George Will has a great piece on the end of identity politics, as embodied in the rises of Nikki (“I’m a policy girl”) Haley and Tim (“I’ve never voted for a tax increase”) Scott, running respectively for for governor of South Carolina and for that state’s 1st district congressional seat.
Haley is from a Sikh background and Scott is African American. Will quotes Tunku Varadarajan of Stanford’s Hoover Institution on why Haley and Bobby Jindal have risen in the GOP, while no Indian American has scaled similar heights in the Democratic Party:
“Could it be that because Democrats put more of an emphasis on identity politics, an Indian American Democrat would have to contend with other ethnic constituencies that might think that it’s ‘their turn’ first? And once you go down the ‘identity’ route, your success as a politician tends to rest more on the weight of numbers — the size of your ethnic constituency, or your racial voting bloc — than on the weight of your ideas.”
Both Scott and Haley have interesting ideas. Do read the entire piece.