Defending Identity Politics Will Not Lead To Electoral Success

by William Skink

Foot-shooting Democrats are doing some damage control to rally support for Kathleen Williams. There is apparent lingering sensitivity over the accusation of playing identity politics to get an electoral edge. Here is trusty Talbot doing the heavy lifting against the penile peers lashing out against half the homo-sapien species:

Merriam-Webster defines identity politics 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.”

In Williams’ case, it was her reaching out to women for their vote that generated critiques like “her ugly gender identity campaign.” Guess what, guys — and it was all guys writing this stuff — half the Homo Sapiens in the world are women. It’s hardly an exclusive group — certainly more understandable than the blind allegiance of Trump supporters.

Talbot does interesting things with this comment. He takes the technical definition of the term Identity Politics and uses that to muddy the criticism of identity politics as a political strategy by conflating it with the prevalence of woman who exist as a part of our species across the globe.

That women make up half our species has nothing to do with the criticism of using one’s gender as a valid reason to support that person. If voting for Kathleen Williams is good because she is a woman, doesn’t that imply that voting for John Heenan is bad because he’s a man?

Then Talbot references the “blind allegiance of Trump supporters” without including the recent historical context that we have Trump largely because of the blind allegiance of Clinton supporters who turned identity politics into a cult-like demand for loyalty where the ends justified the means–and the means were ugly as hell.

If there is any takeaway for Democrats as these primaries have unfolded it should be that the corporate/Clinton wing of the party is still actively fighting progressive threats to the status quo. They have learned nothing because their donors require that they learn nothing, so candidates that support policies like Medicare for all lose to candidates who know better and stay silent so as not to upset the party bosses at the DCCC and DNC.

This is partly why Williams’ use of Identity Politics is so maddening. Instead of defending a strategy that lost the presidency to Trump and will more than likely keep Montana’s Congressional seat safe for Gianforte, it might be helpful to acknowledge the critics have valid points, and then acknowledge that ignoring those points have not yet been a successful political strategy.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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5 Responses to Defending Identity Politics Will Not Lead To Electoral Success

  1. Eric says:

    Pete put the ‘P’ in Pollyanna – playing the Glad Game every time the Dems nominate a weak candidate. Not only did he think Monica Lindeen, Denise Juneau, and Amanda Curtis would win this seat, now it is Kathleen Williams.

    He knows she won’t win. With her radical views she may not poll as well as Hillary did.

    But he is blindly partisan, and would vote for anybody that has a D behind their name.

    It’s just what he does. I’d still like to know if he and his friends were the Dems that agreed to launder money for Hillary and sell out the Bernie supporters but nobody is naming names. I’d still like to know if they were behind setting up phony (ad hoc) Central Committees to give the nomination to Singing Robbie too.

    How about it Pete? Ready to name names?

    • James Conner says:

      I disagree with Pete on identity politics, but he’s a good man and Democrat. He supported Amanda Curtis, not Rob Quist. And the notion that Kathleen Williams has radical views is risible. She’s a centrist on policy who believes her life experiences made her superior to the other candidates for the Democratic nomination.

      • Big Swede says:

        James I was wondering if the party big wigs ran you out to the woodshed after your first post about Williams.

        • James Conner says:

          Swede, the party bigwigs ignored me. They ignored me after I posted my analysis of the primary, and they ignored me after I posted my endorsement of Williams. I think my status is akin to that of those who were appalled and embarrassed to have been left off of Nixon’s enemies list.

  2. Eric says:

    Don’t forget, that if you don’t like Greg Gianforte or Kathleen Williams that you can vote for Doug Campbell. He is too progressive for me, but he doesn’t want to take our guns or raise our taxes.

    Check out the Green Party!

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