“Identity politics!” is not just a weaponized shibboleth conservatives deploy against lefties; the very mainest of mainstream media tosses around the phrase without a trace of critical analysis, never mind introspection. The standard blather usually goes something like: “Democrats made a strategic decision to play identity politics while Republicans focused their party’s campaign on [family values/bootstraps/abortions/tax cuts/whatever shit they happen to be slinging that day].”
But what has long been obvious to me, despite the Democrats’ typical weak-sauce response to the terrible accusation of “playing identity politics” is this: white cis het male is a fucking identity. IT’S TRUE! (I know, right?!) And of course it is the one identity whose supreme position in the socio-political hierarchy it is that conservatives wish to conserve, at all costs, and at the expense of literally everyone else.
Women. People of color. LGBTQ people. Muslims. Immigrants.
Why Democratic leaders (and “journalists”) do not point out this simple, irrefutable fact at every conceivable opportunity is perhaps a topic for another day. (Believe me I have my theories, not least of which is the problem that so many in Democratic leadership positions are themselves white cis het males, as are the money men of Wall Street they serve and upon whom they rely for campaign funds.) But today, I want to highlight a Democrat who calls out this identity politics bullshit brilliantly: Danica Roem.
What’s so awesome about Danica Roem? LET ME COUNT THE WAYS.
- As of November 8, Roem is the first openly transgender person to be elected to the Virginia state legislature.
- She nabbed this seat from a 26-year incumbent Republican opponent who proudly refers to himself as Virginia’s “chief homophobe.”
- Roem, formerly an award-winning journalist, also fronts the metal* band Cab Ride Home.
I think we can all agree that Danica Roem is a fucking badass.
But that’s not all. She tweeted this yesterday:
Danica Roem @pwcdanica Nov 27
Since the election, I’ve repeatedly heard these Republican talking points about why they lost, basically making Democratic voters out to be too dumb to vote Republican and caring too much about identity politics. At risk of giving them good ideas, let me break this down.
Danica Roem @pwcdanica Nov 27
1) I spent 10 months detailing my plan to fix #Route28: how much it would cost ($300M), how to pay for it (reallocating 28-66 funds), what it would look like (replace traffic lights with overpasses) & how I would get it done (local+state). Y’all hit me on “transgenderism.”
And the rest of her Twitter feed from yesterday is equally on point.
Rock the fuck on, Danica.
*Metal is not really my cuppa, although it most certainly was during much of my misspent youth. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a ton of Marilyn Manson, Soundgarden, Metallica, Veruca Salt, White Stripes and Nine Inch Nails in regular rotation on my ipod.