In their dueling speeches last week, President Joe Biden and Republican Sen. Tim Scott agreed on a few things while disagreeing on many. The headlines after Biden spoke to Congress, and Scott responded for Republicans, were mostly about expensive new government programs and racism.
Tempting though it may be, this column won’t be about Caitlyn Jenner’s curious run for governor of California —the former Olympic decathlete and Kardashian patriarch turned transgender activist having formalized her candidacy late last week.
Criticism of identity politics is hardly new. The insistence on—or “celebration” of—fractional community identities rather than a common good was presented as an explanation for Hillary Clinton’s defeat in the 2016 presidential election. No coalition of separate groups will ever be able to muster the political magnetism of an inclusive rhetoric of national solidarity. That is the first problem: how identity politics divides, rather than unites.
The spring issue of Hoover Digest is now available online. The journal focuses on topics both classical—the economy, personal freedom, the role of government—and timely, such as cybersecurity, terrorism, and geopolitical shifts.