Away from the Tribe

Step out of the tribe for a moment, and reflect.

Much of our national divide comes from a tribalistic mindset where adherents defend a point, policy or person simply because she or he is on their “side”. People troll conversations, posts, or ideas contrary to their own, and instead of listening, considering, and respectfully participating in the discourse, they simply and thoughtlessly insert their dissent.

As a tribe member, your reflex is to stick to the team script, ignoring any contrary evidence or facts. Because the tribe must be right. At all costs.

As tribe members, we even merge or conflate various reports in order to defend the otherwise brutish behavior of our leaders. The behavior itself no longer matters. Character no longer seems to count. It is only the side, the team, the jersey, the mascot, or the color that holds sway. This defense is part of the entrenched, tribal mindset that is gripping our nation with its’ corrosive and divisive results. We hear it daily:

“Us vs. them.”

“Blame the media.”

“Blame the other side.”

Find some nugget of “their” view that isn’t perfectly articulated, and plant your flag of defense there.

Yet as citizens, we must think more critically than defaulting to basic tribalism. The right isn’t always right. Neither is the left. Or the center. Or red. Or blue. The only acceptable aren’t a monopoly belonging solely to CNN, FOX, or your favorite media outlet. And those in search of facts are not the enemy of the people. It is the manipulation or perversion of truth that seeks to uproot and divide us.

Character matters. Truth is truth, regardless of your party affiliation, or which direction you want the future court to lean towards. We must expect and demand truth and civility from our leaders, no matter which party they are from. Even when our president, and the bevy of other elected officials, refuse to lead with civility and truth, we must expect it of ourselves, our leaders, and our children. We should never accept less, since our tribe isn’t Republican, or Democratic. Our tribe isn’t left or right. Our tribe is America, and our tribal creed is liberty, and justice for all.

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