Entomology in Politics

This is the kind of thing I detest:

Democrats delivered groundbreaking victories for a transgender woman in Vermont, a Muslim woman in Minnesota and an African-American woman in Connecticut.

It’s 2018. It’s time to stop treating political candidates like rare bugs we are collecting whose only role is to be a new specimen for the collection. I couldn’t care less about their labels. All I need to know is what they are for. What are they proposing to do for the people?

This entomological strategy already backfired with Hillary who tried to get people to forget things they found relevant about her because she was a woman.

I read a whole article about the transgender candidate in Vermont. I also read two articles about the Muslim candidate in Minnesota. None of the pieces mentioned a single issue these candidates are for. Each gushed on and on about their usefulness as tokens.

11 thoughts on “Entomology in Politics”

  1. I know that you’ve been somewhat lukewarm about Ocasio-Cortez, but one thing I’ve appreciated about her campaign is that it’s been mainly focused issues rather than “Look at me! I’m latina!”.


      1. …I don’t know the video but I hope it wasn’t the acceptance speech. AHA, no, it is an ad. And it’s good. I totally see why she won. SF/NY really need representation with this agenda


  2. People are mis-taught about the past. Plenty of “women like her” have run for office and won. I do understand what it is not to be expected to do things. And not to know how. Nowadays, though, every white academic man seems to constantly claim they are working class, and they’re not gay they insist they are genderqueer. I was just looking at my student’s publication in a student journal, the bio. It turns out all the other students gave their race and socioeconomic class. I didn’t have the student say this and I guess I should have. He’s straight, of Latino and other descent, of working-class origins, and the first in his family to go to college. I didn’t think of it — suggested he say his major, academic interests, what else he was working on, things like that. I guess I did wrong. Back when I was in college, though, lots of people weren’t white, didn’t have parents who went to college, etc., but it wasn’t as fraught because college wasn’t as expensive and K-12 education was such that you could get in even without going to a rich elementary school. I am interested in policy and movements, not identities, but identities are all people have if we’re all just neoliberal consumers


    1. // It turns out all the other students gave their race and socioeconomic class.

      Even if they were white and middle-class or rich?


      1. They found ways. If white and comfortable they emphasized immigrant background, or their non-rich ancestor, or ethnic whiteness, or found a way say they were a sexual minority. Mind you, it’s not a fat journal, so this isn’t a good statistical sample (just a few articles, five or six people)


  3. I don’t have the personality that is supposed to go with mine. I’m white, tenured, parents went to college, heck, 2 grandparents had college degrees, the third had an associate’s degree, and the one who didn’t was still bank examiner for the state. Heck, my 2d great-grandfather, the most recent generation of immigrants, had a college degree. His son, my great-grandfather, had one. Heck, I am a lotus-eating, unaware airhead who has no idea what people go through, and I am oppressing contingent faculty right now with a large hammer.


  4. Every article about the candidate in OH-1 is this way too. Aftab Pureval is running a campaign based on issues and has straight up said “I don’t subscribe to identity politics,” yet every article about him is Indian-Tibetan Democrat this, Indian-Tibetan Democrat that. This CNN article would give you the false impression that he spends all his time whining about racism, when in reality he just makes light hearted jokes about his name from time to time.


    He hasn’t given into the victimhood mentality but the media tries to shove him in that box anyway. The national media really seems to be unable to see anything about him beyond his race. Dan Merica was interested in writing about Aftab’s name, but didn’t seem interested in his policies or ideology; he’s just a guy who’s “younger and browner” than Steve Chabot. Luckily people in the district, the local media, and Sen. Brown have seen his great work in the clerk’s office and his vision for our nation.

    Liked by 1 person

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