“Beyond Red and Blue”

The problem with identity politics

The Democratic Party has a serious problem, and the name of that problem is identity politics.
Ever since Donald Trump’s surprise win on Nov. 8, identity politics has been a hot topic of discussion in the media. Many conservative analysts blame identity politics for Hillary Clinton’s surprise loss. Other more liberal commentators have defended identity politics as a moral imperative and, in spite of recent events, a good long term electoral strategy for the Democratic Party.
So which is it and what exactly is identity politics? Identity politics is the propensity of small groups of people, usually ethnic, religious or sexual minorities, to form their political identity almost exclusively around their minority group status. The Black Lives Matter movement is an example of this kind of politics. A certain percentage of this movement have decided that being African-American trumps all other aspects of their identity and cast their votes based on a candidate’s record on African-American issues exclusively. 
For the last few years, Democrats have been attempting to build an election coalition by pandering to these identity groups for one very simple reason: it seemed like a winning strategy. Two years ago, a Brookings Institute demographic report touted that by 2040, native born whites would be a minority group in the U.S.  This research suggested to Democrats that if they wanted to win elections, they needed at all costs to win the support of LGBTQ Americans, Hispanic Americans, African-Americans and Muslims.

Please see Monday’s Commercial-News print or e-edition for the full article.

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