Ideals and alleles

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s often mocked claim that she is Native American re-entered the national news last week when she released DNA test results that showed she is about 1% Native American. She promptly called on Pres. Trump to fulfill a promise that he would donate a million dollars to charity if she could prove such a bloodline. He demurred. Predictable outrage followed.

Discussion of their exchanges prompted me to wonder if we are finally seeing a shift away from identity politics, which may broadly be defined as the tendency of people from a similar demographic to support the same causes. In Mississippi, and I presume elsewhere, this has resulted in glorified tribalism. (You may call this “intersectionality” if you wish to be generous.)

I dislike identity politics because I try to “privilege” ideas over appearance. I don’t always succeed in this endeavor. However, I believe in its worthiness because it encourages people to work together in the name of a common cause regardless of their demographics. Sen. Warren should have realized long ago that her progressive ideals mean more to her constituents than one percent of her bloodline.

So the question I put to you, dear bloggers, involves the future you see for identity politics. Will it continue to shape political parties? Will it affect the outcome of next week’s election? Of the statewide elections in Mississippi next year?

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8 Responses to Ideals and alleles

  1. Taylor Shamblin says:

    Identity politics have been playing a defining role in political scenes across the globe- throughout history. Many politicians denounce the use of it, but, as sad as it is to say, this form of thought has been taught from birth in most cases. From my Southern perspective, I have seen time and time again, how my peers react to new figures of power (whether it be a new principal or a new senator). Notably, many of my peers, sharing similar economic backgrounds, would consistently follow a trend of a “copy culture”. This meant that they would see or hear one of the other’s thoughts on a topic and be immediately drawn towards this ideal. After discussing this topic over my life, I have found that many other people can identify this behavior between those with both varying economic backgrounds and racial ones. If this sort of “mob mentality” is found to be prevalent in the just the middle/high school environments, then it is just as easily inferred that it should also find itself deeply rooted in adult lives (politicians are not excluded). And based off of what we have seen from the latest Kavanaugh hearing, high school mentalities and habits are not easily shed. This conclusion sheds a bleak light over the future of our political systems, but, as an optimist, I hope this is not the case.

  2. E says:

    In the following election tomorrow, the state election next year, and the 2020 Presidential election will undoubtedly have aspects of Identity politics within them. Whether intentionally or not, judgements are made on a person based on their perceived background and race. Candidates are no different with times even their ideas are cast aside. Identity politics probably affected many voters in the last two elections. Some probably voted for Obama simply to support “the first African-American President” or Clinton for unprecedented “First Female President”. Thankfully, the majority of voters put into consideration the and platform each candidate puts forth. Identity politics will play a role in the following midterm election and in the future.

  3. KT says:

    Identity politics will always be prevalent. Whether subconsciously or consciously, people will tend be more drawn to people who look a certain way. It may be because they believe a certain person who identifies a certain is more likely to understand issues that their identity faces. It may also be tied to a sense of pride that somebody like the voter is in office. Whatever reason, identity politics will always play a part in elections.

  4. Gina says:

    While I agree with you in that identity politics are not the best in that ideas should be prioritized over appearance and social groups, I believe that identity politics that will shape next week’s election. With so many current issues such as oppression and violence, many minor social groups are affected. When people identify with certain groups, it allows them to be a part of something and will make decisions based on how it will benefit those groups. Frankly, I think identity politics will continue to be prevalent and even grow.

  5. Mykailla Foster says:

    Identity politics will continue as long as people allow it . Honestly, I believe your race or gender should not even matter as far as politics should be concerned. But when you group yourself, you cannot expect others not to .

  6. B says:

    Identity politics have been and will as long as peoples mindset happens to be intertwined with the culture and race they have been brought up with and they experienced. Any level of diversity a person a person has will make that person want to be them. especially if it is a minority. The race of someone is something that has been brought up, many of times in cases to either harm or help them. Because when a minority in the given a showcase more people are like to follow it (Not just the minority, but other supporters of it). With the elections coming in about seven days, will anything change, probably not, but if feel as though it will be affected by it more then before, with all the uprising of different minorities and sexes.

  7. X says:

    Identity politics will continue to shape political parties if the members of these parties use their ethnicities to back up their claims, deals, or arguments. I agree that people should work together for a common cause and ignore their demographical origins. However, it will most likely continue to affect elections in the future. Donating to charity is a good thing, and Trump should not have rejected doing so, regardless of whether or not Senator Elizabeth Warren had any Native American bloodline. Agreeing on ideas that improve society and further progress should be done without racial or ethnical bias.

  8. Linda says:

    Identity politics will persist as long as people classify themselves/group themselves. If we ever evolve into a race where everyone is ethnically ambiguous, sensitive to all political viewpoints, and at a similar socioeconomic status, then the need for identity politics will disappear. Until then, it’s easy for people to group themselves and acts upon their group’s will. I believe this will affect all further elections.

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