Identity Politics: Danger in Disguise

Identity politics have become one of the greatest threats to American democracy.


Hayley Adams, Staff Writer

If I could do anything without legal ramifications? Hm… I would bomb the White House, slaughter all republicans that are a part of Congress and their families, outlaw Fox News and eliminate anyone that has ever supported a right-wing media source, what about you? …I was going to say drive without a seatbelt…

Contrary to my parents’ beliefs, the previous quote isn’t from my Twitter feed. Rather, it is a toxic mindset that many have recently fallen victim to. Politics have gone from one’s beliefs and opinions, to their identity and who they are.

Extreme identity politics are one of the biggest threats to our nation’s unity. Identity politics are defined as “atendency for people of a particular religion, race, social background, or more, to form exclusive political alliances, moving away from traditional broad-based party politics.” Basically, shaping your whole character and life based on politics. Historically, identity politics have been used for incredible good, such as the women’s rights movement and civil rights movement. Nowadays, identity politics have shifted from a helpful tool to dismantle racist and sexist ideas, to a tool for division and political otherization.

This change became obvious during the 2016 election when politics became more divided than ever. If you supported Clinton, in the eyes of Trump supporters, you were seen as an email-deleting, crooked “libtard.” If you were a Trump supporter, in the eyes of democrats, you were a fascist, racist, absent-minded fool.

It’s no secret that I’m a democrat, and honestly, I have silently judged others’ characters based on their politics. Now however, I don’t think every single person who supported Trump during the election is a fascist and racist. The 2016 election was unusual, and it seemed as if both of the candidates were never anyone’s first choice. Clinton’s image was stained with negative opinions from Bill Clinton’s administration, and Trump’s campaign was full of controversy. Trump won because his fewer supporters were louder.

Going into the 2020 election, we need to look at the mistakes made by both parties during the 2016 one and learn from them, being a democrat, I will naturally support whoever runs against Trump. Unlike last election, I won’t personally judge people for supporting Trump. We all have different philosophies and I believe the democratic thing to do is not hate or drown out others. As the great Michelle Obama once said, “When they go low, we go high.”

Am I saying that you have to be besties with the white boy that wears MAGA shirts to school in a desperate attempt to be edgy? No, definitely not. However, I think it’s important to take a step back and realize that we’re all humans, with different philosophies and ideas. In the end, don’t shape your entire life and identity around politics, as it can become dangerous quickly.