This Supreme Court Case Threatens the Left’s View of Group Identity, Victimhood

The Daily Signal | 4/23/2019 | Staff
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Mike Gonzalez, a senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation, is a widely experienced international correspondent, commentator, and editor who has reported from Asia, Europe, and Latin America. He served in the George W. Bush administration, first at the Securities and Exchange Commission and then at the State Department, and is the author of "A Race for the Future: How Conservatives Can Break the Liberal Monopoly on Hispanic Americans." Read his research.

Oral arguments heard at the Supreme Court Tuesday were ostensibly about whether the 2020 census could include a question about citizenship.

Reason - Case - Supreme - Court - Debate

But don’t be fooled. The reason this case rocketed to the Supreme Court and has been so hotly contested is that the debate hinges, at bottom, on two starkly different visions of America.

In one vision, what matters is loyalty to and affiliation with a nation-state that is self-contained, independent, civic, and color-bind. In the other vision, priority is given to one’s membership in a subnational group that is based on subjective self-identity (like race or sexual orientation), and association with that group yields benefits and preferences in everything, from hiring to contracting, employment, housing, and even electoral redistricting.

Divide - Commitment - America - Nation - Commitment

The divide essentially comes down to a commitment to America as a nation vs. a commitment to one’s subgroup and the hierarchy of victimhood.

This is one of the great debates of our time—not just here, but around the world.

Supreme - Court - Opinion - Summer - Census

Whatever the Supreme Court decides—and an opinion is needed by summer if the Census Bureau is to meet its deadline of printing millions of forms—rest assured that this debate will not go away any time soon.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the death of the nation-state seem to have been greatly exaggerated. Despite pressure from above—from sovereignty-draining, transnational institutions like the United Nations and the European Union—and from below, i.e., from identity groups based on...
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