Friday, December 2, 2016

Red Tribe and Blue Tribe

Read this (very long) post from Scott Alexander, I Can Tolerate Anything Except the Outgroup, and its (very long) sequel, Five Case Studies on Politicization, and you'll understand most of the problems with the world.

There's definitely a "red tribe" and a "blue tribe". Red tribe is cultural conservatives and blue tribe is cultural liberals. And I fit in with the red tribe almost to a tee. I'm from rural Mississippi, I'm Christian, I was homeschooled, I'm a teetotaler, etc. I'm probably the most conservative demographic in America. And each tribe has an outgroup: the red tribe has both the blue tribe and outsiders, but somehow the blue tribe made the red tribe the only outgroup. His eventual conclusion is that liberals think conservatives are worse than ISIS at a gut level. Sadly, this is a lot of why I'm not liberal any more. I don't want to hang out with a crowd that thinks I'm worse than ISIS. And unfortunately, a lot of the left looks down on me because I'm from the wrong part of the country, I have the wrong accent, I go to the wrong church, I do the wrong things that the wrong people enjoy. No matter how liberal my political views were, they still saw that I was the wrong kind of person. Being a white evangelical homeschooled Mississippian on the left is like being a gay Muslim Mexican on the right.

The absolute worst thing for Christianity is for it to be identified with the red tribe. It's almost impossible to evangelize to blue tribe people. For this reason, I'd consider people like Nadia Bolz-Weber to be very important - she's a Christian pastor and about as blue tribe as they come. Meanwhile, the red tribe people are already sure they're Christian because they were born into the right family or they had a religious experience once when they were younger. It doesn't matter how they act. Most of my blue tribe Christian friends have quit the faith. They don't act very different from secular blue tribe people and there's not much incentive for them to stay if they live in a blue tribe bubble. If they want to stay in religion, they tend to go to more blue tribe-friendly religions like Wicca.

It's also horrible, like I mentioned above, for liberals trying to explain their views to people like me. There are some who accept me and don't look down on me, and I respect them a lot. But in my experience, most of them do look down on me and everything I love. I don't want to live in a big city, I don't want to eat organic everything, I don't want to see Hamilton, etc. And as I'll go into detail in the future, I hate snark.

One of the worst things about this election is that my red tribe, the people who think and act like me, went almost wholesale for Donald "Antichrist" Trump. If I was part of the blue tribe it wouldn't hurt so bad. I wish the red tribe got the sensible candidate and the blue tribe got the complete moron, like if it had been Marco Rubio vs. Bernie Sanders. Of course, most blue tribe people I know wanted Bernie anyway. Ironically they're the same people who wouldn't shut up about Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump all the time. And they were mad about having to vote for uncool Hillary instead of cool edgy Bernie.

Seriously, Scott Alexander's posts put a lot of my thoughts into words way better than I could. He comes from a completely different perspective but he comes to the same conclusions. Read them if you have the time, I don't know how to summarize them.

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