Much has been said about personal gender pronouns. Yale University is currently suing the state of Connecticut after the state government blocked it from changing its single-sex bathrooms into gender neutral ones. Last month, Canada passed Bill C-16, which puts ‘gender identity’ and ‘gender expression’ into the country’s Human Rights Code as well as into the hate crime category of its Criminal Code. Facebook offers over 70 gender options with which its users may identify.
All well and good. But what about political pronouns? Like gender, politics is a spectrum that cannot be easily whittled down into two definitive choices. Despite the media’s obvious intention to divide the American people into left-right thinking to benefit the billionaire class, a handful of political parties emerged this past election cycle. With the fracture of the traditional two-party system through Trump and Sanders’ populist uprisings, a new era of unstable majorities dominated the electorate. In addition to Republicans and Democrats, Americans started identifying as Progressive or alt-right/Trumpian, along with the less attractive Libertarian and Green Party alternatives.
In the past, I have identified as Republican, Democrat, moderate Republican, moderate Democrat, libertarian, l, fiscally conservative, RINO, and nihilist. My politics are nuanced and cross-pollinate with ideologies from the entire political spectrum: I believe climate change is real, drugs and prostitution should be legalized, welfare is necessary, policing the world has failed, taxing the rich while raising the minimum wage is a copout for the government’s failure to balance the budget, and free-markets should take precedent over government. Though these stances are sometimes at odds, labeling me as either a Republican or Democrat is insulting and underscores the subtlety of my belief system.
I’m politically fluid, okay?
Others aren’t and that’s fine. Political scientists studying “genopolitics” argue that our political affiliations are pre-determined based on heredity. Writing with 16 colleagues, and summarizing results from “analyses of a combined sample of over 12,000 twin pairs ascertained from nine different studies,” Penn State professor Peter K. Hatemi argues that “heritability plays a role in the formation of political ideology, regardless of how ideology is measured, the time period or population sampled.” In an article for The Atlantic, drawing on the research for his groundbreaking debut book Our Political Nature, evolutionary anthropologist Avi Tuschman concludes, “our political orientations are deeply ingrained natural dispositions, molded within each of us by powerful evolutionary forces.”
Like gender, politics is biological and something we’re born with. Assaulting Trump supporters because of their beliefs qualifies as a hate crime. Ditto with body slamming leftist reporters. In a time when more and more Americans are politically active and under real threats of violence for their beliefs, we need to lead by example and start respecting one another. That all starts with using proper political pronouns.
Davis Richardson is a writing fellow at America’s Future Foundation. His writing has appeared in VICE, Nylon Magazine, BULLETT Media, The Daily Caller, and WIRED. Follow him on Twitter.