Tribes vs. Truth: Three Examples
Death counts, be not proud.– If you want to sound credible criticizing pandemic alarmists for padding the Covid death numbers and overstating the efficacy and safety of the vaccines, then it would be a good idea to stop shouting “Aha! The vaccine again!” every time an athlete, actress, or geriatric rock star happens to die.
Reminder to both tribes: Dying was invented, and occurring fairly regularly as a matter of fact, long before either Covid-19 or the Covid vaccines appeared among us. Neither our paralyzing fear of this moderately disruptive virus nor our panicked imagination of a murderous Pfizer gremlin under every bed will stand the test of time, in the face of the truth of universal and unstoppable death that surrounds and awaits each of us every day, as it has everyone else who ever lived, and presumably everyone who ever will live.
Profits of doom.– Corporate and defense industry behemoths are elbowing their way into the tax-funded trough to profit mightily on both Ukraine’s war of defense and its prospective post-war rebuilding plans. To the so-called populist tribe and its popularizing spokespeople, this profiteering proves that the whole war, or at least the West’s involvement in it, was nothing but corporate-globalist propaganda from the get-go. But since we know beyond any doubt that the war was directly prepared, planned, threatened, initiated, and subsequently carried on for almost a year now, at tremendous cost in Russian lives and national status, entirely by the choice and orders of the Kremlin, and justified by a quasi-argument (NATO on Russia’s borders) that would continue to be equally true after annexing Ukraine (thus justifying more aggression), would the populist interpretation not therefore imply that Vladimir Putin himself was not only in on this alleged globalist conspiracy, but that he was indeed a leading player in, if not the head of, this supposed scheme of false-flag warmongering for corporate profit?
Yes it would, necessarily. And that is why Logic is always the first virgin sacrificed on the altar of Tribal Truth. She needs to be gotten rid of at the outset in order for the whole religion to take hold.
(Corollary: Beware of all the popular populist media (and “social media”) spokespeople flogging you into terrified compliance with the narrative of globalist war profiteering on the unfair demonization of “Russia,” when these talkers themselves are garnering huge profits by hard-selling, and claiming to be the foremost advocate for, this narrative.)
Public optics.– Donald Trump has classified documents in his private residence after his term is over. This is a crime, possibly a treasonous offense. Joe Biden has classified documents in his private residence after his (vice presidential) term is over. Well, they probably weren’t very important files, and it will surely turn out to have been nothing more than an innocent oversight that he ever took them home in the first place.
The difference, of course, is merely that Trump knows why he had those files, but will not say, whereas Biden no longer remembers ever having heard of any files, cannot tell you how to get to his personal residence, and isn’t sure why President Harris would have brought her private files to his house at all. In other words, Trump’s being nominally of sound mind (though only nominally) is his damnation, whereas Biden’s protectors may squirm out of anything by way of the almost-whispered reminder of what everyone knows, namely that he has lost most of his cognitive function.
This contrast is a pretty good summary of where the American polity stands at the moment.