaintiff trial lawyers, feminists, government employees, “artists”, racial minorities. It morphed into adopting a strategy it had not relied on before: it became a political party devoted to identity politics.

More than that, it became an organization that somehow took on the belief that the U.S. Constitution conferred rights upon certain groups that had organized politically, based on race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, medical conditions and more. The Constitution does not grant special favors for such groups. These groups bonded together for the purpose of social and political control, claiming they were entitled to “rights”, even if those rights infringed upon the constitutionally-guaranteed rights of individuals. Under the group view, a group has a right to vote away the rights of others by claiming they are oppressed or are denied justice.

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Out of this group-think was born the movement of identity politics, and the Democratic Party embraced it totally. That process of adoption marked the turning point for many disgruntled former Democrats to disavow their party and turn Florida into a largely Republican-voting state. Identity politics promoted the practice of “antipathy toward people who aren’t like them”, which became an undemocratic way for liberals to satisfy their agenda.

(AP Photo/Josh Edelson)

Identity politics was designed to take advantage of the many ways that people differ from each other and to organize it into political control. It was also useful in silencing those who do not bow to “progressive” orthodoxy. This is especially true on the nation’s college campuses, where identity politics is rampant and venomous. Typical Caucasian college freshmen, with no racist backgrounds, are immersed in identity politics when they step onto campus, and are told that there is something wrong with them. You see, their whiteness makes them members of a “privileged group” who are responsible for the conditions of the downtrodden. And if they don’t buckle under to this stereotypical propaganda, they get labeled as white supremacists or perhaps fascists. This is the essence of identity politics: treating people who are not bigots as though they were evil merely because they belong to a different group.

Identity politics is only one step away from engendering hatred against those who are not in the “group”. We saw this hatred when a Middlebury College masked mob resorted to personal violence to try to keep Charles Murray, a scholar and Fellow at the American Enterprise Group, from giving a lecture. This form of identity politics is a variant of class-war Marxism, which shuts down dissent by using hate as a glue to bind haters to one another and to their common cause.

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So, the war drums are beating, pushing us further toward tribalism and devotion to one’s tribe or social group formed around a ritual feeling of identity. Unfortunately, the phenomenon of warfare among tribes is alive and well, and acceptable to some of the haters. We see this in the leftists’ commitment to the “collusion-with-Russia” narrative, while disregarding the destruction and chaos flowing from the meddling of George Soros, as his billions fund the fires of violence.

(AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

A by-product of identity politics is the street violence in dozens of American cities, along with the firebombing of cars and looting of stores. The violence is often dismissed by the mainstream media, usually fully supportive of identity politics, as they generally refer to the protests as “mostly peaceful”.

But let’s understand the truth. Conservative Americans are not causing the violence, and the hatred and destruction is mostly flowing from the Left’s identity-group activists. They are abusing power, abetting anarchists, and undermining the strengths that made Western civilization the most tolerant and productive society history has ever seen.

John R. Smith

John R. Smith

John R. Smith is chairman of BIZPAC, the Business Political Action Committee of Palm Beach County, and owner of a financial services company.
John R. Smith

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