Danger of tribalism

Updated 9/22/2021 1:15 PM

Politics seems to depend on outrage. The stakes must be raised on every disagreement. You think voters need to show ID, your opponents yell "racism!" (Racism? Really?) You think people shouldn't be required to get a vaccine or wear a mask during a pandemic, your opponents yell about how they are losing "freedom" and make comparisons to Nazi death camp tattoos. (Oppression? Seriously?) It would be absurd ... except it apparently works. At least as far as political fundraising.

What it actually proves though, is not who is "right" but that humans must innately enjoy being part of a tribe and fighting against other tribes just because we hate them. No surprise, but this doesn't lead to good decision-making.


How about we look at each proposal as it is being suggested and evaluate it on its merits and worry a lot less about which side is proposing it and how we can inflate the outrage? Maybe vote for good ideas and against bad or unworkable ideas? How about less outrage and more actual dialogue? It would make the politicians work a little harder to earn our votes and make it less annoying to watch the news.

Peter Hybert


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