Tribalism is Killing Us. Let’s Stop for Strategic Reasons

There is hope if people on the Left and progressives admit how human it is and how human they are to be tribalistic, angry, suspicious and bigoted.

I am from the progressives, and at this stage of American history, there is no question that the lion’s share of actual violence, literal and structural, comes from the white nationalist Right.

But that does not mean that progressives are constructive, brilliant peacebuilders. They are not. Every step of the way progress in human rights has been focused on fighting and victories, not on reconciliation, not on building communities of trust, not on building a new society.

We just build monuments to beautiful words by Martin Luther King, summarily ignore those words, and go on with a tribalistic war.

Winning is through love not hate, winning is caring for your own as well as the stranger, winning is caring for very difficult people even as you resist the harm they do to the less fortunate, as well as the harm they do to themselves.

We have never been very good at this, but now Trump and many other unscrupulous people have made us so angry, so enraged, that we are aping their behavior in every way except violence.

We need to stop, we need to reach out to enemies and help.

People assume that the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament were just being pie-eyed and utopian, recommending caring for enemies. No, actually it was advanced strategy, that is still too advanced for most people in politics.

© Marc Gopin