America has been wrecked on the shoals of identity.
Identity politics has been characterized casually as a form of tribalism: Americans grouping themselves according to biological or sexual characteristics, in opposition to other groups associated by biological or sexual characteristics. And there is certainly truth to the idea that such tribalism has damaged America in extraordinary ways – that tribalism acts as the sort of factionalism the Founding Fathers feared, tearing Americans from each other and forcing them into polarized units competing against others in a battle over control.
But there is another form of identity politics even more sinister than the sort of tribalism we see so openly today. That is a form of identity politics that focuses less on politics than on identity: the redefinition of identity itself.
For thousands of years, human beings established their identities by learning how to adapt to the systems in which they lived, gradually changing those systems for the better after determining the flaws within the systems. This is how parents traditionally civilized children – by adapting them to their civilization.