A thoughtful column from David Brooks - the "thinking man's" Republican, you know, one of those few Republicans who actually reads. A vanishing species. Usually Brooks is sort of a comic figure. He often twists himself into a pretzel trying to stick to his beloved GOP, you know, sort of Tribal? Over the years, he has been a figure of hilarity. But this column on John McCain is filled with some interesting ideas.
I especially liked this: "Human beings can be rallied around one of three things: religion, tribe or ideals." Yes. Indeed. And I think that explains many of our basic conflicts and misunderstandings.
Some folks are spouting old -time wisdom from the Bible, Koran, Torah. They tell you they are speaking the language of God. Any other language, or book, is disregarded.
Some folks are dedicated to their tribe - white, black, brown, country, city, North, South. The tribe is not inclusive, it thrives on being exclusive, tribes are defined by who they don't let in.
Some folks are dedicated to ideals - Liberty, Fraternity, Equality. They live in a world of aspiration, always trying to live up to an imagined Utopia of freedom, equality, human compassion. Maybe not so practical.
I flatter myself thinking, of course, I'm one of those "Idealists." Maybe not always practical or real world, but hopeful, always hopeful for a better day, a better human.
Still, if you realize human beings are naturally rallying around different things, lots of pain and havoc and hilarity are inevitable.
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