Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations

Amy Chua | 2018
Posted in: Bridging Divides Partisan Politics
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This book is both a warning and a ray of hope to our divided nation. As the author points out, humans are tribal creatures and we have always gravitated towards group membership with like-minded individuals. But now

“identity politics [has] seized both the American left and right in an especially dangerous, racially inflected way. In America today, every group feels threatened: whites and blacks, Latinos and Asians, men and women, liberals and conservatives, and so on. There is a pervasive sense of collective persecution and discrimination. On the left, this has given rise to increasingly radical and exclusionary rhetoric of privilege and cultural appropriation. On the right, it has fueled a disturbing rise in xenophobia and white nationalism.”

The hope Ms Chua sees is in the many citizen groups like Braver Angels who are working to bridge divides and bring us back to a realization that we do have common values and goals. We need to acknowledge our group differences but not allow them to drive us apart. Instead of hurling divisive language at each other “America must rediscover a national identity that transcends our political tribes.”