We Hear You: Checking the Rise of Identity Politics

Editor’s note: Thinking about the ties that bind us is a good way to ring out the year, so such thoughts lead off this week’s mailbag. Be sure to write us at [email protected] Happy New Year.—Ken McIntyre

Dear Daily Signal: My response to Jarrett Stepman’s commentary on identity politics is that the America of the colonies and beyond was never about diversity, but inclusion in a common goal of being American (“Here’s Why Identity Politics Threaten America”).

The emphasis on diversity already has had a detrimental effect on our education system. If not curbed, it ultimately may  lead to a fractious country that will be unable to come together to solve a severe problem affecting its continued existence.—Rockne Hughes

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This garbage of a political philosophy has been growing since the 1960s. It has now converted a sizeable population to anti-freedom concepts that would have been rejected out of hand 50 years ago.

This cancer has spread to such a degree that I fear it will take drastic action or a cataclysmic event to straighten out a bunch of weak minds.—Randy Leyendecker, Kerrville, Texas

If you are wealthy and belong to certain other groups, you get a big pass for being part of the “upper crust.”

Look at the Hollywood types, the politicians, the sports stars, the “newscasters,” let alone the extremely rich, white liberal men, including that hedge fund guy, George Soros. Don’t tell me those guys don’t look out for No.1.

So it is a selective distinction that if you talk right you’re OK no matter what you do. Do all those billionaires pay their hired help top dollar with full benefits? If not, then they are just full of manure.—Timothy Dayton

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Identity politics is nothing more than lazy, nonspecific, categorization thinking rather than addressing each and every matter in its specific context without the racial, gender, heritage, or social-economic overtones.

Do research, fact-check homework. Get grounded. Simple as that.—Craig Swenson

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The country was founded on a homogenizing Christian philosophy. Since the 1960s, we have been reaping the effect of ignoring God.

Godless philosophies have no basis for unification other than “might makes right.” As in France, the chaos now developing will be solved by the American equivalent of Napoleon—unless we return to the founding Christian philosophy.—Fred Costello

When Transgender Individuals Turn to Surgery

Dear Daily Signal: Good job by Ryan T. Anderson in his commentary, “New York Times Reveals Painful Truths About ‘Sex Change’ Surgery.” Andrea Long Chu’s remarks about Anderson’s work in her New York Times op-ed have more to do with her than what Anderson wrote in his book, so it seems.

As determined by Dr. Paul McHugh, gender dysphoria is a manifestation of mental illness. It’s not being “crazy,” but that is Chu’s interpretation of Anderson’s words.

Personally, I think gender dysphoria might be a form of dissociative disorder. The way Chu talks about desire with no possible fulfillment sounds like it to me.

But it also makes me think of how the human soul is made for love, but that love is only properly fulfilled through a relationship with God. To recall the much-cited quote by St. Augustine: “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”

More than anything, people must find within themselves, and within a rightly ordered relationship with God, the willingness and strength to align their being with the process of being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ and the skill set to suffer well. Especially the skill set to suffer well.

Please write a book about that next, Ryan Anderson.—Joneen Flemings

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Gender dysphoria is a mental illness. They don’t “feel” right emotionally.

Physicians and psychiatrists who mutilate these sad, sick people and validate their dysphoria are harming them, not helping them. It is criminal malpractice.—Lynne Hallman

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Life is what it is, no matter how a person wants it be different. I know that’s not a PC position, but it’s a fact.

Daydreaming about a different reality does not create that change. It just creates unreal expectations and a lot of unhappiness.—Wenda Kennedy

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Hey, it’s radical surgery. So is surgery to separate Siamese twins, and sometimes one or both of them dies. But no one’s saying to not do that, are we?

Yes, transgenderism is something you’re born with. And no, it can’t be therapied or prayed away.—Edward Buatois

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Huge questions:

Since when does “wanting” a surgery make it become mandatory surgery?

Who pays for all this? There’s no way that a six-hour surgery is a McDonald’s Happy Meal.—Mark Brickey

When Other Presidents Closed the Border

Dear Daily Signal: What’s happening on our southern border is an attempted invasion of our home (“3 Times Previous Presidents Closed the Southern Border”). Our president is doing what he should be doing—he is attempting to protect our home from invaders.

Our Constitution mandates the federal government protect our states from invasion. And I personally want the government to do whatever is needed to keep out all invaders.

We need to remind the world that we are a sovereign nation and will do our best to stop any and all illegal or forceful entry into our country.—Barbara Ervin

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Statistics have been released on the increase of incursions and captures on the southern border, and the numbers are alarming. That is why the troops went down to roll out the wire and free up Border Patrol, ICE, and other law enforcement to do their jobs.

The numbers, and more importantly, the increase in the numbers, are the definition of an invasion.—Curtis Conway

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The migrants from Central America have the legal right to come here and seek asylum, which all of them were doing, and it’s a legal right that Trump is denying.

It’s not exactly like they’re trying to sneak across; that’s why we were able to tear-gas them.—Edward Buatois

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We definitely have to set a precedent as to what we will or will not put up with at the border, and this is a prime time to set it. Taxpayers have had it.—Rose Weleski

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If they can’t reform their own countries, why would we want them here?—Rhonda Reichel

What Trump Is Doing at the Border

Dear Daily Signal: Once again, as Fred Lucas reports, the Trump administration is simply trying to protect our borders (“Debunking 3 Myths About Trump Border Enforcement”).

In fact, the Trump administration is doing the same thing that prior administrations also have done at the border.

I think this should show Americans just how biased the mainstream media really is against conservative opinion. Most American citizens want our borders defended. According to CNN, the people want open borders. Fake news.—Joseph Sarnak

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It doesn’t look to me that these migrants have missed any meals. Strange for those who have walked a thousand miles to look as though the farthest they have ever walked was to the buffet line.

We are supposed to feel sorry for a bunch of invaders waving the flags of the hellholes they say they escaped from. They tell us: “We are coming into your country, and there’s not a damn thing you can do to stop us. We have rights. Now, where’s our free stuff?”

If you want to be on the front lines of the invaders, have the courage and human decency not to drag your kids into the middle of the rock-throwing mob of your compatriots that will be met with fire hoses, tear gas, and rubber bullets.

If your kids get hurt, it will be your fault and yours alone. If you drag your kids across a busy highway because you don’t want to use the pedestrian crosswalk, it’s not a driver’s fault if one of them gets hit and killed. It’s yours.—Drew Page

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Mexico is fed up with these migrants. We don’t want or need them. Maybe they should be shown photos of San Francisco. They would see what an increasing part of our country looks like.

They need to go back home. If this were happening in other parts of the world, they would all be dead, not still trying to force their way in.

Why is it that the left can’t see that we did not organize the caravan, they did? It is partially their fault that women and children are in the caravans. They should have taken that into consideration when they paid those people to come here.—Estell Newton

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Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., is correct. Migrants have the opportunity to request asylum. But our courts have the right to deny it, if the migrants don’t meet certain criteria.

Rushing the border is criminal activity, which should disqualify them immediately. Running from gang violence and threats is not a legitimate reason either, nor are being poor or just wanting a better job.

Maloney apparently is ignorant of our immigration laws and does not have sense enough to read or understand them. These hacks get elected by making empty promises. No wonder we have had broken policy on illegal immigration for the past 40 or more years.—Richard Bushong

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Not all that long ago, the Democrats, like the GOP, had no problem in slanting and embellishing. But for the Dems today, there is no line.

They will tell you a totally blatant lie, make up a story completely, or twist a situation to win points. They seek to destroy the GOP and totally deceiving the people is fair game to them.—Anthony Alafero

The President and the California Wildfires

Dear Daily Signal: I live in a California national forest, and this isn’t Trump’s fault, as Jarrett Stepman correctly comments (“Trump Is Right: Poor Land Management Is Leading to Bigger California Fires”). This isn’t even Obama’s fault. It’s the fault of government allowing tree-hugging environmentalists to control the forests.

Example: In 1992, a fast-moving, terrible fire erupted in the national forest. It burned faster than any local or state resource could control. Not until the federal firefighters arrived did something happen.

Apparently, the chief in charge wasn’t a tree-hugger and wasn’t controlled by them. He got six D10 tractors side by side and cut a fire break around our valley that stopped the advancement of the fire into our community. Not until the fire was contained did the huggers force the chief to shut down his clearing.

Now, years later, our community is once again threatened by overgrowth, no fire breaks, and dead trees, both standing and down. The U.S. Forest Service has not allowed the public to enter the forest and cut any dead tree.

You have to identify the tree and location and take the info to a Forest Service station; they go out and ID the tree and determine if it can be cut or not. Then they size the tree for the number of cords, call you, and if you can cut it, they charge so many dollars per cord.

Most locals stopped cutting Forest Service trees years ago for this reason. All that lumber sits there, waiting for the next arson.—Todd Jamison, California

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It amazes me how President Trump wisely looks at what is going on and intelligently notes what is wrong and what could be done to improve things, as Jarrett Stepman notes in his commentary

From a commonsense perspective (and that’s the only thing that matters), Trump is absolutely right. And taking the time to relook at forest management will save a lot more money in the long run.

People’s lives are priceless, and all the homes lost equal a large amount of money.—Tonya Acre Merrill

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Trump comments and the media erupts with criticism. Dust settles and Trump is proven right again.

Moral: Look before you leap. You may think he is not smart, but he has access to more information than anyone else in the world. And he has a commonsense, pragmatic approach that defies your elitism.—Greg Zargeo

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I have seen a lot of videos and photos of the fires in California, and in each case, the fire is mostly low level and the tops of trees are still green, not burned. In past fires, the trees became nothing but black poles.

Underbrush was the fuel, and it was there because of environmentalists using the courts to prevent state and forestry service policies from “cleaning” forests. Homeowners be damned.Larry Martin

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Overall, California can be classified as a state controlled by “do-gooders.” They are really the ones preventing logging where it is needed.

They demand that every business post signs saying, “Something in this business may cause cancer and/or birth defects.” They demand that all chickens be “free-ranging.” They are trying to control the gas produced by flatulent cows.

And the citizens of California have a bad habit of not reading propositions placed on the ballots each election and passing whatever they think sounds good, even if it isn’t. Most of those sound good but cost more to administer than is saved.

Put an initiative on the ballot to raise money for orphans, and Californians will pass it even though the orphans may get only 2 cents out of every tax dollar collected.—Allen Round

Sarah Sleem and Troy Worden helped to compile this edition of “We Hear You.” 

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