For history's rare multiracial and multiethnic republics, an "e pluribus unum" cohesion is essential. Each particular tribe must owe greater allegiance to the commonwealth than to those who superficially look or worship alike.
Yet over the last 20 years we have deprecated "unity" and championed "diversity." Americans are being urged by popular culture, universities, schools and government to emphasize their innate differences rather than their common similarities.
Sometimes the strained effort turns comical. Some hyphenate or add accents or foreign pronunciations to their names. Others fabricate phony ethnic pedigrees in hopes of gaining an edge in job-seeking or admissions.
The common theme is to be anything other than just normal Americans for whom race, gender and ethnicity are incidental rather than essential to their character.
Identity politics will be just one of the many knives that stab this country to death. I don't see any way of turning the clock back on this one; we already have people entrenched in the belief that their skin color or country of origin are more important than being American. Anyone who puts a nation and a hyphen in front of "American" is proudly proclaiming that they are not American. And if they're not American, they don't share the same values that Americans share, that have allowed us to live in close proximity with each other for the past 242 years.