Gay Is the New Black: The Buttigieg Candidacy

Gay Is the New Black: The Buttigieg Candidacy, by C.C. McAllister.

We need to talk about Pete Buttigieg and why his candidacy for president in the age of identity politics is negatively disruptive — though this certainly doesn’t mean he shouldn’t run. He’s the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and the first openly gay candidate to run for president. …

The politics of the Democratic Party is driven by an ideology that pits one group against another. Blacks against whites. Gays against straights. Women against men. Political agendas and views are often put in that frame.

We saw the consequences of this during Barack Obama’s reign as the first black president. If you criticized him, you were called a racist. Almost all statements and judgments regarding his policies and performance were filtered through the lens of identity politics.

This was true with the candidacy of Hillary Clinton as well. Democrats tried to put any criticism of her agenda in that context. Women who opposed her were called traitors to their sex. Men who refused to vote for her were inevitably called misogynists who didn’t want a female president.

Most of the time these accusations were untrue, but the truth doesn’t matter in identity politics. Character, qualifications, and political philosophies don’t matter. It’s all about the group identity based on the hierarchy of historical victimhood, which elevates anyone who is not a white, straight man to the top of the ticket.

Like it or not, this is the state of our culture today. Politics is saturated with it. …

We now have a climate of group hostility — the bastard child of identity politics. As a result, we are increasingly incapable of seeing people for who they are as unique individuals, and instead, we plug them into a collective through which everything is judged. …

Enter Pete Buttigieg:

After Buttigieg announced his run for the 2020 presidential campaign, his stand-out quality as expressed repeatedly by the media has been his sexual orientation, something that shouldn’t matter — but, of course, it does, and it’s how the media has set him apart from the rest of the field. …

When I say that the last thing our country needs in an age of identity politics is a president whose stand-out characteristic as generated by the media is that he’s gay, I’m focusing on a cultural problem, not a problem with the candidate.

I would also say that about women of color in this climate. The tensions created by white female candidates are not as striking, so their candidacy is not as problematic — though we still get the “You’re a misogynist” slurs when we criticize a Democratic woman. (Oddly, conservative women aren’t included in this protected class.) …

I lament that a person’s identity status encapsulates them like body armor, or — if they’re a white man — like a target.

I lament that we can’t fully debate issues or even address these social conflicts born of identity politics without being reduced to a “hateful bigot.”

I lament that these group identities are the defining and sometimes qualifying framework for the Democratic Party, just as the white man’s identity is disqualifying — unless, of course, he toes the party line to such an extent that this liability is ignored. …

My concern with a gay candidate is not that he is gay, but that he is gay in the context of a highly divisive identity politics culture. …

We saw this with Obama. His abuse of executive powers was ignored by those who are now concerned with the same under President Trump — because they were not willing to criticize a black president. Likewise, those who did were silenced and delegitimized as racist.

The issues were never fully dealt with because identity politics hindered any discourse and stoked flames of frustration and anger, leading to disunity and distrust.

The same will happen with a female president, a WOC president, or a gay president. Error, abuses, corruption, and dangerous policies driven by unconstitutional ideologies will be ignored and even championed because the person proposing them is part of an accepted group in the intersectional hierarchy of power.

As a two-party nation, we have always struggled with these biases in the partisan realm, but it has reached a whole new and dangerous level with group identity politics. Candidates are acceptable and not to be criticized, not only because they have a D beside their name, but because of their sex, sexual choices, race, or ethnicity. Any opposition is met with histrionics and rage.

Such a pity. The West was making such good progress for a century or so up until maybe 1980, of moving towards a color blind world, a sex blind world (outside of baby making and related activities, of course), tolerance of different sexual orientations, and so on.

As liberal Australian PM Gough Whitlam said in the 1970s, race, gender and sexual orientation do not matter, those are just individual traits. What matters is the character of the individual, what they do.

But the new left has changed course radically, and smashed that world of increasing equality of opportunity for all. Instead, to get elected, they have returned to identity politics and tribalism. Huge strategic mistake. To make it worse, they feel the need to speed up demographic change to improve their electoral chances, with mass migration from the third world. Even bigger strategic error.