The tribalism is getting worse, on both sides

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 10:38 PM | comments: 0

I've written many times that people treating politics as if it were a sports rivalry is I think the core problem in our culture. I seem to recall in my teen and college years that there was a healthy skepticism of all politicians, regardless of party, but maybe I was just naive at the time.

In the obvious case, average Joe's and career GOP politicians are lining up behind the president, defending him for the indefensible. Look, this is a guy who did and said things that no person would excuse as an employee in a minimum wage job before he was even elected. Now the guy released evidence showing he asked a foreign power to investigate his political rival, then did it in public asking another country to do the same. Forget whether or not it was quid pro quo (it was, look it up), the whistle blowers, the Democratic opposition... they're all secondary to the thing you can plainly see he did wrong. Now the same people, who took an oath to defend the Constitution, are calling the impeachment process unconstitutional when it's literally enumerated in the Constitution. We've landed in bizarro world.

The other side doesn't get a pass. Last weekend, Ellen took in a football game with George W. Bush, and she took all kinds of shit for it. Now, it's no secret that I'm about as far from a W. fan as possible. Years beyond his presidency, I think he made some terrible decisions on the basis of even worse information, for sure (though the special place in hell belongs to Dick Cheney), but at the end of the day I can't really do anything about any of it. It's already more than a decade in the past. He's a human being, and there isn't a reason that Ellen can't be kind to him. We have to stop this ridiculous fucking with-me-or-against-me nonsense.

I'm more centrist than I ever used to be, probably because the constant extremes are exhausting. Admittedly, there is no moral equivalence between describing white supremacists as "some good people" and subsidizing college, so even if I don't agree with either one, I'll side with the college because it's not going to get anyone killed. But the tribalism prevents us from even talking about anything. Congress hasn't done anything useful in at least six years and keep passing record deficits. People vote for the dog catcher based on party instead of ability. We have the government we deserve.

Just stop it with the sports rivalry politics. Let's go back to the healthy suspicion of both sides, engage in critical thinking, and stop enabling the shit show.


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