Trump’s Republicans Are Tribalistic Animals

Trump’s Republicans Are Tribalistic Animals

Conservatives have spent decades bending over so far backward to ideologically spin any situation or circumstance into a show of tribal loyalty that they have splintered their spines and minds and fallen into a paradox vortex of cognitive dissonance and hypocritical inconsistency.

It’s nothing new, conservatives have long been locked in an arms race of crazy. It’s how they win their elections while team-killing their moderates with accusations of “Republicans In Name Only,” or RINOs, and “cuckservatives.”

Meanwhile, conservatives have been spoon-fed so much political toxicity—from hyper-partisan radio entertainers and Fox News newscasters with perfected techniques of filling the day with ceaseless conspiracy theories to string along angry, hypnotized viewers salivating like Pavlovian lab animals for their daily fix of liberal demonization—that their Republican representatives are no longer allowed to play nice in the political sandbox. Tribalism has conquered the Enlightenment in America.

Naturally, the thinning of the herd of moderate Republicans exacerbated the GOP’s modern irrational tendencies, and an ideological dementia has turned Republican primaries into cesspools of the nation’s white supremacist bigotries. Donald Trump has taken advantage of the Right-Wing’s emotional instability with an alpha male façade of self-absorbed sociopathy, and conservatives have largely fallen hook, line and sinker for his slow, fascist coup of our democracy, opportunistically assisted by oligarchal ideologues who don’t mind the end of American democracy if it benefits them politically and/or financially.

The few Republicans with intellectual vitality left — Richard Painter, Joe Scarborough, George Will, Steve Schmidt, Rick Wilson, etc. — have jumped ship or distanced themselves because they acknowledge that their beloved party has fallen into the abyss of a personality cult, that their Grand Old Party has failed the nation.

The beginning of the end of our functional two-party system in America was Republicans’ refusal to criticize George W. Bush for virtually anything—let alone the botched and unnecessary American invasion and subsequent dismantling of Iraq and the failure of Afghan reconstruction. This led to conservative accusations that Democrats were treasonous and harbored terrorist sympathies for daring to question the vague and impossible whack-a-mole that the “Global War on Terror” became. The American ideal of a loyal opposition in our two-party system was crushed with the insistence that Democrats hated freedom, and it led to the Tea Party delusion that a Democratic government must be existentially obstructed. President Obama was vilified with imagined associations regarding Sharia Law, fascist-socialist-communism, and neo-Kenyan-anti-colonialism—whatever that is.

Conservatives’ existential and Pavlovian hatred of Obama snapped something in their collective, cerebral cortex in the last ten years, and they have rebounded with a willing embrace of Trump’s Mussolini-esque schtick because their instinctual fight-or-flight impulses persuade their support for Trump no matter what he does or says, no matter his objectively appalling behavior—this week turning on NATO and Germany—because his actions and mere placement atop the executive branch have been perceived as victories like public revenge for Millennials’ upcoming liberalism. The culture is rejecting conservative politics with repugnance and contempt for its utter lack of chillness, and white Evangelical conservative men are furious they are losing their privileges. Conservatism in America has devolved into Pyrrhic hysteria over culture wars it ignited and is numerically losing with increasing rapidity. And the worst part is the unadulterated racism. Obama was a good president and they couldn’t accept it.

Of course, the racism wasn’t new with Obama. It has been in the Republican Party since Democrats forced Southern segregationist governors to stop physically standing in the way of black children from going to school. It used to be that the Republican establishment would not allow the brazen intolerance that Trump parrots. The hyper-partisan replacement of moderate and diverse conservative voices in the Republican Party for straight up Nazi and KKK advocates has rotted the GOP inside out, and the only means left for the Right to cling to power is fascism. Trumpism isn’t any kind of philosophical idealism or even ideological consensus, it’s merely the act of passionately being shitty, hypocritical people to all the Americans who have mocked conservatives over the years for being shitty, hypocritical people. They’re showing us libs.

Trump’s GOP is pursuing the de-evolution of the Enlightenment, and allowing baby steps every day to fascism out of political opportunism. They call peaceful immigrants “animals,” might as well start saying it back so they see how their divisive tribalism feels.



(Picture courtesy of Gage Skidmore.)

Dash MacIntyre

Dash MacIntyre

Dash MacIntyre is a Millennial political columnist from St. Louis. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief of The Halfway Post, a satirical gazette of angrily halfway real news.