The tragedy of all this tribalism is that Trump is forfeiting the opportunity to build wider consensus around real challenges. Demonizing immigrants instills a bunker mentality—one that only makes it more difficult to devise reasonable means to combat domestic radicalization, or identify the undocumented immigrants who present genuine risks of violence and crime. (It doesn’t help that Trump and congressional Republicans further diminish their credibility by sublimating the national interest in combatting gun violence to the tribal interest of gun owners who oppose limits on possession.)
The tax bill’s economic tribalism is equally myopic. To fund the payroll taxes that will support Social Security and Medicare during their retirement, older white America needs more of diverse younger America to reach the middle class. The best way to ensure the elderly’s long-term financial security is to invest in the lives of those future generations who will fund the programs sustaining future retirees. And that requires preserving tax revenue and limiting entitlements in order to free up funds.