It appears that, once again, I am a bit of an outcast. In high school my grades had me in classes with the “smart kids,” I played football and baseball with “the jocks,” but my best friends were “the rednecks.” That was mostly due to my prodigious drinking and love of (real) country music. I’m not sure I fully belonged to any of the groups but I didn’t care. I had a good time. And I forged friendships that have now lasted more than thirty years.
Of course in High School there were several cliques we could join. In addition to the ones listed above, there were the Stoners, the Nerds, the Goths, the Misfits and many others I can’t remember. Unfortunately, in the big socio-political debates underway, we are now being given only two choices.
If you are a member of either Tribe, independent and/or critical thought is NOT permitted. To even suggest that, “Yeah, they were wrong, but the other person could have…” is grounds for excommunication from whatever tribe one was currently residing. They paint members of the other tribe as cartoonishly evil. They view them as simple caricatures who possess no nuanced humanity.
Since both Tribes are founded on the fiction that only THEY possess the answers, those who abandon the Tribe repudiate all that they stand for. They have spent decades placing people in their respective tribes while insuring them that the only thing standing between them and total annihilation was the *other* tribe. If a few tribe members break free and discover that they indeed can make it on their own without their Tribe, others will follow. Soon, the Tribe will die out. This is NOT tolerated.
Want evidence? Give it a shot. If you decry the White Nationalists you will most assuredly be branded by the right as a Hillary-loving cuck who wants America to fail. Point out the obvious violence inherent in AntiFa and their ilk and you will be condemned as a white nationalist, Nazi, racist, etc. etc. etc. Again, no sober and independent analysis is brooked.
Therefore, I am proposing the creation of my own tribe.
In my tribe, we subscribe to the notion that people should be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. We heard a smart man say that years ago and it’s kinda stuck with us.
In my tribe, we don’t burn crosses OR American flags. We will gladly, though, burn premium Cigars.
In my tribe, we subscribe to the “live and let live” philosophy. We want to enjoy our lives without being forced to conform to someone else’s ideology. We would feel pretty crappy if someone had to involuntarily make even a minor lifestyle change to accommodate us.
In my tribe we don’t pretend to understand the ins and outs of transgenderism. Yeah, it creeps us out just a bit; but we’re not going to hold it against you. That is for you and God to ultimately settle. But do NOT expect us to enthusiastically support any effort that would allow biological males to share locker room facilities with young girls.
In my tribe, we understand that while the United States has never been perfect, it has been and remains a powerful force for good in the world. We recognize that this great experiment in representative Democracy has been mostly a positive force for the planet. We acknowledge the serious bumps that have occurred along the road; but we also realize that it has worked out FAR better than anyone expected.
In my tribe, we do not exist to be offended. In fact, we cannot fathom the circumstances whereby we could take multiple days off of work and travel hundreds of miles to scream at everyone that we’re offended by something.
In my tribe, we think it’s futile to expect government to fix everything. We realize that some form of government is needed in a nation of 320 million people. But we also realize that since it (by definition) has a monopoly on force that they need to be checked at every possible opportunity.
In my tribe, we hate abortion. But we hate even more the thought that government can tell someone they cannot have one.
In my tribe, we don’t give a rat’s arse if you are gay. We *do* care if you place that as your most compelling characteristic. There should be much more to you than that.
In my tribe, we celebrate the inherent differences between men and women. We recognize that such general deviation is what makes us (ultimately) complete. We also recognize and celebrate the inevitable variants. We don’t mind the dude that decorates our house or the gal that hangs the sheetrock.
In my tribe, we subscribe to the quaint notion that someone is innocent until proven guilty. That includes those accused of rape. We think that if you are going to make an accusation that could land someone in jail for a very long time, then you had DAMNED sure better have evidence.
In my tribe we realize that, sometimes, bad things happen to good people. We also recognize that there is sometimes NO fault to place…there is nothing that needs to be fixed. Just because someone bad happens doesn’t mean there automatically has to be a boogeyman.
In my tribe we prefer “reason” to “force.” That applies whether we’re dealing with someone else or someone else is dealing with us.
In my tribe, we know a good con when we see it. We recognize that the Earth’s climate has been changing for millions of years…and will continue to. And this will happen without regard to how many Prius’ are on the nation’s interstates. We would be FAR more willing to listen to Climate Change alarmists if every proposed solution would not hamstring capitalism in general, and American Capitalism in particular.
Speaking of Capitalism, in my tribe we believe the Free Market has been the most efficient tool man has ever created for pulling people out of poverty. Whatever system is in second place is a DISTANT second. Capitalism remains not only the most effective economic system on the planet—but also the most moral.
In my tribe, we have a strong sense of respect for Law Enforcement; recognizing it as a dangerous and thankless job whose practitioners have to deal with people in crisis situations—people who are often at their worst. That deep respect also means that we vigorously oppose those who abuse such power. We recognize that if we are going to arm people and give them the power of arrest—they MUST be held to a very high standard.
In my tribe, we detest those who promote hatred, bigotry and intentional divisiveness. But we will support forever their right to spew such venom without being arrested or being compelled by threats or force to be silent. We realize that living in a nation where people are forcibly silenced for having unpopular beliefs is FAR worse than living in a nation where we have to listen to inanity.
In my tribe, we believe in the right of each individual person to choose the best method with which to defend themselves, their family and their property. We see the folly of those who rely on The State for the most basic elements of life (including personal protection.)
In my tribe, we recognize that bad things can happen to good people. And quite often it is NO ONE’s fault. We believe it is a fool’s errand to try and assign culpability for every bad thing that happens. We realize that the zeal to create a risk-free world also creates a freedom-free world.
In my tribe, we subscribe to the ultimate authority of The Constitution in all matters of government. We realize that this means things must be done that go against the “feelings du jour.” We don’t really care.
In my tribe we have only one real litmus test for supporting a politician. “Do you trust me, or do you NOT trust me?”
So…who wants to join my tribe? The best thing is, I don’t care if I am alone or not. And if you join, you won’t be tossed out on your ass for asking tough questions.