Hope Hicks, Chelsea Manning and the Identity Politics in the Liberal Media

Here is the Mediaite headline about the appointment of longtime Trump aide Hope Hicks being promoted to the hot-spot job of White House Communications Director:

Hope Hicks’ Appointment as Comms Director Helps Hope Hicks — Not Women

The piece by Mediaite’s Kylie Ceung says, among other things, this:

The fact remains that President Trump‘s cabinet has more white males than any cabinet in recent history, but his communications team is notably staffed with not one but multiple women.

Cheung goes on to note that Mercedes Schlapp, a highly accomplished conservative and longtime television commentator has joined the Communications shop as well. Combined with Hicks, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Schlapp, this makes for a seriously female-run White House office that is a major part of the President’s staff. Then…Cheung goes — sigh —  in this direction:

The women of the Trump administration have always raised the question of what representation means in the absence of actual advocacy for women’s rights, and an apparently female-dominated communications team brings this question front and center. There’s some well-founded debate about what this development means for feminism, with some suggesting, however reluctantly, that at least a little bit of credit is due to the Trump administration.

The real message here is hard to miss — and it is precisely the message that so many Americans have come to hate. In this case it means that women are not really women unless they are liberals. Or in other words, this is the absolute poison that is identity politics, the latter the old left-wing premise that people are not individuals much less Americans but rather some version of a gender or race who must, no insignificant point, identify with the Left or they are not really a — fill in the blank — woman, black, Hispanic, gay - etc. etc. etc.

Time after time Americans have seen this idiocy in play. The Left demands a black on the Supreme Court - and goes ballistic when the Bush 41 choice is conservative Clarence Thomas. There has to be a woman on a national ticket - but they go crazy when it is pro-lifer and conservative Sarah Palin. There must be more Hispanics in government - but not Alberto Gonzales as Bush 43’s attorney general and certainly not the brilliant Miguel Estrada as a Bush 43 Court of Appeals judge. Too conservative, you see. On and on and on this game goes endlessly with the Left.

Meanwhile up there in the rarefied air of Harvard comes the news that Harvard had invited Chelsea Manning, the transgendered Bradley Manning who, in the words of the Washington Post, is “the former military intelligence analyst who spent seven years in prison for leaking classified government secrets.”

There was an immediate uproar - and it had zero to do with Manning’s transgender status. CIA Director Mike Pompeo, a Harvard Law grad, had accepted a speaking engagement at Harvard and quickly rejected it, saying: “Harvard’s actions implicitly tell its students that you too can be a fellow at Harvard and a felon under United States law. … I believe it is shameful for Harvard to place its stamp of approval upon her treasonous actions.” So too did another Harvard Fellow, ex-Obama acting CIA Director Mike Morell resign from Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Said a furious Morell:

I have an obligation to my conscience — and I believe to the country — to stand up against any efforts to justify leaks of sensitive national security information.

Harvard amazingly quickly backtracked and withdrew the invite to Manning. And what was her response? Utterly predictable. Manning tweeted she was “honored to be 1st disinvited trans woman visiting @harvard fellow. they chill marginalized voices under @cia pressure. #WeGotThis.”

In other words? The reason for her dis-invite from Harvard was not that she had deliberately and willfully violated her oath of office by leaking volumes of classified information - causing both Obama and Trump CIA Directors to resign their respective fellowship and speaking invite. No, no, no. The reason Manning’s invite had been rescinded is because she was the first “trans woman” to be invited as a visiting Harvard fellow. In other words, her Harvard problem was not a result of her treasonous behavior while serving in the United States Army but because of her self-chosen identity as a trans woman.

Taken all together? From a seemingly innocuous Mediaite opinion piece on the new occupants of the White House Communications Office to Harvard’s Chelsea Manning kerfuffle, what we see at play in the media yet again is the notion that the be-all and end-all of American life is identity politics.

A polite thought here? The reason that there are three supremely qualified Americans now running the White House Communications Office - and the reason Harvard has rescinded its invitation to Chelsea Manning - is because each has been judged on the basis of their qualifications - and the actions in their respective careers that have landed each of them where they now are.

And not to put too fine a point on this? It is safe to say that politically speaking millions of Americans have had a bellyful of identity politics — which is exactly part of the reason 63 million of them elected Donald Trump president in the first place.

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