Blaming others without solutions a popular political tool
To the Editor:
In US Sen Joni Ernst’s guest editorial in this paper on Nov 22nd, she demonstrated what is wrong with today’s politics: Blaming others for the problems without offering any solutions. Blaming is a political tool that promotes tribalism defined as the behaviors and attitudes that stem from strong loyalty to one’s own social group. Left unchecked in politics, tribalism can lead to despotism as it did with Hitler in Germany.
Tribalism does not require listening to others or learning new perspectives or ideas. Tribalism lets us off the hook for finding solutions with other groups. Blaming promotes feelings of disgust and distrust, not empathy. Without shared trust and empathy, democracy is weakened.
Recent events in Washington DC cause doubt in our leaders’ priorities. Examples include minimizing the Jan 6th attack and voting against Biden’s Infrastructure and Build Back Better bills when most economists predict the bills will strengthen prosperity and jobs over time. These actions suggest prioritizing party over constituents and our democracy.
Elected officials won’t stop using tribalism until we stop falling for it. If you feel a need for change, I offer up two thought leaders. Check out the nonpartisan ideas of Ted Liu at Citizen University and Baratunde Thurston at How to Citizen. Then start “citizening.”