Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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At the recent Netroots Nation event (basically, it’s Nerd Prom for Leftists who are actually nerds), California Senator Kamala Harris called out people critical of identity politics, saying it’s a term that “is used to divide, and it is used to distract. Its purpose is to minimize and marginalize issues that impact all of us. It is used to try to shut us up.”

For the first time in my life, I agree with Senator Harris. I’m guessing, though, not for the same reasons.

Identity politics has taken on a whole new meaning within Leftist circles, which isn’t all that surprising. The Left is comprised of a loose network of like-minded individuals working together to achieve their goals while at the same time jockeying for position like roller derby competitors so their goals are the ones that get the most attention. In other words, it’s like Jim Acosta, Jesse Jackson, and Chuck Schumer fighting over a live microphone.

And with that, we delve into this week’s Leftist Lexicon entry!

identity politics

What the Left thinks it means – issues that affect all Americans in one way or another because they affect the least powerful among us

What it really means – the politics of labels and division

To most people, I’m an average (albeit devilishly handsome) guy. To those who practice identity politics, I’m a litany of adjectives that would choke most bad writers. Since I’m heterosexual male, I’m cis-gendered who identifies as male. I’m lower middle class, so I’m a member of the working class or the underprivileged. I lean libertarian on most items, so I’m alt-right/fascist/Trumplican/white supremacist/mouth-breathing moron/the God of Hellfire and I bring you…

You get the picture. For every personal aspect, identity politics has a label for you, even if you don’t want or need it. But that’s the thing: the Left needs it to simplify its thinking. If they can figure out what you are (or what they think you are), they can identify what boxes you can check off in their Great Victimhood Lottery. Then, they can appeal to you on a personal level. You know, just like a cult leader.

And if you happen to be a contrarian like your humble reporter, those labels can be used to dismiss your opinions as wrong-think. If you support the Second Amendment, you’re a “gun nut” or an “ammosexual.” Listen to Rush Limbaugh? You’re a “right wing nut job” or a “mindless sheep.” And so on. Once Leftists identify you as a non-preferable identity based on your labels, they can and will dismiss you on any and all subjects. You could be a highly-accredited peer-reviewed published climate scientist who read a little Ayn Rand in college, but to the Left you’re scum.

Isn’t that lovely? The party of tolerance, ladies and gentlemen.

Although identity politics makes things easier to understand, it leaves out a lot of what the Left loves to call nuance. Everybody is unique, which makes it hard to put them in boxes without creating a big mess. Just because someone fits a certain arbitrary category doesn’t mean he or she is a perfect candidate for it, nor does it mean he or she will voluntarily conform to the expectations of said category. Why, it’s almost as if people are…diverse! If only there were an ideology that proclaims to be all about diversity…oh, wait, there is!

Unfortunately, the diversity the Left practices is of the superficial variety. The color of your skin, your sexual orientation, your religious background (save for Christians), and other factors are what they look for instead of ideological, intellectual, or even socio-economic factors.

And that’s where identity politics falls apart. Once you boil someone down to what he or she looks like, you miss out on the true beauty he/she brings to the table. Assuming an albino pan-sexual lesbian crossdressing midget who likes clog dancing will automatically be a Leftist removes what makes said person unique and limits what Leftists know about him or her. To use a concept Leftists love to use against others, they are removing people’s agency (and that is another blog post altogether).

Instead of looking at people as what makes them different from each other, why don’t we look at what unites us? We are all human beings with all the positives and negatives that come with being human. Anything beyond that is minutia. And this is one reason why #WalkAway has become so popular. People are tired of being stripped down to labels and being told those labels define what we must believe. The beauty of humans is that we aren’t limited by what we’re born with or as. The only limitations are the ones we impose on ourselves.

And really that’s the heart of identity politics: imposing limits on everyone in the hopes we will agree with said limits. That creates an implied need for help, and the Left is all too happy to oblige. The problem is their “help” never actually…you know…helps. It’s designed to keep people dependent upon the Left for every need, including self-esteem and personal identity. That’s slavery on a whole different level, kids.

So, Senator Harris was right. Identity politics has become a pejorative, but it’s not because of the critics. It’s because identity politics sucks.

Who Cares?

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To paraphrase a line from another fandom, I felt a great disturbance in the TARDIS, as if millions of fans suddenly cried out in terror and were silenced as they blogged in anger. For the first time in Doctor Who history, a woman, Jodie Whittaker, will be portraying the Doctor, and the fan base exploded with reactions. Some were positive, some were negative, and still others were apoplectic.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a Doctor Who fan from way back, and I can see why some fans are upset. The Doctor has been male up until Ms. Whittaker’s casting, so there’s naturally going to be some pushback. However, there has been pushback with most of the previous Doctors, although not along gender lines. We are in uncharted territory right now, and some fans aren’t even trying to put on their big boy pants and give Ms. Whittaker a chance.

One of the stated fears has its genesis in real world situations, that being what is seen as the creeping influence of social justice in geekdom. For those of you with lives, pop culture has experienced a boom in recent years, and as a result, Leftists have decided to be the death of the party in it. Whether it’s video games, comic books, cartoons, science fiction, or anything else that will guarantee its fandom that dating will most likely be out of the question, Leftists are finding ways to exert force to create their fantasy out of the fantasy genre.

Having seen this play out in real time, I can say this is a legitimate concern, but there is a caveat. I need to see how and if Doctor Who’s acting and writing changes to incorporate more Leftist ideology before I lament the show’s demise. Until then, I will withhold judgment on whether Doctor Who has gone full Social Justice Warrior. I will also ask my fellow Whovians to do the same. Some of you have invested over 50 years in the show, and to throw that time and enjoyment away over something that is in canon and entirely possible within a show where there are Daleks and Cybermen is silly at best.

And speaking of silly, that brings us to the Queen Bee of the SJW crowd, Anita Sarkeesian. After Ms. Whittaker was cast, Sarkeesian went onto the Twitter account for her “non-profit organization” and complained the Doctor…wasn’t trans and/or a person of color. (I told you she was silly.) As expected, many people reading her tweet reminded her of characters who weren’t “predominantly white” as Sarkeesian claimed the show to be, which took all of, oh, 3 seconds to research. And as far as trans is concerned, a Time Lord is the ultimate trans person because he can change into anyone upon regeneration. Any race, any gender, any sexual orientation. An…ny…one.

Pro tip for you, Anita. Before you get upset at a particular fandom, do at least some research on it so you don’t look like a total moron. Then again, if you did that, most of your content wouldn’t exist, but you do you, ma’am!

What we’re seeing from both sides of the female Doctor controversy is gender politics. Both the Whovian purists and the SJWs see the Doctor as solely male, but the former sees it as positive while the latter sees it as negative. And both are wrong-headed in their approaches in spite of having valid concerns. I certainly don’t want the Doctor to turn into an SJW, but I don’t want the series to remain stagnant, either. There is a happy medium to be found, and I hope Ms. Whittaker and the writers find it.

To both sides upset over the new direction, you need to find a happy medium, too. For the Left, this is going to be a lot harder, but at least try, okay? Just because the Doctor is going to be female doesn’t mean the whole series is going to suck. Leave the sucking to “CSI: Boise”. And just because the Doctor is white doesn’t mean the series is whiter than Edgar Winter in the middle of a blizzard at Ice Station Zebra. Give the show a chance and then complain if it’s not up to snuff. You might find a white female Doctor is your cup of Earl Grey after all.

And if you’re still upset after hearing my suggestion, go ahead and complain. Rage quit your fandom. It will make for better viewing because we won’t have to deal with your butthurt.