Identity politics conservatism

The other view—let’s call it Identity Politics Conservatism until we come up with something better—is largely agnostic on questions of policy. Do these people want tariffs, or free trade? Do they hate socialism, or do they want the government picking winners and losers according to the national interest? Are they pro-life, or are the deaths of 160,000 people just something that “is what it is”?

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The Identity Politics Conservatism theory would say that these people don’t care a whit about the policies—they care about who is doing the policymaking. Like old-guard Leninists, their primary concern is: Who? Whom?

In case you’re too young for Lenin, when you go from his original Russian—кто кого опередит?—his bon mot translates as “Who will overtake whom?” And in practice, this was more precisely carried out as “Who will obliterate whom?”

The logic of Identity Politics Conservatism suggests that all of this think tanking and speechifying is—at best—tertiary to what these voters care about. They do not want a new strategy for bringing tech giants to heel.

They want Lafayette Park.

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