In an era of weaponized sensitivity, participation in public discourse is growing so perilous, so fraught with the danger of being caught out for using the wrong word or failing to uphold the latest orthodoxy in relation to disability, sexual orientation, economic class, race or ethnicity, that many are apt to bow out. Perhaps intimidating their elders into silence is the intention of the identity-politics cabal — and maybe my generation should retreat to our living rooms and let the young people tear one another apart over who seemed to imply that Asians are good at math.
One need look no further than Twitter, or the headlines of major news media outlets on either side of the aisle to see both candidates being described as ‘Nazi,’ ‘pig,’ and ‘witch’ or ‘demon.’ Likewise, much screaming has emanated from both sides as we slowly watch the second and third order effects of identitarian politics begun in the 50’s and 60’s fully mature. Set aside your political views for a moment and pretend this is a race for class president rather than the highest national office. The strange new world in which we find ourselves in has stripped the intellectual landscape of any hope for a middle ground and the next president will be in the extremely uneasy position of a hopelessly fractured nation. To keep the good news coming, the Millennials are now of voting age and this will likely become the new normal, not simply in elections but in society as a whole. I look at the difference between the world my sister (7 years my junior) remembers and the world I grew up in and it is markedly different. The country can survive a statist such as Wilson or FDR, but I have serious doubts the country will come out of this unbloodied.
Identity politics is nothing new, but the statists have certainly seemed to wield the tactic significantly better in the last several decades of politics and social discourse. Combined with Hegelian dialect, it proved to be very successful at carving out a base among minorities during the LBJ era and while still retaining the Northeast elite. Like Penicillin, the statists used this newfound tool with abandon, and slowly it has not only succumbed to the law of diminishing returns, but spawned things completely immune to it. We have seen the saturation limit reached in the last eighteen months, but rather than adopt a different tactic the statists have resorted to even greater extremes. A new gender or microagression (pumpkin spice was the latest one) is discovered nearly every other day, creating a new class of victims with their own identity flag to fly. Political, ethnic, social, economic, regional, state, gender, sexual orientation and others I have surely forgotten have erected an insurmountable barrier to even basic communication between citizens. One now cannot utter a greeting to someone without risking offense to their preferred pronouns, look at them wrong, smile at them wrong or somehow approach them wrong. How can we possibly coexist in an environment like that?
The alt-right represents the adoption of identity politics by the ‘conservatives’ now, as the Millenials who grew up with nothing more than identity politics in the 2008 and 2012 elections declare that all is fair in politics and war (though I repeat myself). Initially greeted with cheers by some, as it portrayed a movement willing to go toe to toe with the statists in the fecal slinging department. I understand the visceral reaction, because many Americans were simply tired of being painted as closet KKK or somehow wanting to bury people they disagree with on social or political issues in the backyard. It is insulting to be consistently cast as the root cause of America’s ills when your primary goals in life
are were a mortgage, raising your kids and maybe a hobby or two. By wielding the bat of identity politics, the statists on both sides of the aisle have resorted to a drone strike mentality. Assassinate the character, and ridicule anyone who comes under the spotlight, in many cases ruining their business, personal life or more. Millions have engaged in this on various social media and the mass media platforms have pivoted like never before to this new 60 second news cycle. Every time this nuclear option is used, it creates blowback. In Afghanistan we found every time we killed someone’s kid, wife, cousin, brother, father or husband who happened to be standing next to a bad cellphone or just lived too close to someone we didn’t like, it created more terrorists than we killed. You can’t kill enough ‘collateral damage’ and ‘maybes’ to end terrorism. Likewise, you can’t dox or insult people fast enough to stop the madness. Someone sees it and says ‘Gee, they are just like me!’ and the cycle perpetuates.
Regardless of your thoughts about the alt-right and whether you agree with many of their policies or members, I submit they represent the end of civility and community within the political sphere and likely in the social sphere for much of America. Both Trump and the alt-right are a symptom of identitarian politics being carried to its logical end. Simply put, Marx won. The culture, family and community is in disarray and cannibalizing itself…a political and social melee that is dragging this entire country into the grinder. What this represents for the patriot community is a choice. Does the community gaze inward, coalesce and turn into one of the few remaining holdouts of sane people? Or, do we actively participate and marginalize possible supporters? The election will be over shortly and the political signs will be tossed in the trash. I’m speaking about three weeks from today, when 40% of the country is furious and the other 40% is filled with bloodlust and a desire to punish those who disagreed with them now that ‘their candidate’ is in office. Political balkanization will be virtually complete and social balkanization will not be far behind. It is my opinion that this will represent a penultimate opportunity to lead in your own community. Do not succumb to the drone war mentality, it is self-destructive and self-defeating. I promise you, you cannot create enemies fast enough to win. I’m not suggesting peace at any price, but the avoidance of opening up a second, third or fourth front. People don’t think clearly under emotional distress, so I offer this suggestion to you, dear reader. Chill out and prevail.
Edit: This post was originally an introduction to the Participation Rate: COINrage, Obamacare and the business model of tyranny. As such they should be read in conjunction with each other to fully grasp the point being made and a more in depth discussion of the ‘drone mentality’ discussed here. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth will occur in the author’s household if questions/comments/rude, snide remarks demonstrate a clear failure to heed this helpful tip.