Can Trump (and Kanye) Vanquish ‘Identity Politics’?

February 6, 2020 Updated: February 9, 2020


Few conceptions are more destructive to American society and drive us further apart than “identity politics,” the idea that all members of a group—gays, Latinos, blacks, Asians, women, transgendered, disabled, and so on—would and should vote alike.

The Democratic Party has lived off this reactionary construct—one that obviates the competition for votes, thus clearing the way for exploitation of those groups—for decades.

It’s as if the Democrats were engaged in an unspoken conspiracy against liberty, free will, and the rights of the individual. Members of identity groups who don’t conform are to be ostracized and/or humiliated for their apostasy.

Does that veer to the totalitarian? Well, if it walks like a duck. … And it’s worth noting that in the Soviet Union, ethnic and national groups (Tatars, Jews, Kazakhs, and so forth) were required to carry internal passports, so their backgrounds could be readily identified. You can guess why.

The results of this, as I noted above, were usually to make things worse for the groups’ members themselves. “Identity politics” is a cancer on democracy and makes people vote against their own interests as often as not.

Ask yourself—who has done more for African Americans, Donald Trump or the Rev. Al Sharpton?

Has any Democratic politician of recent vintage presided over the lowest-ever unemployment numbers for African Americans, even of the perpetually unemployed African American youth?

Can any of them say they did anything of significance to raise the wages of the lower classes, as we have seen happening now at an unprecedented rate?

Have any of them opened up “Opportunity Zones” to encourage entrepreneurship in disadvantaged communities, actually Jack Kemp’s original idea that should have been activated long ago, as Trump has done with Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.)?

Of course not. Not even close.

And under whose administration was the long-promised legislation to give clemency to prisoners—so often African American—in recognition of their “good time” actually enacted?

Well, we know that, too.

Yet the traditional (maybe sclerotic would be a better word) black adherence to the Democratic Party continues. Only the Jews make less sense in their behavior.

Why are these groups incapable of change?

The inescapable conclusion is that the cliché about old habits dying hard is one of the all-time understatements.

And yet there are signs this logjam is about to break. Trump’s numbers among African Americans are up to a degree never thought possible. Some even approach 50 percent.

At the same time, and perhaps of more, or at least equal, importance, rapper Kanye West—a man many call a genius—has been moving across America, leading his Sunday Services, preaching the Gospel with music, most recently in Miami. Although largely under the radar, like Trump’s events, these services are hugely attended.

West and his wife, Kim Kardashian, are also sponsoring nationwide screenings of the film “Just Mercy,” about the defense of a black tree cutter who was falsely accused and sentenced to death for the murder of a young white woman in Monroeville, Alabama.

Most of the audiences at both of these know full well of the closeness of Kanye and Trump, having seen the highly publicized pictures of them together in the Oval Office.

If Kanye campaigns with the president this summer, it will be tremendously significant.

African Americans will have to choose—Kanye West or Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.)? I’m betting on Kanye. And I’m betting that would be worth more than a flesh wound to moribund “identity politics,” at least as far as blacks are concerned.

It might even be game over.

Roger L. Simon, Epoch Times’ senior political analyst, is the author of, most recently, “The GOAT.” Follow him on Twitter @rogerlsimon.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, co-founder of PJMedia, and now, editor-at-large for The Epoch Times. His most recent books are “The GOAT” (fiction) and “I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already” (nonfiction). He can be found on GETTR and Parler @rogerlsimon.