A narcissistic, right-wing actuality TV star is operating for public workplace.
No, Donald Trump has not introduced his 2024 presidential marketing campaign. Caitlyn Jenner is running for Governor of California as a Republican in the anticipated recall election of Governor Gavin Newsom.
As a homosexual man, I suppose many may count on me to help Jenner, a transgender girl, as a result of of “identity politics,” the view that our identities needs to be the point of interest of our politics. But I’ve information for you: I’d moderately drink Trump-branded bleach than vote for a millionaire Republican—even an LGBTQ one.
Because the fact is, id politics will solely get you up to now. It’s one thing I’m keenly conscious of, as somebody who’s working class. And although this isn’t all the time the case, there’s typically a elementary pressure between a politics rooted in materials points and one rooted in id.
Of course, as a homosexual man, I’m acutely conscious of insurance policies that hurt myself and different homosexual of us. I nonetheless resent Republican’s using same-sex marriage as a wedge issue in 2004, not solely as a result of they rode a wave of anti-gay amendments to electoral victory, however as a result of they had been homophobic and had a actual detriment to my life.
Ironically, this implies I’d by no means vote for Jenner, who regardless of being trans opposed same-sex marriage—until she realized it was hurting her brand. I’d by no means vote in opposition to my very own particular person pursuits as a homosexual man and the class pursuits of homosexual and lesbian folks as a group.
But I additionally wouldn’t vote for Jenner as a result of my very own class pursuits—that’s, my financial class pursuits—should not the identical as Jenner’s. And that is the place liberals typically falls sufferer to id politics itself.
There is a tendency to take a look at voters as half of a block with slender pursuits predetermined alongside the axes of race, intercourse, sexual orientation, and gender id. Politicians on the left have a tendency to take a look at issues like same-sex marriage and the Equality Act as being “gay issues,” with the assumption that merely being on the proper aspect of these points is sufficient to win our help.
It shouldn’t be, as Andrew Yang recently discovered. Earlier this week, Yang met with a premier LGBTQ Democratic membership in New York. But what he did with this chance was tout his homosexual staffers and his want to go to a lesbian bar, two issues nobody appeared to care about. By using id politics to pander to stereotypes, Yang utterly uncared for to speak about the points the membership cared about—mainly, housing and homelessness. Yang not solely did not get the membership’s endorsement, however he’s now mired in a controversy surrounding the go to.
Supporting “gay policies” merely shouldn’t be sufficient for me and for hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ voters. The motive for that is moderately easy: I’m homosexual, however I’m additionally working class. And like many of my homosexual brothers and sisters and lots of straight Americans, our lives are suffering from financial instability and a actual want for a pro-working class agenda.
In my expertise, being working class has held me again way over being homosexual ever has. From early on, it deprived me in comparison with my wealthier friends. I graduated from one of the poorest and worst-performing public high schools in Kentucky. My dad and mom and grandparents, hardworking individuals who toiled away in factories and garages, couldn’t afford non-public tutors or classes. There was nobody to assist me navigate the faculty admissions course of as a result of nobody in my household had ever gone to a college. Even then, I used to be restricted to state colleges; nobody defined to me what number of scholarships had been accessible, and the Ivy League was by no means talked about to me, by anybody, ever, as a risk.
I by no means heard “Dream big, little boy” rising up. Instead, I used to be informed to hope that in the future, I’d discover a safe job. That was the finest we may hope for.
That mentality caught with me as I entered the workforce, the place I couldn’t depend on the networks dad and mom of middle- and upper-class dad and mom milk for his or her children and elite universities present for his or her alumnae. I’ve by no means to my information been denied a job as a result of I’m homosexual, however not with the ability to work without spending a dime saved me from unpaid internships that would have bolstered my profession contemporary out of faculty.
That does not imply the Equality Act is not vital to me. But there are different points which weigh extra closely on my choice about who to vote for. Having entry to reasonably priced healthcare and low-cost housing is what issues most to me. Fixing our electrical grid in order that my electrical energy would not go off and the bridge beneath me would not wash out each time it rains would have a extra fast and materials impact on my life.
These are the kitchen desk points that id politics so typically ignores, but these are the issues that matter most to voters. Voters, irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender id, care extra about their materials circumstances than they do ideological tradition wars; a minimum of, voters who’re uncovered to the vicissitudes of each day life do. I would not find out about those that are by no means beset by monetary worries.
I doubt Caitlyn Jenner worries about the electrical energy a lot. Jenner, who once described herself as “economically conservative, socially liberal” and who told the 2016 Republican National Convention that “it was harder to come out as a Republican” than as a trans girl, voted for Donald Trump in 2016. She supported his huge tax reduce for the rich and deregulation of the financial system and solely recanted her support when he turned on the trans neighborhood. Put merely, Jenner shouldn’t be a pal of the working American.
Expecting somebody to help Jenner or any candidate as a result of they establish as LGBT is to disregard the actual class consciousness we should be constructing: a class consciousness amongst the working class.
It is time we eschew id politics and have interaction with the actual battle, that between the rich who management the financial system and the staff they depend upon to make them cash. Social justice is a noble trigger, and I’m not suggesting we surrender the battle for LGBTQ, racial, and gender equality. But all of us want to start out realizing that id politics and the infinite tradition wars predicated on it are supposed to divide, not unite, the working class.
Nothing makes this clearer than Caitlin Jenner’s run for governor as a trans Republican. It may simply be the nail in the coffin of id politics.
Skylar Baker-Jordan writes about the intersection of id, politics, and public coverage primarily based in Tennessee.
The views on this article are the author’s personal.