Have our tribes become more important than our country?

Chua sees the emergence of something quite different: “A shift in tone, rhetoric, and logic has moved identity politics away from inclusion — which had always been the left’s watchword — toward exclusion and division.” Facebook, she notes, lists more than 50 gender designations, “from genderqueer to intersex to pangender.” Activists compete to be offended if their particularism is not acknowledged. “Gay” becomes LGB, then LGBT, then LGBTQ, then LGBTQQIAAP and other variants — a terminological balkanization that Kameny lived to witness but never accepted. “For today’s Left,” Chua observes, “group blindness is the ultimate sin, because it masks the reality of group hierarchies and oppression in America.”

Political actions beget equal and opposite reactions. Recent polling finds that a majority of white Americans — including about two-thirds of whites without college degrees and three-fourths of white Republicans — believe there is discrimination against white people in America today. Whites, Christians and other traditionally predominant groups are developing their own narratives of beleaguered solidarity and group victimhood, and Steve Bannon and President Trump are standing by to take their calls.

Two consequences follow, both troubling.