Can Americans Resist the Pull of Tribalism?

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Humans are tribal. But in America today, the allure of tribalism takes us down one treacherous path after another. American political elites have ignored the group identities that matter most to ordinary Americans. Identity politics have seized both the left and right in an especially dangerous, racially inflected way to the point that every group now feels threatened. To survive, America must transcend tribal fears and loyalties and forge an authentic national identity: one that acknowledges the reality of group differences and fights the deep inequities that divide us. Underwritten by Koch Industries.

  • 2018 Festival
  • USA
Humans are tribal, we are hard-wired to be that way. We need to belong to groups, and once we do, the effect is almost like a drug. It’s only when tribalism takes over a political system that things get very dangerous. At that point, everybody starts to see things only through the lens of their group and then facts and arguments don’t matter.
J.D. Vance
67% of the white working class feel that they are subject to more discrimination than minorities. (source: Political Tribes by Amy Chua)
I think it’s a huge difference between saying that we are country with great principles that we have repeatedly failed to live up to, so we must try harder -- there’s a huge difference between saying that and saying that America is at its core a land of oppression. We are a land of white supremacy. We are a land of genocide. Because if we are truly nothing but a land of white supremacist genocide, why is it even a country worth fighting for?
Amy Chua

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