If we study that war and the actions of its profoundest statesman, we can find some lessons to guide us today.
The politics of identity make the present a prisoner of the past, with individuals viewed chiefly through the lens of race or other arbitrary characteristics. Douglass argued for identifying with America—with the nation founded on “human brotherhood and the self-evident truths of liberty and equality.”
The problem with identity politics is that it reduces us. We are no longer human beings with individual hopes and dreams. We are commodities. We are groups to be labeled and courted and pandered to. We have no shared values as Americans, because we are a series of interest groups.
In the weeks following the Citizens United ruling, the Left settled on a new strategy. If it could no longer use speech laws against its opponents, it would do the next best thing—it would threaten, harass, and intimidate its opponents out of participation.
Our globalist leaders may have deprecated sovereignty since the end of the Cold War, but that does not mean it has ceased for an instant to be the primary subject of politics.