John Bolton says ‘self-described identity politics’ is ‘fundamentally’ contrary to individual liberty

John Bolton
John Bolton. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

John Bolton says ‘self-described identity politics’ is ‘fundamentally’ contrary to individual liberty

Former national security adviser John Bolton slammed woke culture in an op-ed on Monday, claiming “self-described identity politics” is “fundamentally contrary” to individual liberty.

Bolton, who served as the United States’s national security adviser during President Donald Trump’s administration, said the concept of “identity politics” weakens society because it moves the country away from the ideas it was founded on.

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“‘Wokeness’ covers a broad category of bad ideas, but the most pernicious, in my view, is the deindividuation of America’s citizenry, identifying them not as themselves but as members of groups based on race, ethnicity, and gender,” Bolton wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Examiner. “This self-described ‘identity politics’ is fundamentally contrary to the concept of individual liberty, which rests on the proposition that every American citizen is unique.”

Bolton added that the response to identity politics, however, is not a “national divorce,” which Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) called for earlier this year.

The former national security adviser went on to criticize the Pentagon for taking part in the “cultural wars” in the U.S., claiming the country’s military should be united, and not spreading “disharmony” among service members.

“Today, the Pentagon is a battlefield in the ongoing cultural wars, every minute of which is detrimental not just to our military capabilities, but to the national unity that we have sought since the outset to embed in the uniformed services,” Bolton wrote. “As profoundly discordant as wokeness is in civil society, it is far worse in the military, spreading dysfunction and disharmony among service members whose duty is to defend the country, not to be laboratory specimens for social experimentation.”

Bolton acknowledged the military’s faults when it comes to discrimination in the past, but said the Pentagon had made progress in correcting the discrimination, “not by exacerbating differences, but by treating them as irrelevant.”

The former Trump official ended the op-ed by supporting the nomination of Air Force Gen. Charles Brown for chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and praised a recruiting pitch Brown made for the military several years ago.


“When I’m flying, I put my helmet on, my visor down, my mask up. You don’t know who I am — whether I’m African American, Asian American, Hispanic, White, male, or female,” Brown said in the pitch. “You just know I’m an American airman, kicking your butt.”

Bolton claimed that if Brown was confirmed and stayed true to the “one nation” military message in the pitch, the U.S. could be “on the road to recovery.”

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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