Balkanization & Back To Blood

Balkanization & Back To Blood, by Rod Dreher.

Politico has a fascinating story from Minnesota, about the fight splitting up the foundation started by the late Sen. Paul Wellstone’s family and supporters. A majority of the board of Wellstone Action, which trains progressive activists, kicked the senator’s sons off the board. Why? They cared too much about rural poor white people. …

Serious question: how many people think that having a truly liberal, non-identity politics is possible anymore? …

Look at this headline from an essay in The Forward today: “Intersectionality Has Abandoned Jews. Should We Abandon Intersectionality?” If the emerging left-wing politics has no role for poor, rural, and working-class white people, and a diminished role for Jews, will they turn to the Right? What about white gays, as the gay rights issue fades among Republicans (the GOP leadership already doesn’t care about it, and it’s going to become a non-issue as older Republicans die off).

If thinking about American politics this way makes you uncomfortable, well, I think it should. But progressives — the kind of progressives who kicked Paul Wellstone’s sons off the Wellstone Action board for caring more about economics than identity politics — are driving this train. David French writes:

Linker’s essay reminds me of a recent Remnant podcast with Jonah Goldberg and Michael Brendan Dougherty. I’m paraphrasing, but Michael made the point that the Left is simultaneously crowing about the decline of the white voter while scolding any white voter who racializes their politics. A message that essentially declares, “Ha! White people your time is over!” and “It’s racist for you to care” is unsustainable outside progressive academies or corporations. [Emphasis mine — RD]

The answer isn’t for politics to strive to ignore race. To ignore the role of race and racism in American history (or the American present) is to ignore reality. But I can think of few developments more destructive than doubling-down on racial identity as the defining strategy for coalition-building. Given the fact that American demographics are hardly changing at the same rate in every community, this is a recipe for Balkanization and division far more than it’s a recipe for Democratic dominance.

A reader from Korea replies:

Now that whites are no longer the undisputed dominant group (at least in the mind of the people, not yet in reality), the empire is starting to fracture as do all multi-ethnic empires. Think of what is holding China together: 1) economic prosperity, 2) the relentless dominance of the Han Chinese. If the economy was seriously faltering or Beijing started giving an equal voice to any and all identity groups, how long do you think the country would hold together? …

The meaningful forces that could have held the US together were civic nationalism and Christianity.

We have already begun to see some groups reject civic nationalism outright (#NotMyPresident, #TakeAKnee, pulling down statues, renaming buildings, Founding Fathers were racist, etc). It clearly does not have the power to unite people anymore. Or those who previously rejected it no longer feel the need to keep quiet.

The Church, as you’ve said many times, is weakening. The only religion that could hold the US together would be a muscular (Islam-style) Christianity that strongly rejected racial identity while enforcing Christian identitarianism. This of course would be rejected out of hand by atheists, liberal Christians, and any others who believe that multi-faith, multi-ethnic empires are sustainable. It is far too late for any of that.

Once politics goes tribal, it is very difficult to go back to non-tribal politics. Balkanization inevitably follows. Shame on the left for letting the genie of identity politics out of the lamp in the West.

hat-tip Stephen Neil