President Donald J. Trump (R-New York) might do America; and the world, a tremendous service by killing off the pestilence known as identity politics. In the process, he might succeed in sending American racism to the ash heap of history where it belongs.
This thesis runs counter to the rantings of pundits like Ta-Neshi Coates, but recent events seem to prove it correct. Coates is correct to label Trump the first “white,” or more correctly “white identity” president. Yet, The Atlantic writer is wrong to assume that Donald’s administration marks a racist, or white, ascendancy.
Racism and white power have suffered nothing but setbacks since Trump took office. Instead of advancing the cause of White Nationalism, Trump has inflicted a series of potentially fatal wounds on the ideology.
How Trump is Destroying White Nationalism
A few examples of the vast damage Trump is doing to the cause of White Nationalism include:
- When Donald took office in January 2017, statues and other monuments to Robert E. Lee and other Confederate icons stood safely and securely throughout the country. Fox News reported that dozens of statues, monuments, and memorials to the Confederacy and its’ leaders have been removed since August 1.
- Before Trump moved into the White House nobody seemed to notice, or care, that there were statues of Confederates in the U.S. Capitol. Now Democrats have introduced a bill to remove them.
- Trump and the Alt-right have effectively made the Confederacy; and the white Southern view of history associated with it, politically incorrect.
- Back in November 2016, the racist, white-nationalist, Alt-Right was close to mainstream acceptance and support in the Republican Party. Today, Republicans and others are distancing themselves from it.
- Alt-Right Guru Steve Bannon was effectively banished from the White House and sent back to the internet fever swamps that spawned him, possibly at the orders of the military.
- Most of the business community has abandoned Trump because of his association with the Alt-Right and racism. Among other things, most of Trump’s business advisory committees have collapsed completely because of lack of support. No serious business leader will go within a mile of Donald because of his racism.
- A large number of Congressional Republicans have abandoned Trump. Making him effectively a lame duck President even though his party controls Congress.
All this makes Trump, an incredibly weak and ineffective President, who is now begging to Democrats on his hands and knees. Racism and white nationalism are now less respectable and acceptable than before.
Is this the End of Identity Politics?
Despite that Coates; and other pundits such as The New York Times’ Charles M. Blow, keep promoting the notion of all-powerful Trump implementing some sort of New White Order. Why?
The most likely explanation for this unlikely hero worship is that Trump shares their belief system namely that of identity politics. Identity politics is the dogma or rather methodology that only your group and its interests matter. It reduces the world and all political discourse to a simple “us vs them” battle.
Whether it is centered upon gays, Christians, whites, African-Americans, or Lithuanians, the program of identity politics is always the same. Leaders exist only to defend and champion the interests of the group. Government exists only to serve the group and protect it from enemies. Everybody outside the group is an enemy who must be contained or destroyed.
Politicians love such demented thinking because it frees them of making compromises or taking concrete actions. There is no threat of cutting government services or raising taxes from identity politics.
The corporate elite loves identity politics because it distracts the voters from issues like income inequality, taxation, benefits, trade, wage stagnation, and poverty. Politicians enjoy the situation because they can collect votes; and rake in the corporate cash, without having to offend wealthy donors.
Trump’s success last year proved that voters are sick and tired of such nonsense. Donald won the GOP nomination because he ignored meaningless identity politics issues like school prayer and discussed economics. His success in the general election came partially because left-leaning voters are sick and tired of Democrats like Hillary Clinton who are obsessed with cultural issues (identity politics).
How Trump will Destroy Black Nationalism Too
Now by proving himself a weak and ineffective President, Trump is totally discrediting identity politics. His failure scares black nationalists like Coates because it exposes the emptiness of their own beliefs.
Disturbingly one gets the impression that Coates and company want Trump to succeed. In order to peddle their brand of drivel, writers like Coates need an evil white power structure to vilify. If Trump succeeds in destroying; or discrediting the white power structure, or exposing it as a paper tiger, Coates will have no product to sell.
One has to wonder if Coates voted for the Donald. Even if he did not vote for the man; Coates seems to be secretly rooting for Trump, because Donald’s success justifies his own brand of identity politics.
Hopefully, Trump will succeed in totally discrediting identity politics. Such thinking has done vast damage to our nation and hamstrung its political system. By destroying identity thought, Trump might pave the way for effective political action from both sides of the aisle.
If there is justice in the world, Ta-Neshi Coates will end up at Breitbart; helping his newfound friend Steve Bannon spin and spew racist conspiracy theories in hopes of attracting a few advertising dollars. One has to wonder if they’ll spend their time blaming the Donald for consigning their sick worldview to the swamps where it belongs.