Trump As Tribal Leader

Trump As Tribal Leader, by Rod Dreher.

[I]t will never fail to astonish me, the degree to which the Left is blind to how its own principles and illiberalism strengthens Trump.

We all see how Black Lives Matter and related leftist groups trample all over institutional authority in colleges with race-based special pleading, some of it flatly racist, and administrators yield. We see how any questioning or criticism of whatever new thing the LGBT movement demands this week is denounced harshly as evidence of bigotry, and people clam up for fear of their jobs. And so on.

Given that reality, how long did they think it was going to be before a white candidate emerged who would defend white tribal interests, and who didn’t care what any of them thought about him? If Trump is the champion of white identity politics — and he pretty much is — then the Democrats should think about how their practicing tribal identity politics has contributed to his rise on the Right.

I’m not blaming Trump on the Democrats, but I am saying that their “diversity” rhetoric, and the way they have mobilized their own tribes, has helped to create the social and cultural conditions that brought us Trump.

Liberals make enemies left and right with their total-ostracism-and-shame routine. People don’t like their bullying. Support for anything PC is always brittle, because many were bullied into it and will happily turn on the PC people if they think they can get away with it.

If you lived and worked in a cultural environment in which you were at risk at every moment of saying the “wrong” thing, and being made to pay a severe price for it — even when you are merely stating a conventional conservative opinion — well, wouldn’t you be emotionally attracted to a man like Trump?

Again, many liberals haven’t the slightest idea how their own behavior has fueled the rise of Trump.

But people are increasingly waking up to this PC nonsense as it become ever more extreme:

They finally rejected the double standard and started to apply the Left’s diversity rhetoric to themselves. If black lives matter (for example), then why don’t white lives matter? That sort of thing.

For a very long time, much liberal rhetoric has been focused on left-wing identity politics, not appealing to what unifies us as Americans, but on our tribal divisions.

But they call identifying and exacerbating difference “diversity,” and claim it as a virtue. Until whites start seeing themselves in the same way left-liberalism has taught blacks, Hispanics, gays and others to see themselves: as one tribe among many.

The upcoming US election:

Yes, Trump’s rise, and his rise as a white identity candidate, is frightening. But he didn’t come from nowhere, nor is he solely the creation of conservatism (indeed, he’s barely a conservative at all).

I expect Hillary Clinton to use a lot of unity rhetoric this fall. But here’s the thing: if she wins, I fully expect her to govern as someone who treats my own tribe — conservative Christians — as the enemy.

It’s going tribal.

The point is that the nation is fractured and fracturing. Both political parties have benefited from the ideological divide they have created, and that historical circumstances have created. What’s new about Trump is that for the first time, many whites are seeing themselves the way Democrats and the liberal media have encouraged blacks, Hispanics, and gays to see themselves: as a tribe