Monday, September 17, 2012

Identity Crisis Politics

The War on Women, Blacks, Muslims, and just about everyone else...

The push to see the United States as the Christian nation it never was...

The dispute over Obama's citizenship...  (And here I thought legitimacy disputes only occurred in hereditary monarchies.)

The primacy of identity over policy is the defining feature of this election.  It is a feature of all US elections, but this year the election is about identity.  This despite huge policy issues: unemployment, war, climate, and on.  And yet the country is having an identity crisis.  It is as though the public is trying to fix a leaky roof by undertaking psychotherapy, and all the while the roofer is busy stealing the family jewels.

Older white Americans seem to feel they've lost themselves in all the changes that have taken place since 1960, and they want the mythical past back.  Everyone else is glad of the changes, or at least was until the wealthy old white guys were allowed to return to abusing everyone else back in the 1980s.

And so we have a conservative black president and an election about identity.  As a progressive bird, it surprises me that the wealthy old white guys get so much support.  Yet it just may be that the identity issue is the one to deal with.  If it isn't resolved, and in favor of the whole public rather than just wealthy old white guys, policy is only going to get worse and worse. 

Meantime, the wealthy old white guys are robbing the rest of America blind.  I wish America would finish up with the identity crisis and get on with it already.

Breaking news: Romney may just have pushed the country a giant step on the path with his "47%" remark.

[Minor edits and rewrites within 24 hours of publication.]

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