Identity politics, retraining and more: political links

Blaming “identity politics” for Trump’s success is bullshit, FAIR says. Okay, white male identity politics was very important in Trump’s rise, but the critids are talking about everything else — it’s Democrats championing blacks, women, Latinos, Muslims that cost them the election, and not because the other side were bigots, it’s because identity politics is bad. Except the white kind; to paraphrase Ta-Nehisi Coates, white identity politics is always assumed to be justified.

A piece at the Guardian sums it up well (I may have linked to it before): blaming “political correctness” for Trump is like blaming Jim Crow on the civil rights movement. Identity politics and “PC” are about fighting back against people who deny those identities equal rights. Take wedding vendors (bakers, photographers) who don’t want to cater gay weddings, which the right wing holds up as the symbol of oppression in our times. Possibly some people are outraged by that who were fine with gay marriage and gay rights in general, but an awful lot of the anger comes from people (Ted Cruz, for instance) who didn’t think gay rights were acceptable to start with. As the FAIR piece points out, there’s no point in compromising because the goalposts are constantly moving. As blogger Roy Edroso once put it, gay-haters used to blame their attitudes on how offended they were by the leather boys and kinksters flocking to gay pride marches. But it turns out when two gays want to put on matching tuxedos or wedding dresses and pledge undying love, the gay haters don’t stop hating.

And the Niskanen Center says (long but worth the read) you can’t fight for liberty without identity politics. And The Guardian on the myth of Political Correctness as defined by the right.

•Right-wing Republican theocrat Franklin Graham (who thinks Target not separating toys by sex is terribly wrong) thinks people working in manufacturing and construction are right to resist retraining to become, say, computer programmers — there’s no pride in being a computer programmer. So it’s not surprising they appreciate Trump fighting for their jobs (okay, saying he’s fighting for their jobs). So as someone quipped, when minorities turn down jobs it’s because they’re lazy; when white people do it, it’s because they have pride, dammit!

That said, computer programming isn’t for everyone. As one blogger (I forget whom, alas) put it some years ago, if the only way for anyone to get a job was to retrain so that we could work in construction, that would be bad, even if retraining was free. Some people wouldn’t be physically up for it. Some people would hate it. Some just don’t have the right mix of skills or traits (trust me, any job that involves working off the ground would leave me too terrified to move). Same thing. Not everyone’s going to fit into computer programming. And besides, those are jobs that can be outsourced, or that companies can hire capable immigrant programmers for. So I don’t think it’s a cure. But arguing that there’s something sub-par about the jobs and that they’re just not as manly as Real Work? Give me a break, Mr. Graham).

•Several courts have ruled that police can’t force you to give them your phone passcode—but now one court has said, yes, they can.

•Trump wants to know the names of everyone in the Department of Energy working on climate change. The DoE declined.

•For years, Republicans freaked out about Obama being a secret Muslim and a foreigner despite a complete lack of evidence. Now that we have tentative evidence Russia tried to swing the election for Trump —hey, they don’t care! Some of them are, however, outraged that Kellogg’s is no longer advertising with Breitbart.com.

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