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‘We need a female POTUS, but not if she's planning meaningful change!’: How ID politics is used to maintain the status quo

Neil Clark
Neil Clark
is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. He has written for many newspapers and magazines in the UK and other countries including The Guardian, Morning Star, Daily and Sunday Express, Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Spectator, The Week, and The American Conservative. He is a regular pundit on RT and has also appeared on BBC TV and radio, Sky News, Press TV and the Voice of Russia. He is the co-founder of the Campaign For Public Ownership @PublicOwnership. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66
‘We need a female POTUS, but not if she's planning meaningful change!’: How ID politics is used to maintain the status quo
Identity politics is shamelessly exploited by pro-war western Establishments to promote certain candidates, but only those who promote the ‘right’ elite-friendly policy stances.

She’s the first from her ethnic background to make it to Congress, and the first of her religion too. And of course, she’s a woman as well. Now you might have thought that those PC hipsters and Inside the Tent self-proclaimed ‘feminists’ who championed ‘Hillary for President’ not so long ago, and were telling us what a huge advance it would be for women around the globe for the US to have its first female president, would be falling over themselves to endorse Tulsi Gabbard, who not only has the right sex, but ticks other diversity boxes too.

But guess what? They’re not. Far from it. A lot of these people have been at the forefront of those attacking Tulsi. They not only don’t want her as President, they don’t want her in debates either. All of a sudden ticking gender, race and religious boxes isn’t so important. Gabbard once met Assad, and that puts her out of it.

Also on rt.com Gabbard campaign joins voices raising concerns over Democrat debate-qualifying criteria

It’s also important to note that Wall Street Democratic donors, the people who lined up with their check-books behind Hillary in 2016, have threatened to sit things out – or even back Trump – if the surging Elizabeth Warren gets the party nomination over Joe Biden. Don’t we want a female President after all, you ‘enlightened’ capitalists?

What this all shows us is that ID politics is used selectively, to maintain the elite-friendly status quo, by giving it a ‘progressive’ veneer. 

Women to lead the country – great! But it’s not so great if the women in question rail against regime-change wars, as Gabbard does, or are outspoken critics of the big banks and giant corporations, like Warren.

Trans women in politics – great! But again, it’s not so great if she’s Chelsea Manning, a brave whistleblower who helps us see behind the curtain and exposes imperial crimes.

Also on rt.com Chelsea Manning jailed for a YEAR for refusing to testify against Assange

Muslim women in politics – great! But not so great if they overstep the mark and criticise entrenched foreign policy lobby groups, like Ilhan Omar has. 

It’s not just in the US where ID politics is used in this way. It happens in Britain too. Consider how the Murdoch press has been promoting the  Labour MP Jess Phillips as a feminist icon and potential future leader of her party, most recently putting the ’fearless’ politician on the front cover of last week’s Sunday Times magazine. Now, Phillips has many admirable qualities and I’m not going to denigrate her, but does anyone seriously think that a female Labour MP who was a strong supporter of Jeremy Corbyn would be promoted in such a way by News Corp?  

Consider too the treatment of Ed Miliband, who preceded Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party. He might have become Britain’s first Jewish Prime Minister since the 19th century. Surely a cause for celebration, if you believe in fighting anti-Semitism and promoting religious diversity? But Miliband was lambasted for helping to prevent David Cameron’s drive for war against Syria in 2013, and all of a sudden it wasn’t so cool to have a Jewish prime minister. Support for Miliband within the Establishment disappeared the moment it was clear we were not going to bomb Damascus because of his actions.

Also on rt.com Liberal media puzzled: Openly gay Brnabic & Weidel prefer hard work to aggressive PC campaigning

Politicians who you’d think might be promoted because of their gender, sexuality and/or ethnic  background, but who don’t ‘convince’ on foreign policy don’t get the big Establishment media PR push. Have you heard of Sahra Wagenknecht? She’s the leader of the Left Party (Die Linke), in the German Bundestag. She’s bright and has ethnic heritage (her father is Iranian). She’s very photogenic too. And she’s a brilliant public speaker. But how many can place her name outside of Germany? I’m sure if her politics were different, she’d be known across the western world by now.  

By applying ID politics selectively, the pro-war neoliberal Establishment is actually putting the cause of genuine anti-sexism, anti-racism and anti-homophobia backwards. Because we know that if there was a candidate who ticked every single diversity box – but who opposed foreign military interventions and who represented the prospect of real, meaningful change, they would be ruthlessly attacked. ID politics is great, and so cool, ok ya, – so long as it doesn’t rock the boat.

Follow Neil Clark @NeilClark66 

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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