Sunday, December 17, 2017

Brief blurts about tribes and tribalism — Clay Routledge

“The biggest threats to conservatism are psychological, not demographic, trends. As an actual philosophy of life and not just a low-resolution tribal marker, conservatism thrives when people are mentally resilient, self-reliant, and strongly invested in the interpersonal bonds that make small government viable: family, friends, and community. At the national level, all of these psychological characteristics are in decline, and with them, so is principled conservatism.

“Though it may be tempting, it would be a mistake for liberals to see these trends as politically favoring them or helping the nation. A decline of principled conservatism doesn’t mean we will see a rise of liberalism or the diminishing of tribal politics. …

“In many ways, Trumpism reflects the right-wing version of emotional safety and victimhood culture many conservatives criticize. Trump’s self-aggrandizing and fragile ego are emblematic of the self-esteem movement. Considering his age, he was ahead of the curve. Trump also employs safe-space tactics that have become all too common on many college campuses. Instead of promoting freedom, he champions censorship of speech he finds offensive and verbally attacks those who disagree him. Trump isn’t the future of conservatism. He is a prophetic warning of its retreat.

“Conservatives have always been vital to the success of America. And there remain many doing their part to sustain themselves, support their families, and contribute to the prosperity of their communities and country. But the psychological profile that inspires the best of conservatism is in danger. Instead of submitting to fear, anger, and party loyalty for short-term political victories, conservatives should start thinking about future generations. Young Americans are watching.”

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