We are currently experiencing the first ripple of reactions to another conversation on identity politics and liberalism. The Times Standard has a column today by Gene Lyons (you can find a version here) and Thomas Edsall of the NYT has a column on it in today’s paper here. Both columns reference Mark Lilla’s “The End of Identity Liberalism” and some of the reactions to the column.
I am very skeptical, especially of Gene Lyons take, especially as this alt-right meme “identity-obsessed social justice warriors” could be found in his column. Right now I don’t have a great deal to say about this subject except to listen to the talkers and writers because I honestly don’t really understand what these conversations are about. It’s similar to the political correctness hub-bub – I just don’t get it. Say what you want and suffer the consequences – or not. Trump did pretty well speaking his mind.
However, I will say this. I would hope that liberal politics is able to address real problems. We are not able to talk about wealth honestly in this country and now it seems many thinkers would like us to stop talking about race. Fine. Let’s just look at graphs then. What can politics do to inform policies that might address this? Source here.
Are liberals to stop talking about this or addressing charts like this in their politics? I would say neither our politics nor our policies have addressed this enough and in fact, if you haven’t noticed, this or that Republican policy is taking us further and further away from being able to address systemic problems in our society that do revolve around identity. I’m sorry white voter in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, it is a problem. That doesn’t mean we can’t address your problems at the same time too. Liberal politics need to be about AND not OR.