Identity Politics ‘Tearing America Apart’

James A. Baker III and Andrew Young write Identity Politics Are Tearing America Apart

Somehow, the drumbeat of dissonance seems harsher today.  Jaded Americans are constantly confronted by a deluge of animus from their televisions and smartphones.

The U.S. finds itself increasingly divided along lines of race, ethnicity, gender, religion and sexual identity. Countless demagogues stand ready to exploit those differences. When a sports reporter of Asian heritage is removed from his assignment because his name is close to that of a Confederate army general, political correctness has gone too far. Identity politics practiced by both major political parties is eroding a core principle that Americans are, first and foremost, Americans.

The divisions in society are real. So are national legacies of injustice. All can and must be addressed. Those who preach hatred should be called out for their odious beliefs. But even as extremism is condemned, Americans of good will need to keep up lines of civil, constructive conversation.

The country faces a stark choice. Its citizens can continue screaming at each other, sometimes over largely symbolic issues. Or they can again do what the citizens of this country have done best in the past—work together on the real problems that confront everyone.

Both of us have been at the center of heated disputes in this country and around the world. And there’s one thing we’ve learned over the decades: You achieve peace by talking, not yelling. The best way to resolve an argument is to find common ground.

Things are nowhere near as bad in New Zealand. There is certainly some dissonance and division on the political fringes, but it isn’t widespread nor serious.

America has many faults that must be repaired—from a failed health-care system to a military that needs upgrading. Americans must, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said during a 1965 commencement address for Oberlin College, learn to live together as brothers and sisters. Or, we will perish together as fools.

If the air of civility in last nights leaders debate is anything to go by we may actually be heading for improvement here, and even fools may enjoy better lives despite their perpetual pessimism.

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13 Comments

  1. “If the air of civility in last nights leaders debate is anything to go by we may actually be heading for improvement her”.
    Jacinda is one person. Twford, Davis, Robertson, Hipkins are politicians who personify Identity Politics. I expect nothing if not a return to the social engineering and IP rampant under the last Labour Govt

    Reply
  2. Joe Bloggs

     /  September 1, 2017

    Isn’t as wide-spread here??

    I beg to differ. just look at the politics of identity in posts on this blog alone. Divisions along lines of race, ethnicity, gender, religion and sexual identity are pretty much the norm.

    And while we get along relatively civilly, all it would take is a nihilistic trumpian candidate to spark the bigly divisions in NZ society that have emerged in America.

    Reply
  3. PDB

     /  September 1, 2017

    PG: “If the air of civility in last nights leaders debate is anything to go”

    It wasn’t anywhere near a debate in traditional terms, more a discussion as Barely Sober pointed out on the radio today.

    Reply
  4. sorethumb

     /  September 1, 2017

    Things are nowhere near as bad in New Zealand. There is certainly some dissonance and division on the political fringes, but it isn’t widespread nor serious.
    ……….
    that may be a scale thing. We don’t have the Peter Hitchen’s type journalist
    http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2013/04/how-i-am-partly-to-blame-for-mass-immigration.html

    Reply
  5. sorethumb

     /  September 1, 2017

    There are plenty of people applauding NZr’s who were once 95% becoming a minority here. As in the US where they were 90% in the 1960’s.
    https://www.nzgeo.com/audio/smart-talk-at-the-auckland-museum-auckland-as-an-island/

    Reply
  1. Identity Politics ‘Tearing America Apart’ — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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