How should we react in the age of extreme Tribalism?

Iconic Photo taken by Jill Mumie

The 2016 presidential campaign was painful. The pain, for me, was seeing people ignore clear thinking and adopt a “my tribe first” attitude. Tribe was more important than policy, character, or clear thinking.

I hoped that once 2016 closed, the Tribalism would take a break. I was wrong. Tribalism has gotten much, much worse.

The Charlottesville protests and terror attack should have been an easy time for American’s to come together and condemn the horrors of White Supremacy. Didn’t happen.

Instead, the tribes, all of them, have double and tippled down.

I don’t simply look to the crazies online. I don’t care about them. I mean mainstream radio and TV Tribal spokesmen.

Mark Levin was shameful from the right:

Crazy. Mark had a chance to call out domestic terrorism as a problem. He could have cleaned house since the GOP obviously harbors the racist white supremacist movement. He didn’t clean house, he was mad about “politicization.” Insane. Self reflection is badly needed by the right.

The progressive tribe is just as bad.

Rachel Maddow:

Jump to the 8 minute mark.

“Always trying to start a race war. This is a persistent infection in White American Culture. And it can be quite fatal. And what I have learned over the course of my 44 years is that this infection in modern American White Culture, it doesn’t get better over time. And apparently it never goes away.”

You Know its Tribal When

Conservative Americans need to look inward and clean house. There is no question about that. They aren’t doing that. Full stop. There has been no real step to isolate and walk back the racists element of the party. Conservatives want to bring up BLM, ANTIFA, and politicians as the “real culprits.” President Trump’s initial statement on Chancellorsville demonstrates that.

However, Progressive Americans persistently use this issue to define the other Tribe. If Rachel Maddow is right, the “Persistent infection in White American culture” is truly not curable, then its hopeless. If the only solution provided by progressives is join her tribe or else, its over. She is as excited for a war as the fascists. Seems to solve this problem right? Kill all the white people who aren’t members of my tribe. Further, the exclusive nature of the Progressive social movements right now indicates the movement is about Tribal victory and not healing, cooperation, or change.

Honestly, what is the way out of this mess?

I don’t see one right now. Tribalism is thawed by forces that bring people together.

Centripetal social forces are weakening, not strengthening.

I have no good solutions.

I personally have decided to try to diversify my Twitter and Facebook social circles in an attempt to increase forces that keep me liking members of both tribes. I want more Progressive and Conservative friends in my circles.

I lean right. I feel the need to keep progressive thinkers inside my social circles in order to keep myself from tumbling down the human tribal tunnel.

I have purposefully followed a number of self identified Marxists on twitter to make sure I see them and learn about them, even if I think they are nuts.

I spent over an hour reading Ta-Nehisi Coates on Sunday just to make sure I really heard from a black progressive who is feeling hurt and scared.

I have no idea if this will work for me, or make me a better person, but I feel like I have to do something.

I challenge everyone to NOT PURGE THEIR SOCIAL GROUPS. We need to find ways to strengthen inter tribal relations, not double and triple down on otherizing.

I hope we can figure this out.

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