that’s some high bar you cleared there

Many people are blaming Trump’s victory on political correctness or identity politics. (Please note that I have said again and again that neither “identity politics” nor “political correctness” are useful frames, analytically or politically, but here we are.) Adam Johnson takes them to task.

I agree with Adam that these things are not to blame for Trump. I would just gently point out: as is so often the case with the more ridiculous edge of progressive social norms – not the morally just and politically necessary action of opposing the vile North Carolina transgender bathroom bill, but trying to get the Vagina Monologues banned from college campuses because the fixation on genitals is inherently transphobic, to pick a favorite example – the bar here has been lowered to such a ridiculous extent that the defense is no defense at all. It’s true: that political tendency is not solely responsible for the election of a terrible racist demagogue. Let’s throw a party.

I once again find myself in the situation I’m often in when it comes to college activists: if you really respect the people who engage this way, shouldn’t that entail demanding more rather than lowering the bar even further? At what point do we stop fixating on what they are not blame for, and to start asking critically, what have they actually achieved?