Oh, what a disingenuous article this is.
Is the author really suggesting rolling back identity politics? If so, the first things to go would be LGBT-affirming social programs, gay marriage, third wave feminism and a good chunk of the second wave, etc.
The author’s point of returning to an ethic of togetherness, unity, and “we-ness” is vacuous because the whole point of identity politics is: who constitutes the “we”?
Liberalism — the old school variety romanticized in this article — doesn’t answer that question. That is precisely the big gaping hole in the black heart of liberalism! It is what plagues John Rawls’ “veil of ignorance.” It’s what haunts Kant’s Categorical Imperative. It’s what smears the crown of liberalism, which is the Golden Rule itself. How? Think about it. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Well, doesn’t that depend ENTIRELY on who *you* are? What you prefer? What your interests are? What your perspective on the world is? What your perspective on what constitutes a human being is? What makes you, well…you?
Identity politics was liberalism’s answer, which, as per usual, is a non-answer. Everyone decides for him- or her- or xe- or itself. Only now, apparently, are we realizing how bad of an idea that is. How it’s the fast track to nihilism and fascism (also well-known byproducts of liberalism, by the way).
Sorry, liberalism. You can’t deny the fruits of your labor when things get messy and inconvenient. Own up to your empty, incoherent, cancerous ideology.
Time to end identity liberalism and the old school liberalism from whence it came.
“A convenient liberal interpretation of the recent presidential election would have it that Mr. Trump won in large part because he managed to transform economic disadvantage into racial rage the whitelash thesis. This is convenient because it sanctions a conviction of moral superiority and allows liberals to ignore what those voters said were their overriding concerns. It also encourages the fantasy that the Republican right is doomed to demographic extinction in the long run which means liberals have only to wait for the country to fall into their laps. The surprisingly high percentage of the Latino vote that went to Mr. Trump should remind us that the longer ethnic groups are here in this country, the more politically diverse they become.
“Finally, the whitelash thesis is convenient because it absolves liberals of not recognizing how their own obsession with diversity has encouraged white, rural, religious Americans to think of themselves as a disadvantaged group whose identity is being threatened or ignored. Such people are not actually reacting against the reality of our diverse America (they tend, after all, to live in homogeneous areas of the country). But they are reacting against the omnipresent rhetoric of identity, which is what they mean by political correctness. Liberals should bear in mind that the first identity movement in American politics was the Ku Klux Klan, which still exists. Those who play the identity game should be prepared to lose it.”