One of the things I’ve found more disgusting in politics has to be the whole notion of “identity politics” — that what someone is trumps who they are and what they might think and believe. It’s most often found among the Left, who can’t conceive of a woman or a minority who might actually hold conservative beliefs. When they find these types, they seem to be held up as ‘traitors” to the progressives who claim to have acted in their best interests lo these many years.
I think my favorite example is Michelle Malkin — she’s a “twofer.” She’s both a woman AND an Asian, so her staunch conservatism is a double affront to them.
These traitors tend to end up drawing the most vile vitriol from their would-be champions, who seem to take great personal offense when these folks say “no thanks, I don’t want to go along with what you say.” Malkin’s detractors consistently assail her in the most vile sexual and racist ways, and I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard black conservatives and Republicans denigrated as “house niggers” and “Uncle Toms” (that one’s fading, but I suspect it’s more out of cultural ignorance than a sense of shame from the progressives) and the like.
Just last week, Sarah Palin was attacked in Newsweek and the Washington Post by Dr. Wendy Doniger, a professor of History of Religions at the University of Chicago’s Divinity School. In her piece, she proclaims the following:
Her greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she is a woman. The Republican party’s cynical calculation that because she has a womb and makes lots and lots of babies (and drives them to school! wow!) she speaks for the women of America, and will capture their hearts and their votes, has driven thousands of real women to take to their computers in outrage. She does not speak for women; she has no sympathy for the problems of other women, particularly working class women.
“Her greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she is a woman.”
Hmm. I can’t say that I have personal knowledge of the matter, but I’m fairly certain that Governor Palin meets all the legal and biological requirements for a woman. One can certainly infer it from the available evidence — her physical appearance, her legally-sanctioned marriage to a man, her history of having borne multiple children, her doctor’s statements, and whatnot all point to her having two X chromosomes, and they having expressed their presence in the traditional way.
But that isn’t enough for people like Dr. Doniger. Because to her type, simply being an adult female human being isn’t enough to be a “woman.” You also have to buy into significant portions of what has been lumped into the overarching political philosophy that has taken the name “feminism.” If you don’t ascribe to those beliefs, then you’re just another male oppressor with overactive man-boobs and a missing penis.
No, that’s not quite fair. The single issue that apparently separates the women from the merely female is abortion. If you don’t mindlessly oppose any restrictions on abortion at all, then you’re a traitor to your woman-parts and just another man-wannabe with a severe case of penis envy.
But just for fun, let’s turn the tables around here. Let’s play the game of identity politics, and see how it might play out against the Democratic presidential nominee.
Barack Obama claims to be the first black nominee for president from a major party, but really — just how “black” is he?
Well, for starters, he’s not really black. He’s only half-black. His mother was white.
Further, his father wasn’t African-American, he was Kenyan. So Obama can’t claim to be a child of the African-American experience.
His father also left the family when Obama was a baby. Obama was brought up first by his mother and an Indonesian man, then later with the help of his very, very white grandparents.
Obama didn’t really experience “African American” culture until he was in college, and then only in places like Occidental College in California and that bastion of African American life experience, Harvard Law School. It wasn’t until he moved to Chicago that he really tried to become a part of African American America.
Even that was problematic. In Obama’s single electoral defeat in his career, he challenged Congressman Bobby Rush for Rush’s seat in the US House of Representatives. Rush argued that Obama was not sufficiently rooted in Chicago’s African-American community, only having moved there less than a decade ago, Rush defeated Obama by better than 2-1 in the Democratic primary.
So, just how African-American is Barack Obama? He’s only half-black, and spent roughly the first half of his life living largely apart from the African-American community. His life experiences are radically different from the vast majority of African Americans.
So, what does this have to do with Obama’s fitness to be president?
Not a goddamned thing.
I have chosen to not support him in utter disregard for what he is. I base it solely on who he is. I don’t give a faded fart about his genetic heritage, ethnicity, sex, eye color, or even how he stands on the vital pickles/raisins issue. (For the record, both alleged “foods” are abominations, disgusting and gross perversions of perfectly delicious and healthy foods — what kind of degenerate would want to spoil cucumbers and grapes by turning them into such rancid and disgusting things?) No, I have rejected Obama for his stated positions on a host of issues, where I simply find his philosophy unacceptable and incompatible with our nation and our history and my own beliefs and experiences.
It’s a pity that folks like Dr. Doniger can’t get over themselves and their hysterical (yes, I am using that word deliberately) obsession with identity politics. Because, in the end, it’s ultimately dehumanizing — it reduces us from whole human beings to the sum of some of our least relevant parts. And that, I think, is what I find most offensive.