Time to give up on identity politics: It’s dragging the progressive agenda down

The 2016 election was the ultimate crash of identity politics, of course, played out to the maximum on both sides. The irrational “alt-right,” based on white identity politics, had it out with the irrational alt-left, by which I mean not what neoliberal Democrats and Trump mean by it, but exactly the opposite: The identity politics-driven official Democratic Party messaging, which relies on magic and charisma and delusional thinking to bring about racial harmony, just as the “alt-right” does on the other side.

What could be a greater indictment of identity politics than the utter hollowing-out of the Democratic Party, its rank electoral defeat at every level of government, which began in earnest with Bill Clinton’s commitment to neoliberalism in 1991-1992, going hand in hand with identity politics of a kind that had little patience with actual poor people? That period is especially revealing, because Clinton went out of his way, as he would during his entire administration, to celebrate identity politics for the right people, namely, those who are good capitalists, doing everything he could to suggest, by way of policies, that the unreformable poor were no longer welcome in the party.

The result is the evisceration of the Democrats as a party with even a rhetorical claim to the working class, as it has become a club for egotistical, self-branding urbanites who pay lip service to identity politics while having no sympathy for real wealth redistribution.