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Robin Smith / Aug. 10, 2020

Shame — The New Identity Politics

Democrats are masters at emotionally manipulating voters for the desired results.

Today’s political divide has been greatly expanded through the ironic employment of shame by the Marxist Democrats, who weaponize this negative evaluation in the cultural and political arena to accomplish their goals: framing a new definition of virtue and truth; exacting demands, like millions in corporate campaign donations; and destroying foundational institutions that Americans positively embrace in our communities, such as law enforcement.

Shame is a powerful force to level accusations in the court of public opinion, assigning blame for sins of the past with which the accused has had no association or tie, claiming that there is guilt by proximity or membership in certain efforts, causes, or people groups. Take, for instance, the fixation on slavery. Leftists are rewriting history and demanding that today’s policies pay restitution to some who have never been a slave, while deeming as guilty those who have never owned a slave. True Patriots and Christians have long believed “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” Men should be judged by their actions and not their skin color.

Aristotle noted that shame is “a certain pain or agitation over bad deeds, present, past, or future that appear to bring one into disrepute.” As it relates to public pressures, shame is “a feeling derived from man’s political nature and affects his standing in the eyes of others.” Whether in the Greco-Roman days or today, shame is an effective tool to inflict pain upon an individual, which is especially effective in today’s #CancelCulture. Yet, as Aristotle noted, shame is effective for inflicting personal pain but not for promoting change.

One shame-slinging tool in the pockets of Democrats is identity politics, assigning each voter to a group with a designated set of preferences and political demands to which a candidate or cause speaks. Joe Biden uses this tool, recently telling a black interviewer, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black!” Identity politics demands rage against the Second Amendment by the political Left — even when one of the growing groups buying weapons in 2020 is black women, who are often part of the Democrat base.

Another tool of shame is redefining vocabulary. The Left creates its own secular definition of virtue and decency as the occasions change. The value of truth is that it is neither subjective nor impacted by the emotions, influences, and efforts of mankind. Styles change; substance, principles, and truth don’t. As the old saying goes, “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

Instead of addressing a problem, shame is used to attack. You’re for capitalism and competition and fight corporatism and cronyism but oppose the redistribution of wealth and “equity”? Oh, well, you clearly hate poor people. You oppose welfare because you believe work is a better option? Oh, sure, you’re racist and just don’t identify with the struggle of the oppressed. You legally carry a gun and support the Second Amendment? Yep, you’re the reason for mass shootings and gang violence. You oppose socialized medicine where everyone gets “free” healthcare? You hate the elderly and the disabled.

One cop killed a man in an unjustifiable death? Blame all cops and defund them. Riot and burn down the cities those cops offer their lives to protect.

Individual shame, when applied to past behavior to change one’s future for the better, is a benefit. Shame used as Americans are witnessing today — for the purpose of marginalizing, infusing fear, and redefining truth to control others — is harmful. Be wise enough to see the difference.

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