Christopher Hitchens on the Perils of Identity Politics
Posted: 19 January 2008 11:45 AM   [ Ignore ]
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[ Wall St. Journal article Friday 1/18/2008 by Christopher Hitchens, “The Perils of Idenity Politics” ]

If I would not vote against someone on the grounds of “race” or “gender” alone, then by the exact same token I would not cast a vote in his or her favor for the identical reason. Yet see how this obvious question makes fairly intelligent people say the most alarmingly stupid things. 

Not to dampen any parade, but if one asks if there is a single thing about Mr. Obama’s Senate record, or state legislature record, or current program, that could possibly justify his claim to the presidency one gets . . . what? Not much. Similarly lightweight unqualified “white” candidates have overcome this objection, to be sure, but what kind of standard is that?

I shall not vote for Sen. Obama and it will not be because he—like me and like all of us—carries African genes. And I shall not be voting for Mrs. Clinton, who has the gall to inform me after a career of overweening entitlement that there is “a double standard” at work for women in politics; and I assure you now that this decision of mine has only to do with the content of her character. We will know that we have put this behind us when—as with the vowel—we have outgrown and forgotten the original prejudice.

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Posted: 19 January 2008 07:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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In a perfect world, none of us would be prejudiced by a political candidate’s gender or skin colour; but alas, we’re not there yet.  I myself am not prejudiced (I hope), but collectively we still are, at least to some extent.  Therefore my personal voting behaviour would indeed take that into account.

No one should vote for Obama simply because he is black, nor for Clinton just because she is a woman; but both are legitimate factors for consideration.  The election of the United States’ first black president, or first female president, would be a significant milestone in history and a strong repudiation of racism or sexism in America.

(I should add the disclaimer that I am Canadian, and therefore am writing hypothetically.  We’ve already had our first female Prime Minister, and I have to admit it was quite a letdown. smile )

[ Edited: 19 January 2008 07:03 PM by Ron Webb ]
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Posted: 10 February 2008 01:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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He’s probably not voting for them because they’re not neo-conservative enough. Although Clinton is pretty close.

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Posted: 11 February 2008 07:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Coeus - 10 February 2008 01:01 AM

He’s probably not voting for them because they’re not neo-conservative enough. Although Clinton is pretty close.

Hitchens is a liberal, though he does take radical Islam as a serious threat.

Hitchens in his own words on Iraq (and the surge):
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video_log/2007/09/hitchens_on_the_surge_and_iraq.html
(video)

Hitchens a liberal in favor of American power exercised abroad:
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9403E5DF1F38F93BA35751C1A9649C8B63&sec;=&spon;=&pagewanted=3


Bill Clinton was believably centrist.  Hillary Clinton is not.  Democrats will choose between two flaming liberals to obtain their presidential nominee.  The label will stick in the general election.  Not to say either one couldn’t be elected in spite of it.

Clinton raised the idea of issuing a $5,000 bond to each baby born in the United States to help pay for college and a first home, but it immediately inspired Republican guffaws and she quickly backtracked, and said she would not implement the proposal.

She defended that decision yesterday to teh Globe, saying she is focusing on proposals with more political support and she is not formally proposing anything she can’t fund without increasing the deficit:

“I have a million ideas. The country can’t afford them all.”
http://news.monstersandcritics.com/usa/news/article_1364435.php/Hillary_Clintons_plans_if_elected_President

Truest statement ever by a Clinton?  wink

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