Election 2020

Democrats Double Down on Identity Politics With Transgender, Muslim, Minority Candidates

In this Feb. 21, 2018 file photo, transgender utility executive Christine Hallquist poses for a photo during an interview in Johnson, Vt. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring, File)

On Tuesday, Democrats in various states took up the identity politics banner, pushing candidates who fit the minority mold. The August 14 primaries elevated transgender, Muslim, black, and socialist candidates, further cementing the Democratic Party’s national radical identity politics brand.

Here are four elections (and one larger trend) illustrating this general move.

1. Transgender: Christine Hallquist.

Former CEO Christine Hallquist, born Dave Hallquist, is a man who identifies as a woman. Hallquist won the Democratic primary in the Vermont governor’s race Tuesday night, defeating a former intern for Bernie Sanders, an environmental activist, and a 14-year-old boy.

Last night, this former CEO became the first transgender candidate to win a major party nomination in a governor’s race. Transgender candidates have already won primaries for U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) congratulated Hallquist on the victory.

Transgenderism may form the “T” in “LGBT,” but many lesbians have spoken out against the transgender movement, even accusing transgenderism of pushing conversion therapy and rape culture.

While people with gender dysphoria (the condition of persistently identifying with the gender opposite their birth sex) do exist, transgender identity arguably does more harm than good. No matter how many hormones and surgeries he or she has, a transgender person will never fully be able to excise their biological sex. Transgender identity, by definition, is an attempt to reverse biological sex — but DNA cannot change.

Furthermore, many transgender people later reject their newfound identities. Those who have taken hormones and surgery are left permanently scarred, and some of them have said “it’s not a cure at all.” Celebrating these “medical” solutions is similar to encouraging starvation for anorexic people. If a woman labors under the misconception that she is fat, the loving response isn’t to encourage anorexia and tell her to stop eating. Rather, it is far more loving to insist on the truth, even if she does not want to hear it.

Mainstreaming transgenderism is dangerous, and psychologists have already noted that it has become a fad for young people. Almost 40 children per week, many of them 4 years old, are referred to transgender clinics in the UK.

Even so, Democrats celebrated Hallquist’s win, embracing this identity and referring to the transgender candidate as a she.

2. Keith Ellison.

Black Muslim Keith Ellison won the Democratic primary for attorney general of Minnesota. Ellison has struggled with sexual assault allegations that broke in the last few days, but he nevertheless prevailed in the primary.

Ellison is one of two Muslim members of Congress, however, and an ally of Bernie Sanders. He nearly defeated Tom Perez for the chairmanship of the Democratic Party, and identity politics Democrats have championed Ellison for his race and his Muslim faith.

Furthermore, Ellison has endorsed the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)’s malicious and false “hate group” designations — which are inspiring as many as 60 budding defamation lawsuits across the country — by asking Amazon.com to remove all products from such groups. Ellison has also celebrated cop killers, an odd position for an attorney general to take…

Democrats are hesitant to celebrate Ellison’s victory, given the current scandal, but it certainly represents the party’s continued embrace of identity politics over appealing to moderates.

3. Ihan Omar.

Ellison was not the only high-profile Muslim to score a win on Tuesday, however. Muslim woman Ihan Omar won the Democratic primary to take his seat in Congress.

Time magazine celebrated Omar’s win in the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2016, hailing her as one of the notable “Firsts: Women Who Are Changing the World.”

Omar was born in Somalia and spent four years in a refugee camp in Kenya before coming to the U.S. at age 12, the Huffington Post’s Sarah Ruiz-Grossman reported. In 2016, she became the nation’s first Somali-American legislator. Her story is indeed inspiring.

Here’s the problem: Somalia is not just some Muslim country. It is one of the worst in the world for Islamic oppression (the third worst in the world for Christian persecution), and home of the terrorist group Al-Shabaab.

None of this necessarily indicts Omar, and the very fact that this Muslim woman ran for Congress speaks volumes about her attitude toward the oppression of women that is so tragically common among Muslims (and arguably endorsed by the Quran).

“I hope my candidacy would allow people to have the boldness to encourage people who don’t fit into [a] particular demographic to seek office,” Omar told HuffPost in 2016. “To believe in the good will of the people to select someone they believe shares their vision and not necessarily their identity.”

Despite this language, Omar knows that her identity is a bonus, not a liability, in Democratic politics.

Her radical big government streak also speaks volumes. As Ruiz-Grossman pointed out, Omar is “seeking to push the Democratic Party establishment further left,” advocating a $15 minimum wage, single-payer health care, abolishing the department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Notorious Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hailed her as potentially one of the first Muslim congresswomen in history.

4. Black woman: Jahana Hayes.

Jahana Hayes won the Democratic primary for Connecticut’s seat in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. Hayes was National Teacher of the Year in 2016, and she has an inspiring story. As always, she leaned into her identity to win her primary.

As a team of reporters at the Hartford Courant reported, “Hayes put her identity as a black woman who escaped poverty at the forefront of her campaign. Her life story — the daughter of a drug addict who grew up in public housing in Waterbury who became pregnant at 17 and went on to become a nationally recognized teacher — was integral to her appeal.”

If she wins in November, she would be the first black Democrat to win in Connecticut.

Black women have become a key facet of the Democratic Party, and Democrats praised this particular minority group for defeating Roy Moore in Alabama last year.

Hayes and other black women have inspiring stories, but that does not automatically qualify them for office. These identity politics credentials often mask the radical nature of their big government policies. Hayes supports gun control, single-payer health care, and big government responses to the myth that the gender pay gap is the result of sexism.

5. Record women running for Senate.

Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) fended off a primary challenger on Tuesday in the race to keep the seat once occupied by former Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.). In doing so, Smith contributed to the record number of women running for U.S. Senate in 2018 — making 19 women running, breaking the previous record of 18 set in 2012.

This is arguably a good thing, but following Hillary Clinton’s insistence that she would win the presidency largely because of her gender, it is worth noting that Democrats still push the narrative that their policies are synonymous with women’s interests. It should not be forgotten that the “feminists” at the Women’s March shouted down a pro-life woman, saying they wished she would get raped. Women who oppose abortion are seen as traitors to their sex, the same charge that women who opposed Clinton faced in 2016.

Republicans are also boosting the number of women running for Senate this year. Leah Vukmir, the daughter of Greek immigrants, won the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin, running to defeat Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.). As The Washington Examiner‘s Emily Jashinsky reported, Vukmir worked her way up and defended Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisc.) when he came under fire. Vukmir has pledged not to raise taxes, to support the repeal of Obamacare, and to back Trump’s border wall.

The president endorsed her shortly after her win.

Identity politics is dangerous, as it has the potential to divide Americans still further and pit people against one another on the grounds of race, religion, gender, and sexual or gender identity. Liberals support identity politics on the ground of diversity, but they also reject or twist the natural law foundations of America’s freedom, equality, and prosperity.

Diversity only makes America stronger if Americans agree on the goodness of their heritage and the basic human equality we all share. The American engine of free markets and limited government based on the idea that all people have inherent dignity regardless of their race, religion, or gender is of fundamental importance. Identity politics can and does conflict with this.