WATCH: Free-Thinking People Should Reject the Poison of Identity Politics

Guy Benson
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Posted: Jan 22, 2018 4:15 PM
WATCH: Free-Thinking People Should Reject the Poison of Identity Politics

It was a great honor to be invited to host the latest 'Prager U' video -- which have collectively racked up more than one billion views since the organization's inception, overcoming a censorship battle with YouTube to become a content juggernaut.  The purpose of my talk was to launch a cheerful but forceful assault on the soulless and imagination-limiting tyranny of identity politics, which the Left has cultivated for years (the Right should guard against embracing its own form of the practice).  

As a right-leaning member of the LGBT community, I often find myself essentially justifying my own existence.  I know I'm not unique in this respect.  The aggressive gay Left labels me a self-loathing sellout, while truculent anti-gay bigots insist that my sexual orientation precludes me from being a conservative.  Ironically, these small-minded people end up agreeing that it's unacceptable and contradictory to identify as LGBT and right-leaning.  They're wrong.  As I explain below, immutable characteristics are not the only elements that define who I am -- or who any of us are.  Ideas and values matter immensely; I've said before that no free-thinking citizen of a free country should feel crammed into a claustrophobic ideological box solely because other people think that's where they "belong," by dint of their sex, race, creed, or sexual identity:

I noted in the clip that over recent election cycles, a small but significant contingent (roughly 15 to 30 percent) of self-identified LGBT Americans have voted Republican (a party whose base is evolving rapidly toward libertarianism on gay rights issues).  That may be a fraction of a small minority, but it's still millions of people, which doesn't quite match the popular perception of LGBT conservatives as vanishingly rare rainbow-striped-but-red-tinted 'unicorns.'  

In any case, the general point of this video is not to railroad any agenda, or to tell people what to think.  It is simply a call for critical thinking and genuine tolerance, and a recognition that people should be allowed to decide for themselves how to shape their own worldviews and voting philosophies.  Americans should be free to let their intellects and ethical compasses guide their ideological priorities -- and they shouldn't let identity obsessives bully them over 'wrong' thinking.  Some people have tried to tell me that in order to be a conservative in good standing, I "must" believe X or Y on certain issues, or "must" live my life differently.  Others say that I can't be a fulfilled and conscientious gay man if I choose to vote for A or believe B.  This is insipid, outmoded thinking.  I decline to participate in it, in the name of true progress.  Finally, even if you disagree with the points I've made (which is allowed!), I still strongly encourage you to check out the invaluable work done by the Prager U team.