Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, a Republican, recently conducted an interview with left-wing radio host and television personality Charlamagne Tha God on Wednesday where he asked the GOP presidential candidate to explain why she refuses to play “the identity politics game.” This is an important question that every serious Republican running for the White House needs to answer, because doing so will provide a true, genuine snapshot of what the person believes about the First Amendment and free speech. Because that’s one thing identity politics will destroy, though that’s only the tip of the iceberg concerning the kind of damage it can do to a free society.
According to the Daily Wire, Charlamagne asked the former ambassador to the United Nations, who is herself an Indian-American and the only woman running for the GOP nomination, why she doesn’t take advantage of the identity politics playbook the way so many Democrats do.
“Why don’t you play the identity politics game, though?” Charlamagne asked the South Carolina Republican while filling in as a guest host on “The Daily Show.” “Because that’s something Democrats like to do. They always talk about how diverse they are. Why don’t you get into the identity politics game and play up being Indian more? Because a lot of voters just think you’re a white woman.”
Haley said that one of the reasons she doesn’t mess around with identity politics is because of how divisive it is, ripping people apart and setting them against one another based on arbitrary standards like skin color. Instead, she wants to be all about unity.
“We were the only Indian family in a small rural southern town in South Carolina. We weren’t white enough to be white. We weren’t black enough to be black,” Haley stated in her response to the question. “And I remember when I would get teased on the playground and I would come home, my mom would always say ‘Your job is not to show them how you’re different, your job is to show them how you’re similar.’ And that lesson on the playground has played out throughout my life, whether it was in the corporate world, whether it was as governor, whether it was as ambassador.”
“I think the problem is when you start labeling people, you’re assuming that they’re different than you. I don’t want to just be a woman. I don’t want to just be Indian,” she continued during the interview. “I don’t want to just be a mom. I don’t want to just be a Republican. I don’t want to just be all of those things. I’m more than that. And I think every person is more than that.”
Charlamagne went a little further as the interview continued making the claim there is “sexism in the GOP” before asking the former governor if she believes being female is going to hurt her chances of being nominated in her party.
“I don’t worry about being a woman at all,” she fired off. “I mean, I wear heels. It’s not for a fashion statement. It’s because if I get mad, you know, I’m ready to kick any time. And I think that people have always respected me because they know I do my homework, they know I fight for what I believe in and I tell the truth. I tell the hard truths whether they want to hear it or not. And I think that’s where I’ve always been different.”
Haley has brought up her female status and Indian background during her presidential campaign but says there’s a difference between falling into identity politics and being “proud” to be an Indian-American woman. In the first GOP presidential debate in August, the former South Carolina governor threw herself into a back-and-forth between former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy on climate change.
“This is exactly why Margaret Thatcher said, ‘If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman,’” Haley joked.
I don’t know about all of that, but I do know Haley is right on the money about identity politics being a problem that divides the American people. Leftists have been working for quite some time to create racism and sexism where it didn’t previously exist, all for the purpose of dividing people, because a society that isn’t working together, that isn’t connected one to another based on shared values, is much easier to conquer.
Let’s hope whoever the candidate is, they can reverse that trend and remind folks of the common ground we have with one another.