In Defense of Identity Politics

by Eric C. Peterson

There’s a phrase being tossed around more and more as the nation prepares for another campaign season, and it’s one that catches my ear every time I hear it: “identity politics.” It doesn’t mean what they say it means.

While the term has been floating around academic circles since the 1970s and possibly before, it seems to have now entered the mainstream (if by “mainstream” I mean the vapid cesspool that is 24-hour cable news — which, sadly, is exactly what I mean). It’s almost always used as an insult, which means that every…