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By John Zmirak, a senior editor, The Stream, August 17, 2019
Identity politics aren’t intrinsically evil. If they were that would mean they were always wrong. In every situation, no matter the circumstances. So we’d have to say that it’s evil for Arab Christians in America to take a special interest in their persecuted cousins in Syria. Or for African-Americans to focus on charity for Haiti, instead of Laos. To some degree, ethnic loyalty is an extended form of nepotism. It’s a form of familial loyalty based on perceived biological kinship.
Then again, machine guns, bombs, tanks, and bombers aren’t intrinsically evil, either. But they are dangerous. So is identity politics. At the micro level, we don’t like to see straight-up nepotism take over in government. Though it happens. We see the rise of outright dynasties such as the Kennedys and the Bushes. That’s not part of our republican tradition, but it seems to be a default position in human nature. Tribalism is part of who we are. But it is rarely the best part. We must take account of it, but keep it under control.
A Righteous Double Standard
So far, in America, we’ve accepted identity politics when practiced by minority groups, whom we see as disadvantaged. That doesn’t mean they never abuse the privilege, of course. The spectacle of a lying demagogue such as Al Sharpton being treated as a “leader”? That ought to nauseate any decent human being. Likewise the rise of embittered ideologues like Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib. ….