And so we come to the ultimate conundrum in modern politics: When does the troller become the trollee? Elizabeth Warren clearly thought she’d be the former by releasing the results of her private DNA analysis, until basic math and methodology made a mockery of her claim to have proven her Native American identity. Warren even insisted that the results were so corroborative to her claims of tribal ancestry at earlier points in her career that she demanded that Donald Trump pay off on his million-dollar “bet” on the subject.
Today, Trump provided an answer — and a demonstration of the futility in attempting to out-troll the master (via Twitchy):
The shout-out to Cherokee Nation comes after a swift and angry denunciation from tribal leadership yesterday. At 1/64th, the highest possible level of ancestry with any confidence from this test (based not on specific Native American DNA but general-population samples from Mexico and South America), that result wouldn’t qualify for membership in any tribe, even if one could point to a specific ancestor. At 1.1024th, the smallest portion of ancestry possible from the test, it’s simply ridiculous to claim it means anything.
Apart from that, Cherokee Nation secretary of state Chuck Hoskins Jr declared, “DNA is not evidence for a tribal affiliation.” Warren, Hoskins said, was “undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.” Maybe Warren should have double-checked with the Cherokee Nation before launching her attempt to rehabilitate her credibility, eh?
Still, Warren may have accomplished some good with her new effort to beclown herself. Matt Walsh writes that she may have driven a stake through identity politics:
Perhaps there is reason to celebrate after all. If the Left embraces Warren as Native American based on a potential Indian or partially Indian or at least Mexican ancestor who lived two or three centuries ago, then they have also embraced the end of identity politics. The whole point of leftist identity politics is to divide the country into two groups: persecuted minorities on one side and evil white folk on the other. Those in the Persecuted Group can cash in their persecution for personal advancement, political gain, sympathy, or whatever other advantage. Those in the Persecutor Group must suffer correlated losses in order to even everything out.
But if a person can escape the Persecutor Group and set up camp among the Persecuted simply by insisting that there was probably a minority in her family tree somewhere along the line, then the Persecutor camp will soon be empty. Almost every white person has some non-white DNA. Trace anyone’s lineage back 300 years and you’ll probably find quite a bit more diversity than can be discovered on the Warren family tree. Indeed, go back far enough and none of us are purely white. But if none of us are purely white, then all of us are victims, which leaves no one to do the victimizing.
So, I say we accept Warren as the Cherokee she claims to be. I say we also accept each other as whatever ethnicity we all claim to be. Then we can all be victims together. Or we can all be victimizers together. It won’t much matter at that point. Identity politics has become obsolete.
That might be too much to hope, but it should be the logical consequence of the Left embracing the “one drop” rule. If we’re all 1/1024th Native American or more, then we’re all either oppressed or we’re all oppressors. It’s the genealogical version of homeopathy — the less we have, the more healing it becomes to our victimization-hungry psyches. Equality, baby!
I’m less sanguine about that outcome in the short run, anyway. We seem to be growing more obsessed with the idea that immutable characteristics control our destiny rather than the content of our characters. It’s a weird, modern kind of ancestor worship, further enabled by DNA research (that’s still a bit questionable, by the way) to feed our obsession over our physical makeup over our own intellectual, emotional, and spiritual progress, both on the individual and cultural basis. This has become the new version of predetermination, the assigning of salvation and damnation by the gene locus match of competing laboratories.
About the only real value it has is for trolling. So, congrats to Warren for that much.