Republicans and their identity politics are destroying America

Republicans and their identity politics are destroying America
© Greg Nash

Instead of acknowledging facts, Republicans continue to perpetuate the racially-tinged myths that have gridlocked our government. Instead of acknowledging facts, Republicans choose to pontificate about the illegality of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), while simultaneously defending the unconstitutional racial profiling by Sheriff Joseph Arpaio and the unconstitutional muslim ban by President Trump.

What happened to any semblance of political consistency? Republicans shouldn’t have to add falsities into their arguments, but they choose to. Republicans shouldn’t have to play to insecurities and fears to drive their party’s agenda, but they choose to. Republicans shouldn’t be willing to trick and misinform voters to win a political battle, but they choose to. Republicans are making a choice.

Rewriting our political and racial history using identity politics isn’t just immoral and dangerous, it’s a desperate choice. Identity politics are destroying our ability to have honest conversations. Identity politics are destroying our ability to govern. Identity politics are a tool for distracting away from actual policy debates.

Republicans know that it’s easier to distract than it is to discuss our obligations. Republicans know that nothing works more effectively to rile up the Republican base than identity politics. It’s no accident that Republican voters increasingly believe that the “takers” are lazy minorities who depend on the government and that immigrants here illegally are bleeding the system dry.

What Republican politicians don’t publicly acknowledge is that statistics show that approximately 40 percent of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients are white Americans, and specifically, white southern Americans, many of whom are Republicans. If Republicans have the better argument, if Republicans have the better policies and if Republicans have the better ideas, shouldn’t they be able to rise above the identity politics that they purport to hate and argue facts?

Look no further than the health care debate for proof. Republican voters have been told repeatedly that a single-payer system would mean the end of the private markets. Republican voters have been told repeatedly that a single payer system means government-controlled health care. Republican voters have been lied to repeatedly. A single-payer system doesn’t mean the private market disappears, it just means that you don’t die if you can’t afford health insurance. It’s that simple. Isn’t that what being the greatest country in the world is all about? There’s nothing great about letting your citizens die from preventable and curable diseases, right?

As the most powerful nation in the history of the world, we can afford to…

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