Written By: Anton Sawyer
H3H3's Ethan Klein Exposing The Worst Elements Of Identity Politics
Ah, good old identity politics. Though each party has a ton of both positives and negatives when it concerns their interpretation of the US Constitution, when you add identity politics into the mix, then all nuance to those differences becomes removed. It is now all or none with everything. If you claim to be a conservative, this means you are now beholden to every policy and talking point that comes from that side of the political field. Whether you agree with everything the party leaders espouse is irrelevant, you are expected to blindly follow without question. If you find that one of the talking points from your newly chosen buddies is against everything you stand for, then it's best just to be quiet or you'll be ostracized all while being called (with an insulting tone) RINO (Republican in name only) or DINO (Democrat in name only).
Identity politics is antithetical to individualism, it always has been, and it seems H3's Ethan Klein and his brand of individualism is yet another example of this backlash from identity politics. For those of you unaware of this controversy birthed by Klein in April 2022, let me catch you up with a broad-stroke recap.
During an episode of the H3 podcast, Klein began talking about one of his favorite (hated) topics, James Charles. More specifically, Klein went after the fact that on a recent makeup tutorial video done by Charles there was an offer for Charles to re-purchase Depends brand adult diapers. Klein made the leap that this meant Charles was a "power bottom" and therefore suffered anal leakage from being "pounded" so frequently. Though I found these jokes to be of the same level of quality as those presented by Amy Schumer, I felt that Klein had the right to make these statements due to the freedom of speech afforded us in our Constitution. I knew I was in the minority and there would be some sort of backlash from those who were offended, and I was proved right shortly after his statements made the rounds on the internet. Due to his level of celebrity, the attacks against Klein for this perceived homophobia were incredibly swift.
Within a day or two, the cancel culture machine began to pick up steam, and messages to the sponsors of H3 started rolling in. These calls were of such a degree to where Klein even addressed them on the following podcast stating, "Today we have no sponsors because I am an existential threat to gay rights and all progress. So, of course, our wonderful fans have taken it upon themselves to rattle our sponsors ... not to support us." Since this call for cancelation and loss of sponsors has taken over the narrative, Klein's tone and demeanor have been one of utter confusion. This confusion has also been felt by his most ardent supporters and is the main reason why I am here to explain how this rage all came about.
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If you have followed the career of Klein and the internet, he has been a lightning rod of controversy since almost day one. He’s never strayed from controversial topics or censored himself when it came to expressing his ideas. From openly discussing the level of nausea he would feel when his sister-in-law Trisha Paytas would send him pictures from her only fans that featured her “busted-ass pussy” (his words), to his unfiltered take on the pedophile-like actions of the aforementioned Charles. Basically, if Klein feels something, he says something in the most unapologetic way imaginable. It’s this history that made me want to dig a little deeper and find out why these specific comments have been labeled by so many people as being so dangerous as to ignore the constitution’s provision that is the freedom of speech and do what can be done to silence Klein and his comments which have been perceived as homophobic. I then saw a tweet that was featured on the H3 podcast “Off The Rails” which brought everything into focus.
The tweet in question was put out into the social media netherworld by Kat Tenbarge (in an attempt to disparage the actions of Klein), and stated, "To purposefully and knowingly recruit a queer and gay fan fanbase just to shit all over them and perpetuate horrific stereotypes about gay men is a choice." Klein read it on his show and responded with a mixture of contempt and confusion by stating, "what the fuck does that even mean?" Well, Ethan, it means you have been sucked into the world of identity politics and are now beholden to a standard that is not of your making.
On a logical level, it's absurd to think that Klein is doing something with either H3's business practices or any of his other entertainment enterprises in terms of LGBT promotion or recruitment. However, when you look at the history of Klein and his affiliation with the liberals/Democratic party, the picture begins to clear up a bit. In essence, this entire exercise of retaliation towards both him and H3 as a business is predicated on guilt by association and the identity politics of liberalism.
The reason why there's the assumption that Klein has gone all-in on liberalism is due to … well … himself. Klein has had very public battles with a slew of conservative social media/YouTube darlings. From Keemstar to Jordan Peterson to Steven Crowder, the list of people included and the length of time these internet beefs have been happening illustrates that Klein has a very definite political viewpoint. It’s this strength of political ideologies that led Klein to also start the liberal-based podcast called “Leftovers” with co-host Hasan Piker.
Though these examples would typically be more than enough to show Klein’s political proclivities, I do feel there’s one part to his political history that has been the most telling when it comes to the negative response he’s been embroiled in with the LGBTQ+ community: Kleins willingness to join the James Charles cancel party.
Before going further, it’s important to note that I do not support James Charles in any way. Looking at his history and the evidence that’s been provided when it comes to him grooming underage boys, I do feel that Charles is a predator and relies on predatory tactics to get what he wants. It’s also important to note that though I agree it’s utterly gross that the American criminal justice system hasn’t looked at Charles more closely or brought some kind of charges against him, as a fan of the NFL, I know how money and power can directly influence the level of legally accountable someone can be held to in this modern society. I’m also aware that until there are actual criminal charges brought about, it allows a cushion; almost a level of plausible deniability. This is how Charles has been able to continue his dastardly acts. The main difference between myself and Klein, and one that has helped push Klein into the realms of being a liberal martyr in this example, is his calling for Charles to be completely canceled. Whereas I’m just hoping someone, somewhere will take Charles off the streets (and thereby out of his media empire by proxy).
In a March 2021 tweet Klein said that "yes, to answer your question, I am trying cancel James Charles." Shortly around the same time this tweet was sent, Pew Research conducted a poll and found that a majority (59%) of liberal democrats who were familiar with the phrase "cancel culture" felt it meant "actions taken to hold people accountable." Whereas only 36% of Republicans have heard the same definition. Like peanut butter and jelly, liberalism and cancelation based on moral indignation are forever linked because of these kinds of perceptions. And sadly for Klein, this proclamation of intent to cancel Charles was the final straw that solidified him as a died-in-the-wool liberal who supports the complete morality of the liberal party and is therefore beholden to EVERY SINGLE ONE of the party’s ideals (good or bad). This is how/why Tenbarge made the statement in her tweet that Klein is some sort of recruiting device for the LGBTQ+ community: based on perception he is an uber-liberal that will follow every one of the party’s talking points, including not harming the LGBTQ+ community with perceived negative content or stereotypes. And any deviation from this needs to be held with swift reprimand.
I’m sorry Ethan had to find out this way, but that’s how things work now. 60% of Americans now force the pigeonholing of ideologies onto the rest of us.
As we’ve seen over the Trump and Biden administrations, each political party has approximately 30% of the population that are ride or die and will support their candidate no matter what. Whenever Trump would do something ultimately catastrophic to our nation, the polling ALWAYS showed 30% support for his actions. Conversely, during the Biden administration, we’ve seen the same thing; no matter how bad inflation or our foreign policy becomes, about 30% of the nation steadfastly supports the president. It’s also this same 30% on each side which is gatekeeping and holding each party hostage. So, if you are a self-professed liberal who supports the LGBTQ+ community, but thinks the use of Xe as a pronoun is a little absurd, then you are phrased as a DINO and treated as second-class. We see the same happenings on the Republican side of the fence; if you happen to be a die-hard conservative that doesn’t like Trump because of your Christian upbringing making you think cheating on your wife with a pornstar isn’t “Christ-like behavior,” then you are excoriated and dubbed a RINO.
For those of us, like us at The Indie Truther, who are independent—you know, the other 40% who make up the majority of the voting bloc—these identity politics are confusing and frustrating. Each person has their own life experiences, their own individual biases which shape their viewpoint, and a majority of Americans don’t see the world in such stark, black and white terms. Most of us simply aren’t built that way.
So, as much as it makes me sad to see Klein bow before the liberal masters and offer up apologies to those who were offended by his remarks about anal leakage, I’m hoping that his very public lesson on the dangers of identity politics will be heeded by a large swath of the American population. I’m hoping enough people can come about and place a higher value on individualism over partisan ideologies, thereby forcing the concept of identity politics as being a scourge that we can all break away from and leave in the distant past.
Given the ever-increasing divide between the two parties in the 21st century, I’m not holding my breath.
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