Nathanael Blake offers a pearl of insight,
Self-righteousness infects all sides of our politics, and makes us ridiculous. For many, politics is a way of showing oneself to be smarter, more enlightened, more compassionate, and more attuned to injustice than others. If correct politics confers moral superiority, then the wrong political views confer wickedness, and the wicked deserve to be punished. This view allows people to find in politics a socially acceptable, even applauded, outlet for cruelty and malice, as well as absolution and indulgence for that cruelty. (Mending America’s Political Divide: What Science Tells Us About Solving the Political Hatred Between the Left and the Right, Dr. Rene’ H. Levy, 105)
American identity and empathy have simply disappeared from the political arena, and the country has two wolves fighting an internal civil war. One wolf is right wing tribalism that is tearing the country apart; and one wolf is left wing tribalism that is tearing the country apart. And with continued nourishment of tribalism the associated political hatred, division, loathing, aversion, and rancor will continue; and deepened loss of empathy and absence of American identity will follow. Eventually, one of the wolves will win!
Yes! Political party sorting has divided the country, is dividing the country, and will continue to divide and deconstruct this country unless “we the people” make a definitive course correction. We the people are the problem! We need to move forward and begin to deliberately select and elect genuine leaders who are objective, not self-serving and make decisions that are in the best interests of Americans; are aware, understand, and confront the perils of partisanship; and who have a track record of leading, healing, transcending, and including, and uniting diverse groups of folks…teams and coalitions unify. We are all humans and have needs and wants and together we can make those needs and wants become reality. Each of us needs to stand in the face of power and tell the truth. Let us elect politicians who are masters of the self—healthy, unhealthy, true, and authentic—and who model the way as persons, in relationships, institutionally, socially, and by helping others and caring about others. We need values and virtue. Let us not re-elect or elect deranged idiots who manipulate followers to grow personal income, to retain power, and to deepen divisions and hate.
An opinion is that cultic-tribal addiction—political party sorting—is simply unresolved discomfort within the emotional body, or as offered in Integral Life Practice: A 21st Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening (Wilber, Patten, Leonard, and Morelli, 2008, Boston, MA: Integral, page 41, 92-93),
…the shadow or dark side of the psyche, those aspects of ourselves that we’ve split off, rejected, denied, hidden from ourselves, projected onto others, or otherwise disowned…repressed unconscious…because we’ve pushed or pressed it out of our awareness, and unconscious because we are not aware of it…But the fact that we are not conscious or aware of the shadow does not mean that it has no effect: it just expresses itself through distorted and unhealthy means-or what is typically called neuroses…safety and security are sought by bonding together and identifying (fusing) with a tribe in order to persevere and protect against outsiders. Allegiance and admiration are given to the chief…emergence of a sense of self (ego) distinct from the tribe, although it often acts impulsively on behalf of its favored group.
Undoing and reintegrating this repressed and denied unconscious to improve psychological health, individually and collectively, is process and is not easy; however, the work can free energy that has been spent shadowboxing with the self and waging an American civil war. An initial step is simply a sense of openness and a commitment to detect and root out causes, acceptance of 100% responsibility, face everything and fear nothing, and just sit in the flames of the unresolved discomfort, individually and collectively. Yes. Simply, a good dose of mindfulness, awareness, and self-restraint to unleash empathy and compassion. Let us not permit one of these ugly wolves a win.