SIO6: Too Much Identity Politics Or Not Enough?

Welcome to the first edition of Thursday Inquiries!! My unofficial or maybe official name for the new format. Mondays will be interviews and Thursdays will be commentary and news and so forth. A lot is happening in the news and a lot of people are still very sloppy thinkers.  In an episode of The Waking Up Podcast, Sam Harris said that Trump was the end of the Democratic Party. Could this really be true in an election where Democrats won by 3 million votes? Also Trump had his first press conference as president elect and it was predictably terrifying. And yes, Trump mocked a disabled person.

All this and more, plus leave me a voicemail at my new Serious Pod number!! It’s (916) 750-4746.

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24 Comments on "SIO6: Too Much Identity Politics Or Not Enough?"

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St. Ralph
Guest
Hillary Clinton LOST the election, Thomas. We can prove it beyond a doubt, if you want, by running her again in 2020. And watching her lose. Again. And I wouldn’t put it past us, because we STILL don’t get it. And you said it yourself: Trump was the worst candidate in history. And Hillary LOST to him! Listen to yourself! I don’t think there were but half a dozen people in North America who even COULD have lost to Donald Trump, but Hillary was one of them. The easiest way to have won would have been to nominate Bernie Sanders… Read more »
Matthew S. Maxon
Guest

Totally agree with you.

Kyle (Some Guy)
Guest
I’m excited about the shift toward trading between Interview and Comment episodes. As to the sex-positive objection to kink-shaming the president-elect, aside from blackmail potential, I agree it’s important to parse the difference between a mostly harmless sexual fetish, and the vindictive, misogynistic, economically predatory, sado-sexual expressions of racial frustration and physical inadequacy represented in this story. Regardless of the validity to these claims, nothing we’ve seen from Trump leads me to believe he is not a petty, vindictive, and wholly deliberate creep whose thirst to disqualify America’s first black president isn’t rivalled only by his lust for personal enrichment.… Read more »
Dan
Guest
The far left is communism and the far right is fascism. Why would anyone choose between these two options? Harris used Classical liberalism, maybe it was Maajid who used the term. Not true liberalism. Classical liberalism has a certain set of principles based on liberty of the individual. Here are two examples of a PC liberal clashing with liberal principles: Both Trudeau examples. Trudeau goes to a mosque for a Muslim holiday. He talks about how great it is that Muslims get to celebrate this beautiful holiday. He ignores the fact that men are on the main floor and women… Read more »
Baller14
Guest
Whenever examples like this are brought up Thomas says ‘well yeah, of course that’s not good’ and then continues to straw man critics of PC as people just wishing they could use racial epithets like they did in the good old days. ‘Of course I’m not a fan of deplatforming… But Milo, of course he should be deplatformed’ Not an exact quote but very close to one. Very cringeworthy. There was like 2 minutes of discussion on how bad it would be for trump to have hookers piss on a bed as some weird Obama hate… Before a quick mention… Read more »
Dan
Guest

I agree on the straw man. As much as some people dislike “anti feminist” take downs they at least take down an actual argument of an actual person.

Wanting to deplatform anyone makes you a fan of deplatforming. People who don’t like Milo need to ignore what he says. The way I learned what Milo did to the trans person was listening to this show between Eli and Thomas. All that does is continue to give Milo the attention he craves.

Kyle
Guest
As much as I agree that people (and society, in general) would be better off ignoring Milo, not reporting on that story would have the unfortunate side-effect of also ignoring an act of public harassment against a trans person. Maybe this would be a good place to consider responsible journalism practices when discussing “professional antagonists” like those put in place for mass shooting incidents (e.g., don’t emphasize/glorify the shooter). As much as I like the idea of not giving Milo the attention he craves, I also think it’s important to let scared trans kids see that we acknowledge this shit… Read more »
Dan
Guest
All your analogies are preferable options that lead to a more desirable result. Deplatforming generally leads to the opposite result of what is desired. Milo gets booted from twitter and becomes a bigger star than he was before. All deplatforming does is makes a villain like Milo a martyr. He always hold the hammer by saying, “my ideas are so unbeatable that they need to silence me because they cannot beat me with their ideas.” So Milo wins, he gets more attention, makes more money. Milo has told people how to beat him and it’s easy, present better arguments based… Read more »
Kyle
Guest
I take your point about de-platforming leading to counterintuitive results, though I have to wonder how much of that is due to attention-related bias. Yes, there are clear examples we can cite of attempts to shut things down leading to their increased distribution, but I can’t help but wonder how many middling pseudo-Milos, who lack his particular “charm,” aren’t out there frustrated that nobody’s outraged that colleges won’t book them for speaking engagements. By definition, we’re not aware of all the people we haven’t been made aware of. I take your point though, that in Milo’s case particularly, part of… Read more »
Dan
Guest
That is a very good response and I agree with many of those points. Maybe I’m wrong but I think deplatforming is. It the same as not giving a platform in the first place. A university should decide who speaks there based on their own criteria. Once the say yes then saying no afterwards would be deplatforming. We engaged in debates with creationists and we have won that battle at least we did until Americans were left to vote, something too important to allow them to do it seems, but I digress. Milo is the same way, we engage with… Read more »
Chris
Guest
I voted Hillary. There was no question in my mind given the other choice was Trump. I feel Sam Harris did a fine job of arguing that case in the months preceding the election. I also admit she was a poor candidate due to all the alleged corruption and the baggage that she would bring along. I’m not sure if Bernie would have won or not. I know he was polling better than Trump in the primaries, but we all saw how accurate polling was in the end. Like Sam, I don’t know that running a farther left candidate would… Read more »
St. Ralph
Guest

Truth be told, it wasn’t the polling that was off; it was the predictions. The polls always had Hillary within two or three points of Trump, sometimes ahead, sometimes behind from mid 2015 right up until November 8th, 2016. It was the predictors like Nate Silver and the Merlin Project who got it all the way wrong.

Dan
Guest

Predictions were not wrong. I think Nate had his number at 65/35 split. There is no way to be wrong when you say one outcome is more likely than another. Only saying Hillary was 100% to win was a real prediction.

Like the weatherman that says 20% chance of rain. Sometimes it rains on those days, most of the time it doesn’t.

St. Ralph
Guest

OK. The interpretations of the predictions were wrong. Down to a day or two before the election my li’bral/progressive cronies were sure that Hillary was a shoo-in. Personally, I still think the predictions were faulty. I think the Hillary vs. Trump odds were fifty-fifty from the git-go and remained so.

GOU
Guest

Two points:
People vote for the candidate they like and rationalize later why it’s also reasonable to vote for him or her. And yes TV asshole is a popular thing. Think about it.
Hillary wasn’t as inclusive as Obama or at least people didn’t believed her.

All polls said Hillary would win so why go to the election if you think she is just a lesser evil.

Silent Cartographer
Guest

As someone who is actually far left I do not consider the “regressive left” to be far left but rather a modern and rather annoying strain of liberalism.

The true far left encompasses anarchism, socialism, and communism. All of which in theory are near utopian ideals. and nowhere near as bad as fascism and laissez faire capitalism.

Trumps victory is a joke. don’t report to work on the 20th.

Jody Tomchishen
Guest
I just wanted to add some clarification. I agree, I think in the current context the far right is a bigger threat than the far left. However, the far left can be pretty terrible if they are not kept in check. Just reading about the history of Soviet Russia can be terrifying. We are no where near that, but it is probably good to remain aware that it is at least a possibility. That being said, it seems odd to me that people use things like a Prime Minister visiting a Mosque as evidence that the left is destroying everything.… Read more »
Baller14
Guest

How obtuse an you be?

No one said that him visiting the mosque in and of itself was an illiberal act. They’re pointing out the hypocrisy of a liberal feminist speaking in a venue that segregates the audience by sex.

Was that not clear?

Dan
Guest
Did you seriously just try to straw man a post that is literally on the same thread? Visiting a mosque is fine, if that mosque at least adheres to Canadian values. One of those values is equally between the sexes. Liberals don’t praise segregation like Justin did. I voted for him happily, next time I’ll vote for him holding my nose. We don’t have to choose between far left and far right policies. There is so much in the reasonable middle to choose from. Identity politics needs to die. Especially on the left because identity politics relies on demonizing the… Read more »