Ezra Klein To Shapiro: Identity Politics ‘Can Have Good Dimensions’

On this week’s episode of “The Ben Shapiro Show: Sunday Special,” Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro sat down with Ezra Klein, founder and editor-at-large of Vox, to talk about a variety of topics, among them identity politics. 
During the discussion, Klein explained how he sees identity as a concept that includes “something we all have” based on a distinct experience, and “something that’s challenged and activated in politics.”
“What we’re seeing in politics all the time is that identities converge, they diverge, they activate, they spin down, and we need to see it as a psychological process that spins up,” said Klein. “Once it spins up, it changes how we relate to each other, changes how we absorb both contrary and positive information, changes how we feel about the other party.”
“So this idea that you’re going to allow some identities into politics and not others, I don’t even know how you could do that even if you wanted to,” said Klein. 
Shapiro responded to Klein by pointing out the dangers of allowing the ethos of identity politics to enter the political sphere: “The argument I’m making is that it’s more dangerous to graft politics onto certain identities than to others.”
“There are gradations in the dangers to be posed by affiliation with particular identity groups and how those manifest in politics,” said Shapiro. “Do you think that there are increasing or divergent dangers based on attempts to appeal to particular senses of identity in American politics?”
Klein, the author of “Why We’re Polarized,” then directed Shapiro to an argument in his new book, where Klein argues that identity politics has “paradoxically” become weaker as society begins to see it “more clearly.” 
“We are in an era of very rapid demographic change,” said Klein. “One of the things that that’s creating is the ability of groups who have traditionally not been strong enough to put their needs and claims onto the political agenda, to do exactly that.”
“Presidential cabinets, for the vast majority of American history, were just all white men,” said Klein. “No one said ‘Ah! Identity politics! Only white men are being chosen for this,’ but then if somebody comes out and says, ‘I think we need a cabinet that looks like America, or a cabinet that is 50% female,’ or whatever it might be, that all of a sudden is identity politics.”
“Sixty years ago, I agree that it was unspoken white identitarianism to have only white males at the cabinet table,” responds Shapiro, who points out that today, meritocracy should be the guiding policy to decide who receives a cabinet position. 
“My point is simply,” responds Klein, “identity politics has always been part of America, it’s very powerful, and I don’t think you’re going to get it out of the whole thing because people interact, through not just the political system, but the world through their identities.”
In his response, Shapiro points out that unspoken white identitarianism was “one of the worst things that has happened in American history,” and that identity politics should not be encouraged in society. 
“I believe it can have good dimensions,” said Klein. “Like everything in politics, it’s complicated, and it can go in multiple directions depending on who’s doing it.”
“I think in the general question of how to build cabinets,” said Klein, “often times the way people see it is not actually that what they’re doing is betraying the meritocracy by trying to make a more diverse cabinet, but actually forcing themselves to be meritocratic in building something, and also creating a world where you can be meritocratic in the future.”
Watch the full interview: 
Ezra Klein To Shapiro: Identity Politics ‘Can Have Good Dimensions’ Ezra Klein To Shapiro: Identity Politics ‘Can Have Good Dimensions’ Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 06:54 Rating: 5

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