Don't Like Tribalism? Sorry, You Missed the Bus
In the week of Bombgate and now Synagoguegate, Jonah Goldberg wrings his hands over the temptations of tribalism, while Angelo Codevilla says, more or less, that we are in a revolution, sports fans, so get used to it.
Look, I get Jonah's point. When you get to the point of dueling tribalisms, as now, then the partisans on each side just pick up the narrative of their own side, and damn the torpedoes. And that's a shame.
In other words, we are in a revolutionary situation where nobody will be satisfied except by a trial of arms between the two American tribes. Hopefully, the trial of arms will be a succession of electoral defeats for the Democrats.
Trouble is that last time this happened, when the Democrats lost five of six presidential elections in a row, and they cried Uncle, and declared themselves moderate New Democrats, we the voters believed them and elected Bill Clinton in 1992. And what did the Democrats do? They pushed HillaryCare, and then got their heads handed to them in 1994 with the first Republican Congress in 40 years.
You'd think the Democrats would learn from that. Instead they did Resistance 1.0 after the 2000 change election. Hey, Dems. Sometimes you win a change election by a hair. Remember 1960? Some people said you guys won that change election with a bit of honest graft in Illinois with Mayor Daley, proprietor, and Texas with Lyndon Johnson, proprietor.
Now we are in Resistance 2.0, the second change election in 20 years that the Democrats have refused to concede. Are they dumb or somep'n?
The problem, Jonah, is that nicey-nicey, à la Bush, ain't gonna do it, not anymore. We are in a situation where, twice in 20 years, Democrats have refused to concede a normal change election where the result went against them. And let it be said that both times, the refusal to concede started right at the top with Candidates Gore and Clinton.
If Democratic leaders won't concede normal change elections and say, "We are all Americans" and "Wait until next time," then someone needs to teach them a lesson, good and hard.
But Paul Ryan is on 60 Minutes mourning the rise of the "left-wing Alinsky thing" on the right.
Unfortunately the right practices identity politics as well. It's the day and age, technology and everything else, identity politics which is now being pack practiced on both sides of the aisle is unfortunately working.
That's in response to the usual question-begging question from CBS's John Dickerson asking whether President Trump's rallies "sow division in the country."
You mean to say, in the immortal words of Mike Wallace, that the politician President Trump tries to divide the American people into "us" and "them"? No kidding!
That is why I invented my maxim that "politics is division." It means, John Dickerson, that politics, all politics, is about dividing people into tribes of "us" and "them." Our side? Good guys. The other side? Bad guys. We win; they lose. Full Stop. Period.
Then there is my "Law of the Incoming Rounds." People are really sensitive about other people attacking their side. They don't bother much about the stuff their own side shoots off. Ever notice that, John Dickerson?
If you don't like incoming rounds, then don't do politics, Mr. Dickerson and Mr. Speaker.
Hey, maybe that's why Speaker Ryan is retiring. He has finally realized that politics is division, and he doesn't like it.
You can see the worldview behind the question John Dickerson poses. He just has no clue that his side, the elite educated-class media bubble, is playing identity politics and shooting off virulent attacks on the other side every day of the week. But he is shocked, shocked, at the violent rhetoric of the customers at the bar of
Rick's Café Américain Don's Café Trumpien. Basically, our liberal friends are saying "No Fair" that the Trump Republican Party is now doing the "Alinsky-style thing." 'Cos Alinsky's Rules are for Radicals, not for Deplorables.
Let us say it again. The reason we got Trump is that the conservative movement – that's you, Jonah & Co. – and the Republican Party – that's you, Paul Ryan & Co. – failed to defend ordinary middle-class people from years and years of the left calling us all racists, sexists, and homophobes. So now Paul Ryan is deploring that President Trump is firing back? Hey, Paul, if you had defended us with the courage and chutzpah of President Trump, maybe you would now be president, with the Democrats in the middle of another New Democrat cycle pretending there ain't nobody here but us moderates.
Instead, we have our General Trump, of whom some like to say, "We can't spare this man. He fights."
Or, as the left likes to say: "Revolution, baby!"
Christopher Chantrill (@chrischantrill) runs the go-to site on U.S. government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.