Some may have heard of the stratagem of divide and conquer. The goal of such a strategy is to sow discord or isolate certain elements from another for one objective: attaining an advantage. This is what we see happening in our America with the progressive socialist tactic of identity politics. Its intention is not to unify, but, truly, sow such discord, abject animus, within our society, all for electoral gain and leading to power.
Any potential demographic is carefully analyzed and the gaps by which discontent can be introduced and implemented. This has always been the means to the ends for socialist dictators. There has to be a target, and there must be a victim. The messaging is focused on the fomenting anger within the victim segment that they have been wronged somehow by the target segment.
Think about how crafty the left has been, and aided by a complicit leftist media propaganda machine, with the whole one-percenter demonization. The first critical aspect of a socialist ideological model is wealth redistribution into the hands of a centralized economic planning system. French economist, Frederic Bastiat, termed this “legal plunder” in his essay, The Law.
The progressive socialist left’s grand design cannot be achieved if they cannot redefine the system of taxation into a weapon of mass destruction against their desired target: the rich. Then again, how do they define the rich? How do they determine who these individuals are who must suffer at their hands and have a “wealth tax” levied against them? We all have an option on our individual tax return to check a box and provide an additional amount of revenue to the Internal Revenue Service. So why is it that the socialists who have taken over the Democrat Party disparage hard-working people, those who do not submit to their ideology, as the enemy? Yes, it is about power, and identifying a target for which the victims can focus their angst, rage, against and be mobilized for electoral gain.
And last week there was yet another clear and present example of the progressive socialist left’s penchant for identity politics.
A person who can only be described as the premier race hustler in America, Rev. (loosely defined) Al Sharpton, held his National Action Network (NAN) conference. The cast of candidates for the Democrat Party presidential nomination in 2020 all attended. What we witnessed was the most disgusting display of identity politics anyone could imagine. One by one each of these individuals took the stage to foment discord and create angst. And what was amazing is that these candidates, black, white, Hispanic, all addressing a black audience preaching a message of victimization when black unemployment is at a record, historic low, and continues to drop. The recently released March jobs report numbers also gave witness to the increase in wage-earning in the black community.
Yet, what was the focused topic of dissension with these candidates, as created by Sharpton? Reparations.
Yes, each of these candidates leveraged identity politics to pander in the most despicable way before a black audience to promulgate a slave mentality. What they sought to do was to ensure they the black community remains on a 21st-century economic plantation that, if you study policy, is the result of the progressive socialist left, and their failures in urban communities. But, what were they offering? Reparations for slavery.
As a proud black man, born and raised in the south, namely Georgia, I find this to be abjectly condescending and offensive. In this day and age, for these leftist elitists to relegate me to a belief that I am owed something for which I have not experienced is the clearest example of pandering and identity politics. It is also the way that the left operates in that they are seeking to continue to proliferate a message within the black community that will economically enslave, not empower, and yes, garner more votes.
If one were to do an honest historical assessment of the Democrat Party in America and its policy relationship to the black community, it is telling. Here is the political party that supported slavery, and when slavery was ended, this party created America’s first domestic terrorist organization, the Ku Klux Klan. The American Democrat Party was responsible for creating the policies of Black Codes, Jim Crow, poll tests, literacy taxes, segregation, The Great Society, and of course heavily supports the vision of Margaret Sanger, a white supremacist and racist, who founded Planned Parenthood.
It is the Democrat Party that established the very policies that they are now stating blacks need to be paid in retrospect for having endured. How disingenuous. Then again, when we fail to study history, we can find ourselves repeating it, but in a different manner.
Just as a historical anecdote, I live in Texas, where the Republican Party of Texas was established on July 4, 1867, in the Houston area by 150 blacks and 20 whites. Two of the first three chairmen of the Republican Party of Texas were black. One of them was Norris Wright Cuney, 1884-1898. Am I to believe that the descendants of Mr. Cuney, a former slave, are to receive reparations? Or how about the descendants of one of the greatest orators and educators in American history, Booker T. Washington, also a former slave? In the history of the state of Florida, there have only been two black Republican members of Congress, Josiah T. Walls, 1873-1876, a former slave, and yours truly. Are his descendants, and myself to receive reparations? I say no to the pandering, to the identity politics, to the disrespect of anyone giving me or anyone in the black community, slave wages.
What the progressive socialist left candidates for president offered the black community is not a vision of equality of opportunity. Instead, they, as representatives of the Democrat Party, offer the same thing, equality of outcomes, and enslavement of will. Al Sharpton just represents the new plantation overseer.
I grew up in the same neighborhood that produced Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He would be appalled that we are still judging people, and separating them by the color of their skin . . . not enabling them to determine their future by the content of their character. That is why I find the pursuit of identity politics, and the pandering, disgusting.
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During his 22 year career in the United States Army, Lieutenant Colonel West served in several combat zones and received many honors including a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, one with Valor device, and a Valorous Unit Award.
In November of 2010, Allen was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida’s 22nd District.
He is a Fox News Contributor, Director of the Booker T. Washington Initiative at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center, contributing columnist for Townhall.com, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Family, Faith and Freedom, and, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death, published October 16, 2018, from Brown Books Publishing Group.