This is my first blog post since the inauguration of Joseph R. Biden Jr. as the 46th President of the United States. I wanted to wait until after his inauguration to comment on the events leading up to the inauguration, bookended by the days-long conclusion of the 2020 election and the storming of U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump (former President Donald Trump) rioters.
It is a cliche to say we are living in unique times. Every minute of every hour of everyday is unique. However, unique events have a way of repeating themselves (yes, I totally contradicted myself, for effect) on some level because of an old friend of mankind…
Our penchant for tribalism.
Tribalism is defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “tribal consciousness or loyalty” with a secondary definition of “strong in-group loyalty”.
The key word in both definitions is “loyalty”.
As I wrote in another blog post on tribalism, loyalty is something to be earned, ergo, not everyone deserves your loyalty.
And therein lies the problem…
We are allowing the so-called fringes to dictate our political and social discourse in this country. In my humble opinion, if a person identifies with far-left or far-right ideology, then that person is nigh-incapable of listening to anything practical. They simply are not receptive to pragmatism.
Unfortunately, some politicians, being the consummate opportunists they tend to be, use these rabidly dogmatic factions to gain and hold their own political power. That said, I am more optimistic than pessimistic about our future as a nation.
The Trump presidency proved that our system of government endures despite the challenges and despite the zealous support or opposition to whoever occupies the Oval Office or whichever party controls the government.
For those of us who don’t subscribe to tribalism and don’t wear our political affiliations on our sleeves for all the world to see out of misguided and misplaced loyalty, life goes on.
I prospered under the last administration, the administrations before it, and will prosper under the new administration, not because or even in spite of their governance, but because I realize that my prosperity is largely in my own hands.
We still live in the greatest country on Earth. My loyalty is to the idea and the promise our country was established upon. Not some political ideology based upon wishful thinking or on any one politician.
-The Rational Ram