Tom Duffy: You know, I'm trying to remember if the Democrats have ever nominated an atheist before.
Paul Zara: Well, we know they've nominated a jackass before.
--The Ides of March
Identity politics is the practice of making political arguments and decisions based on one's appearance, persona, or affiliation rather than on careful, well-reasoned thought. Identity politics emphasizes image over substance.
Basic demographic characteristics such as race, nationality, gender, age, religion, and wealth level can form the basis for identity politics, as can affiliation with particular organizations such as political party, military, or school.
Identity politics can be seen as an expression of social identity theory where people seek to enhance their self-esteem by connecting with some groups and disparaging others.
It can also be seen as a product of fast thinking which seeks to render judgment quickly and effortlessly. Because fast thinking dominates human thought process, we should expect that identity politics to be a popular, perhaps the most popular, approach to politics.
Because of the mistakes in judgment that result from fast thinking, we should also expect identity politics to be wrought with the bias and error associated with assuming that What You See Is All There Is.