reading list
books

This week’s reading list starts at the National Review and another excellent piece by David French, There Is a Profound Difference Between Justice and Identity Politics.

As the Democrats push for more women to run for office, French asks, ‘Is it really the case that membership in any of these [particular identity] groups renders a person more qualified for public office? Can we presume that more women in politics will mean a better government and better nation? Do we presume that the victimization of some women makes all women’s voices more valuable?’

French hits the nail on the head when it comes to the poison that is identity politics, which he says ‘exploits suffering for the sake of power’. In fact, identity politics exploits the suffering of others for the sake of power. If you can hitch your wagon to an exploited group, then you are worthier of power than your opponent, even if you yourself come from a very privileged background.

This is why we see privileged middle-class women in the media, who can turn down a £45,000 pay rise, acting as if they are an exploited cash-out girl on zero contract hours.

This is an important piece, considering the obsession during the week with who made it to Theresa May’s Cabinet and what decisions were based on sex and race etc.

French again: ‘Identity politics rejects all these realities. It’s built on a series of fundamental untruths – that membership in particular demographic groups equates with victimization, victimization produces wisdom, and this wisdom is progressive and uniform across each and every marginalized victim group. The result is toxic. Because it flies in the face of reality, identity politics can only be maintained through tribalism and bullying. Dissenters are punished. Diversity of thought is suppressed. The virtue of accountability is transformed in short order into the vice of group blame.’

I relied on the piece extensively during a late-night tweeting session. Many thanks once again, David French.

Next is Mollie Hemingway at the Federalist, who calls out the media attempt to oust Donald Trump via the 25th Amendment for what it is: a coup. She summarises the disgraceful attempt to delegitimise the election as follows:

‘Since his surprise win, the country has been subjected to attempts to delegitimize Trump’s election by blaming “fake news” for tricking voters into supporting him, or a year-long obsession, still noticeably unsubstantiated, with the idea that he conspired with Russians to steal the election from Hillary Clinton. We’ve heard people desperately attempt to keep the Electoral College from voting for him, been told that damaging information from intelligence agencies would keep him from being inaugurated, and that the cabinet should pull a “24”-style move and oust him via the 25th Amendment.’

This is a year-long campaign against democracy itself.

Hemingway concludes: ‘Talk of mental health and a 25th Amendment removal, “by force if necessary”, is talk of a coup, just as it was in the TV show “24”. Responsible parties should consider how this is perceived by the part of the electorate they rarely speak to and cease.’

Finally, the Jesuits have a piece on America’s farmworkers. This is not my usual sort of read, but it is thoughtful.