The only real discourse between candidates only includes light blows upon extremely flawed and weak policy and just a bunch of infantile name calling.

JACK BECKMAN-SMITH


The Rise of Identity Politics


OPINION: Trump and Clinton are pitting one group of people against another, avoiding what really matters: policy


This has been a historic election but for all the wrong reasons. Throughout this election, we’ve seen poorly organized, lackluster, and downright odd campaign choices from nearly every major candidate.

Hillary Clinton has feebly represented herself in her campaign, rarely attending press conferences, or any conferences for that matter. Donald Trump has made a multitude of enemies and has fought some strange pseudo anti-political correctness battle. Jill Stein, a socialist environmentalist, runs off ethical solutions but not logical solutions. Lastly, there is Gary Johnson. I had high hopes for Johnson this year, but he’s seriously made me doubt him during these past few months due to some absurd statements that are far from being libertarian.

Either way, I’ve seen a slew of identity politics accompany the garbage thrown around in this pathetic presidential election. We have Trump saying illegal immigrants are bringing rape and crime whilst Clinton is calling half of Trump supporters “deplorables” in the basket bin of categorically leftist insults. These insults and buzzwords that shut down intellectual conversation and devalue once dangerous words include; sexist, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, so on and so forth.

Both of these statements are absurd in their own rights. Yes, illegal immigration is a crime, and therefore illegal immigrants may be considered criminals. However, that doesn’t make them bad people at all; the vast majority of them are just looking for opportunities and a better living. And no, not all Trump supporters are racist, islamophobic, xenophobic, sexist, etcetera. Many merely want order to return to our nation. Only a day after stating that half of Trump supporters could be put “in the basket of deplorables,” Clinton has confessed that what she said was untrue and rash. I respect her for saying that, even though she’s probably simply trying to save face for any “Trumpkins” that might end up voting for her (which will never happen).

This all brings up a common theme I’ve noticed in this election. The only real discourse between candidates are light blows, upon extremely flawed and weak policy, and a lot infantile name calling. At the end of the day, Trump and Clinton never fail to take part in what could best be described as an anticlimactic schoolyard fight (especially on Twitter). No real blows being thrown, just empty one liners followed by the cheers of their raving supporters.

In the past I’ve certainly have seen this occur on the Democrat’s side of politics. It seems as if every leftist comes ready with a label to shut down any sort of right wing speaker. However, with the rise of the “alt-right” and “anti-pc” warriors, it appears a new set of labels have arisen: the most prominent of the bunch, “Cuck” and the brandished by the newly-birthed, “alt-right.” Of course, leftists have quickly fought back these “cuckshamers” by labelling the entire movement as being racist. Neither insults, of course, have any sort of standing but only devalue the meanings of the words.

In fact, I’ve heard these words used so many times without basis that I’m not nearly as afraid as I should be of of being called one of them. Identity politics have ruined intellectual debate and these once heavy-handed words. We shouldn’t be able to instantly shut down someone’s argument with just one unfounded statement. Fortunately, as the political pendulum swings, intellectual debate shall recover, and policy will matter more than identity.