One of the jokes on Twitter is how the mainstream media deflects liberal and Democrat failings by focusing on conservative and Republican reactions. Hence, headlines start with phrasing that conservatives and Republicans “pounce” or “seize on” or “slam” liberal mistakes.

Tyler Cowen, Professor of Economics, George Mason University, writing at Bloomberg Opinion, has a variation on that theme, The Right Finds the Perfect Weapon Against the Left.

That perfect weapon is liberal’s own obsession with identity politics, which is then used by conservatives “to destroy liberalism from within.”

The column is pretty good. Here’s an excerpt:

Imagine the perfect political and intellectual weapon. It would disable your adversaries by preoccupying them with their own vanities and squabbles, a bit like a drug so good that users focus on the high and stop everything else they are doing.

Such a weapon exists: It is called political correctness. But it is not a weapon against white men or conservatives, as is frequently alleged; rather, it is a weapon against the American left. To put it simply, the American left has been hacked, and it is now running in a circle of its own choosing, rather than focusing on electoral victories or policy effectiveness. Too many segments of the Democratic Party are self-righteously talking about identity politics, and they are letting other priorities slip….

So if you are a right-wing, conservative, or perhaps libertarian thinker, and you consider yourself an opponent of political correctness, I have a message: Political correctness, as a movement, is a winning issue for you. It is disabling some of the ideas you don’t like. You might want to celebrate in secret, but celebrate you should.

I think he has it right.

Identity politics is ripping Democrats and liberals apart. White liberal feminists regularly are attacked by non-white and even white liberal feminists for being not sufficiently woke and for using their privilege. Liberal-imposed affirmative action pits applicants of Asian descent at elite schools like Harvard against other identity groups. The #MeToo movement is consuming mostly liberal men.

Campus political correctness certainly damages conservatives. But mostly, Cowen writes, it damages liberals:

Here’s another ugly truth. The biggest day-to-day losers from the political correctness movement are other left-of-center people, most of all white moderate Democrats, especially those in universities. If you really believe that “the PC stuff” is irrational and out of control and making institutions dysfunctional, and that universities are full of left-of-center people, well who is going to suffer most of the costs? It will be people in the universities, and in unjust and indiscriminate fashion. That means more liberals than conservatives, if only because the latter are relatively scarce on the ground.

And it goes on and on, with identity groups competing in zero-sum games against each other.

Is this exploited by conservatives? Not as much as it should be.

Sure, maybe we are waiting to “pounce” and “seize on” and “slam” these structural divisions, but mostly we just sit back in amazement and watch the self-destruction.

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