America is founded on ideas, not the blind following of a man or a party. Yet the rise of tribalism, wherein segments of a party shame others for not pledging undying loyalty to a man or a political wing, has slowly reared its snake-tangled head. Tribalism, that is, supporting someone because he or she is simply a “member of the tribe” is the problem America is having. It’s not the solution to strap ourselves to as if it’s some kind of life preserve. Embracing political tribalism is like voluntarily shoving your feet into buckets of wet cement. As long as those buckets have bumperstickers of your political party affixed to them.
Roy Moore lost, not because Alabamans are stupid. Roy Moore lost because Roy Moore was a terrible candidate with child molestation allegations hanging round his neck. Moore should’ve been better vetted, one. But also abandoned when credible allegations came forth. Because it turns out some Republicans couldn’t stomach voting for a man accused of getting handsy with an underage girl. Yet this is somehow surprising to red-eyed morons convinced just being against the Democrats is a winning strategy. Roy Moore lost because too many egotistical Republicans in high places overestimated the power of tribalism: “Moore has an (R) after his name, ergo #MAGA and screw the libtards!”
Just “being against the other tribe” didn’t work in Alabama. It won’t work nationwide in 2018 either. Or 2020.
Since Trump knocked the Wicked Witch of the With a Cloth or Something off her broomstick, I’ve noticed too many “conservatives” taking the “This person needs to get in line with Trump!” stand. Tribalism. I see it every time we post content about Ben Sasse, for example. A litany of commenters chime in with such poignant, sideline hot takes as “I hate Sasse, he needs to get behind Trump!” malarkey. A few paid commentators, claiming to be “on the right” have taken a similar stand with their enthusiastic keyboard warriors in the audience.
Whatever you think of Trump or (insert your candidate’s name here), Americans — specifically conservatives — are loyal to their ideas, their values, their consciences. An (R) after a candidate’s name doesn’t have the swaying power you may think it should. Especially when “Alleged Child Molester” precedes it.
Making America Great Again is a lovely idea. If we embrace that which makes us intrinsically American: adherance to ideas set out in the Declaration and Constitution. Not blindly following individuals or parties as if they’re kings.
~ Written by Courtney Kirchoff