Democrat Identity Politics Backfires
Q: And what is it that you think is the outcome of this new division of globalists versus the nationalists because there appears to be not just a sense of acute polarization but actually intolerance on both sides.Translation: the people whom the elitist liberals despise have revolted.
Haidt. Yes, I think that there are two disastrous outcomes; two things I am very, very worried about for my country, and for all of the Western democracies; it’s the same thing. One is identity politics on the Left has been brewing for a long time. I’ve been a professor since 1995 at the University of Virginia and now at New York University; so I’ve watched identity politics get stronger and stronger; more focused on matrices of oppression – straight white males this and straight white males that — and after a while, as I forget who pointed out in the current election, if you keep treating white men as an identity group, you keep saying that “they are terrible; they are evil” — eventually they become just like another identity group and they voted their racial interests, in a sense you might say. So identity politics on the Left eventually triggers identity politics on the Right.
They resent being called “bitter clingers” or a “basket of deplorables” and they fought back in the one arena were the have the most political power — at the ballot box. This was true of white males (the great villains of identity politics) but also of the women who like their husbands and boyfriends (a majority of married women voted for Trump) and decent people who dislike the racial, gender and sexual hustle.
A Trump vote was a very blunt instrument, since Trump was a deeply flawed candidate, but given the choice between the arrogant elitists and Trump, Americans who were tired of being demeaned, tired of being told they had to accept being victims of discrimination, and tired of being told that they needed to change to be like the elitists, revolted.