Trumpism Is ‘Identity Politics’ for White People

    Adam Serwer retweeted his Oct. 2018 article today with that title and it definitely is worth a reminder right now:

    From, but it’s even more clear now that Trump has fumbled the response to the coronavirus, the economic crisis, and the george floyd protests, while running against statue vandalism. White identity politics is all Trumpism has ever had to offer.

    — Adam Serwer (@AdamSerwer) July 6, 2020


    The references to some of the political consequences to the "Black-Marxist" activity in the past is interesting.

    defends an un-attacked position with this:

    If the United States is going to emerge stronger as a nation, it must not conflate African Americans’ real and historical issues with Russia’s foreign-policy aims.

    Who is really doing this, exactly?


    Fukuyama says to Mona Charen's "Bulwark" column on the president's Mt. Rushmore speech:

    NYT's Jamelle Bouie argues that Trump May have gone to the racism well too often

    Trump can spend the next four months raging against protesters, defending Confederate monuments and attacking Black celebrities. He can play the hits for his supporters and whip his most devoted followers into a frenzy of MAGA enthusiasm. He can turn up the racism dial as much as he wants and as far as it will go. But if he’s looking for approval, he won’t get it.

    Edit to add:

    WaPo's Jennifer Rubin notes Trump doesn't even have NASCAR on his side

    Tyler Reddick, one of Wallace’s fellow drivers, slammed Trump: “We did what was right, and we will do just fine without your support.” Fox Sports NASCAR reporter Bob Pockrass also tweeted a defense of Wallace, and even reliably subservient Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) pushed back against Trump: "I don’t think Bubba Wallace has anything to apologize for,” Graham said on Fox News Radio. “You saw the best in NASCAR. They all rallied to Bubba’s side. I would be looking to celebrate that kind of attitude rather than being worried it’s a hoax.” Someone might ask Graham why he still supports a president who has made racism and idolization of the Confederacy central to his reelection effort.

    not all GOP are happy about it:

    Diary of a Trump Fiend: Hate Triumphs Over Fear

    Beating dog whistles into pooper scoopers will improve the collection of excrement but at the expense of what makes the dog whistle such a useful tool. The method allows signaling loyalty to a specific group without alienating fellow travelers who follow the carnival for other reasons. 

    The dynamic is less about identity and more about preserving privilege.Systemic racism is entangled with the exercise and preservation of privileges.

    The Trump thing got a lot of mileage from being the hired gun of a loose confederation of interests that liked that they did not have to explain their reasons to the others. The reduction of dialogue to winks and nods was a welcome relief to the winkers and head wobblers. But there were/are plenty of others who liked the app because it made sure that they did not lose their place in line for their benefits.

    Each group (whether that is a distinction they insisted upon or observed by others as a resemblance) understood that receiving a benefit involved other people getting theirs, even people "they" would have nothing to do with.

    But now we are in a situation where decisions have direct consequences upon whether people die or not. The results are being tracked in real time. If any policy formation favored good results for one group at the expense of others, the scene would reflect that.

    Nobody is going to live longer because a statue was taken down or not.


    Your last two paragraphs are the kicker and so spot on.

    This is definitely not the time for culture wars. I find myself getting angry that all sides are playing, I want to slap them and say "wake up, wake up, wake up, no time for games."

    At the same time, here some and elsewhere even more, there I am, cultural interpreter gazing at the circus and analyzing it. Because that is what I have always done. It's elitist; I figure if I end up with enough knowledge I can manipulate the sorry situation to my benefit somehow.

    I can't do that if I'm dead from coronavirus, though....or sick and broke and nobody cares cause I pissed them all off...shit hits fan...

    Trump is energizing his base with the culture war. He has not gained traction.

    Culture wars happen.

    Maybe it is not a zero sum game where some gangs win in the end.

    But if it is not like that, what does the alternative response look like?

    Trump gives divisive speeches

    In the midst of a pandemic, he supports Confederate flags and statues.

    Trump tells you we are winning the battle against COVID

    Trump wants to end Obamacare, putting millions at risk

    He wants children to face death by going back to school.

    Democrats in Congress are trying to prevent evictions

    They are trying to maintain health care

    Democrats want a scientific approach to COVID

    They point out Trump is selling us out to foreign countries

    They have forced discussion about Confederate images

    NASCAR changed

    The Mississippi flag is changing

    Discussion about the use of police force is at a level never predicted.

    Pretending that there is no culture war is not an option.


    Pretending there is not a culture war going on is the opposite of what I have been doing under my real name elsewhere. You have no idea.

    often is so bizzzzzarro to the max reading your replies, it's like you are talking to a totally different person, a character I am supposed to be for you.

    Ever think about not just presuming you know what someone is talking about and coming from and like filing in the blanks about them with your own imagination? Instead just reply to those you are sure of what they are talking about? You'd get way less flak and grief if you did that, just don't reply.

    From above

    This is definitely not the time for culture wars

    The culture war is Trump's only option.

    As it stands now, the Democrats are winning the war.

    Cancel culture is a diversion.

    Edit to add:

    In the Harper's article, Thomas Chatterton Williams identifies Trump as a real threat to democracy. Then he goes into a hodgepodge of so-called canceled people. If police murders are not a priority, neither is the "cancel" argument. 

    Collecting slogans and placards somewhere?

    There is a current attempt to "cancel" Blacks Lives Matter. BLM is making progress on police reform. The diversion comes as an argument that BLM does not care about Black lives because they are not focused on urban crime. The clear message is to shut down discussion of police abuse.

    For sure the right wing wants BLM to own property damage and "lawlessness". If BLM can't detach from that, we have problems. Note: BLM has never been too clever, and the current attention Is less to do with BLM and more to do with 3 outrageous undismissable racist acts in May and the power of the internet during lockdown (people with more time on their hands). If BLM can do something positive with the energy, great. If not...

    Note: BLM spurred police reform

    Any person who receives pushback can claim there is an attempt to cancel free speech.

    No, public outrage over Floyd's casual sadistic killing Is spurring police reform. Where BLM has a positive influence, great, but BLM did not create outrage, sorry. There were calls for police reform natiionwide when the video came out on social media, irregardless of BLM. If you want to talk about specific roles BLM played in escalating that process, fine, but they didnt create outrage.


    Note that writing "BLM" lot "Black Lives Matter" Is the simplest way of showing support fór the cause, but largely has nothing to do with the organization itself, support fór tactics or actions or whatnot.

    Is your comment a reply to mine? I wasn't pretending that a culture war was not happening,

    I thought the discussion was about how much of trump's support was anchored in the dynamics of identity. It obviously is an important factor but it is not the only one. And identity is not just one image that all the supporters share.

    Identity is "enough" of a factor. Republican strategist Stuart Stevens has an upcoming book detailing the Republican Party's descent into racism.  Title: "It Was All A Lie".

    The bottom line is that they are willing to vote for a racist.

    Edit to add

    There is a good article on the discussion of racism and the GOP in the NYT in March

    You make it sound like discussing other factors than race is a denial of racial dynamics. I don't see the utility of such a point of view.

    Trump sought help in elections from foreign governments 

    Farmers were hurt by his tariffs

    He mishandled the COVID epidemic

    That's just off the top of my head.

    I'm not inhibiting discussion of other factors that encourage people to support Trump.

    I do point out that several Conservatives note Trump's racism.  

    Jennifer Rubin of the WaPo talks about his racism

    Multiple people discussed the racism of his Mt Rushmore speech.

    Feel free to discuss other reasons for his support, I'm not stopping you.

    Over several years of reading such comments I have come to the conclusion that the message is one must fix racism before anything else. Lock em all up or send them off to a reservation. Then all our other problems will work out much more easily. 

    Where will one draw the line over who is labeled racist and needs to be expunged from society and who is not? Ah that is something one can talk about and discuss endlessly! And one does.

    There's an extra added conundrum: if one doesn't want to talk about it endlessly and don't always find the topic a #1 uber alles priority, is one a racist who needs to be expunged?

    And then finally, reiterating the point of the thread: what Drrump is totally on board with is endless talk about it. Emotional reactions to ANY tribal culture war, whether racial or some other = Ratings!

    From the article

    Housing advocates are calling for a uniform, nationwide eviction moratorium that covers all renters, as well as other federal aid in the form of emergency rental relief. The House or Representatives has passed several measures, including the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions, or HEROES, Act and the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020, to address the housing crisis. Neither bill is expected to pass the Republican-controlled Senate.

    Chris Hayes just says no to Trump caused culture wars, good for him:

    (This really did start with a very serious lefty movement to boycott Goya because of CEO appearing with Trump the other day. Nobody was boycotting Goya before that. It's all about being for or against Trump.)


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