One of the common themes I find myself preaching in conversations, and debates with denizens of the Internet, is the idea that conservatives must avoid the temptation to embrace identity politics (the politics of dividing and conquering the American people) in their battle with the left.
For years, we’ve watched the Left use identity politics to separate us, to drive a wedge between neighbors, and to make people angry with each other for no reason other than the fact that they belong to different “identity” groups.
I’m a Christian so homosexuals should hate me, because the left says that I hate them. (It’s not true.) I’m a Latino, so the left says I should hate the GOP because they’re racist and I should hate Trump because he’ll throw me out of the country. (They’re not and he can’t, my parents are citizens and I was born here.) I’m a man, so women should hate me because I am enabling the patriarchy with my very existence.
It’s a dizzying code that only teaches us to be angry with each other. Sadly, it’s been quite an effective tool for the left and they’ve used Identity Politics to win elections, and to change our culture.
Even so, conservative leaning Americans MUST resist the temptation to play the left’s game and to embrace identity politics, because, if we win using identity politics against the left… we still lose.
Canadian professor and free speech activist Dr. Jordan Peterson explains why:
Having the right degenerate into identity politics does not seem to be a positive solution. One of the things I would say is: I understand why the identity politics that has been practiced so assiduously and so devastatingly by the left has been co-opted by the right. I understand that.
But here’s what I would say to the people on the right, who are playing that game:
If you play the game of your enemies, and you win, you win their game. You don’t win. That’s not victory. You just become the most sucessful exponent of their pathology. How is that a good thing?
It is a bad thing.
So what does that leave people as an alternative? Well, I don’t think that the caucasians should revert to being white. I think that is a bad idea. It is a dangerous idea, and it is coming fast. And I don’t like to see that.
I think the whole group identity thing is seriously pathological.
I think we’ve made big mistakes in Canada. I understand why, at least to some degree, in that respect, and large mistakes are being made across the Western world.
Where we’re making your group identity the most important thing about you. I think that is reprehensible. It is devastating. It is genocidal in its ultimate expression. I think it will bring down our civilization if we pursue it. We shouldn’t be playing that game. So what is the alternative?
Instead of embracing identity politics Dr. Peterson says that we should embrace personal responsibility.
“Put your life together… Pick up your responsibilities, sort yourself out, fix up your family, and then you can be a force for good. If enough people do that, the ideological mess will disappear. That is the way you show people the right path forward… Drop your cult-like affiliation. Step out of the shadows, the demonic shadows — your ideological possessions — and step forward as a fully developed person into the light. Do it by example. That’s your best bet”