On tribalism, from fall Saturdays to Election Day

AP Photo

AP Photo

Finally, blessedly, college football season is upon us. It’s the unofficial sport of the South. The sport that from Labor Day to New Year’s Day helps reunite old friends and divide households.

The sport that helped us learn how to hold our noses to vote for the likes of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

Before you exclaim, “Must everything be about the election?!?” hear me out. Because I think the tribalism infecting our politics is a cousin of sports fanaticism — and, especially in the South, college football in particular.

Professional-sports fandom is most often a function of place. I grew up 90 miles from Atlanta, so I back the Braves, Falcons and Hawks. Yes, there are bandwagon fans and Yankees hangers-on all over, but for most of us it’s simple geography. While the Braves were good for much of my youth — they lost Game 7 in Minnesota on my 13th birthday — the Falcons and Hawks enjoyed only spurts of decency. Proximity alone kept me loyal to them. (Although, as a wayward pre-teen and well into my 20s, I did experiment with … rooting for the Chicago Bears.)

College sports are different. My parents went to the University of Georgia. Had we lived in Dallas or Denver, I might have liked the Cowboys or the Broncos on Sundays. But there never would have been a doubt on Saturdays. Having followed in their footsteps to Athens, there never will be, either.

College football fans forgive many a misdeed by our guys and believe the worst about our rivals. If there’s an NCAA investigation of our team, it’s a set-up. If the NCAA probes our rival, they’re gonna get the death penalty, and deservedly so — unless their good ol’ boy boosters pay off the investigators. (Sigh.) Again.

It’s like so many truthers or birthers sharing “exposes” on Facebook.

Should real evidence of actual malfeasance surface near our own program, though, there are very few contortions we won’t suffer to explain it away. Suffice it to say, Jan Kemp is not regarded by most Georgia fans as one who spoke truth to power. Barack Obama might get a warmer welcome at the Walton County GOP’s annual barbecue.

Speaking of which: If you get too caught up in partisanship, you’d be shocked to come to the Gold Dome and see the way Republican and Democratic legislators will sometimes share a smile and a slap on the back right after one gives the other the what-for in a floor speech. It’s kind of like watching Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets hugging one another after a hard-fought game and thinking, I thought they called this Clean Old-Fashioned Hate?

At least after a ballgame — eventually — most fans, win or lose, can remember it was only a game.

Governing is different, as it can quite literally be life or death depending on the issue. That’s all the more reason political tribalism, which leads us to believe it’s OK if it’s our gal did it but not if your guy did, is so corrosive. The things we excuse in the name of party loyalty seem to get more egregious with each election.

If only it were just a game.

Football remains just a game, and I’ve learned to tone it down over the years, even if I still think traffic incidents involving scooters and Georgia football players really aren’t worthy of arrests and suspensions.

Just please, Kirby Smart, don’t ever pull a Trump with my Bulldogs. I can handle only so much self-imposed exile from my tribe.

Reader Comments 0

129 comments
lvg
lvg

"The things we excuse in the name of party loyalty seem to get more egregious with each election."  and  "Self imposed exile from my tribe" is best Kyle can do in showing disapproval of Trump.????

Examples please?

Or is speaking out against excesses of Stupid party not allowed?

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

You are the Grifter Queen,old and mean, only seventee
Grifting Queen, feel the heat from the Benghazee, 
You can dance, you can jive, living the lies of your life

See that old girl, forget that scene, not voting the Grifter Queen. 

MarkVV
MarkVV

@RafeHollister Isn’t it amusing as well as pathetic to what degree of childishness some people sink in politics?

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@MarkVV @RafeHollister LOL- Parody is an art form.  Laughter is a good medicine.   SNL has made millions on their parodies.  Colbert and  Stewart made a living parodying conservatives. 


They all succeed because there is so much truth in parodies.  I bet you yuck it up when SNL or Colbert rips the Donald's yellow hair and orange face.  Most everyone could get a good laugh if the MSM would torch Hillary occasionally.  But they ignore her flaws and cover up her mistakes at all cost.   You see some conservative laughing at a proggie and it comes across as strange, because that is not allowed in many forums.  


Lighten up Mark!

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@MarkVV @RafeHollister 

I think it's a lot more pathetic than amusing but I do agree that Hillary's sink into the slime of politics has at times appeared childish. Take for example what has recently come out about her aides being appalled at her childish disregard for protecting classified information. 

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@RafeHollister @MarkVV What a great point. Like I was saying to my budrow the other day, Trump is perceived as being a little on the slow side and the things that he says sure doesn't help with the perception. But don't get me wrong here, we all have our moments. But with the left, it's like some kind of idol worship, they totally freak out when they hear criticism of their chosen candidate/saviors, like they are superhuman, above all reproach. It's a mental thing with these people, like you're questioning their entire reason for existing. They have no concern for opposing views. They do not at all try to understand. It is the most simplified opinions that they have, like kamikazes or James Jones cult members. 


No matter how much evidence there is, it just does not matter to them.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@RafeHollister @MarkVV  I am all in favor of fun on either side of the political spectrum. But not all "fun" is funny, as demonstrated by your childish creation. Why not try to write something showing a droplet of intelligence?

MarkVV
MarkVV

@RafeHollister @MarkVV There is a difference between humor and insult. Making fun of Donald's hair or tint, or Hillary's cackle is humor, a primitive one, but humor. Calling Mrs. Clinton a Grifter is an insult. It is like writing a jingle in which Donald would be called a pedophile.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

 When Joel Kotkin’s Center for Opportunity Urbanism measured the best cities for racial minorities (by median household income, self employment, housing affordability and population growth), it found something seldom reported. Of the top 15 cities for African-Americans, 13 are in the former Confederacy. Surely this says something about the failure of the progressive, blue-state north.


http://www.wsj.com/articles/hillary-clintons-kkk-smear-1472512780


Maybe one day you will realize who the real racists are.




MarkVV
MarkVV

@IReportYouWhine That is a laughable argument. Those states are where their ancestors were brought to, they are their spiritual home.

 

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@MarkVV @IReportYouWhine Got nothing to do with where they live, it has to do with how well they live in different states.   Did you read the post and the link? 


Blue states are drags on economic liberty.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

70 days


That all you guys have left.


Then Trump can go back to selling the worlds best steaks or whatever the hell else he does.


And Democrats can move forward with the business of actually running the country.



AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@Hedley_Lammar  or whatever the hell else he does.


Any major American city has one of his skyscrapers all up in the middle of their skylines and the college educated have no clue what he does. They probably think you can sit around all day discussing a skyscraper, like they do for everything in their bleak existences, and it will just appear all of a sudden. They can't even back up their emails and they look down on those who design, construct and employ, like they are worthless. 


What a truly sad person.


Hillary is going to get smoked, SMOKED, in the debates. She won't even make it to the very first bathroom break. They'll probably have to revive her. And just like Reagan was down 20 points to Carter before they debated, what follows will be a Trump landslide.


Yes, you can quote me on that.





LogicalDude
LogicalDude

Since I'm a Bama fan, I have a little soft spot for Kirby Smart.  I hope he does well, and I hope he actually gives the Crimson Tide a good challenge. 

Some of the best games I've seen were knock-out drag out fights that both teams fought hard all four quarters. the end result only swung one way or the other based on the clock stopping while one team was ahead.  See?  There are ways for tribes to reach across and be reasonable with each other.  Just like Crimson tide fans and Dawg fans having a celebration at the tailgates after a game.  Now, if partisan tribes could do similar acts of togetherness then we might restart the conversation of how to move the country forward the best way.

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

I like that last line the most Kyle. Go Dawgs!

Bruno2
Bruno2

If VC checks in sometime tomorrow, I want to get his opinion on my latest purchase: a home theater system using Martin Logan Motion 40 speakers in the front, a Motion 8 center channel, a Dynamo 500 subwoofer and a pair of Studio Monitor 55 bookshelf speakers.  I am a big Klipsch fan, but they no longer sell their reference speakers, only offering a lower grade.  There is something about horn speakers that I love, but the MLs sound great.  I paired the five speakers and subwoofer with a Marantz SR5010 receiver.  As a package, it sounds great.

Bruno2
Bruno2

Greetings from the coast, bloggers.  I finally got the hell out of Columbus and am starting the last phase of my career near Savannah.  I do have to offer my sincere apologies to anyone who has been complaining about the Atlanta traffic and is calling for some alternative solutions.  I didn't realize how much worse things have gotten since I left 6 years ago.  I spent the last 3 weeks in Lithonia and it's a nightmare to travel any of the interstates around Atlanta now.  I think I wore out my horn, high beams and middle finger fighting off these crazy, super-aggressive drivers who make life miserable for everyone else.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

^^^The fifth-grader is still in the hospital and still in pain, according to his mother Mellanie Washington.  He doesn't talk as much and cries more often.  Sometimes he'll ask if police have arrested the person who shot him.


"I tell him they will soon," Washington said. "They will."  No one was in custody as of Monday.


Tavon was among more than 400 people shot in Chicago this month. There have been at least 78 homicides, marking August as the most violent  month in the city in almost 20 years, according to data provided by the Chicago Police Department. And there are two more days to go.^^^


http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-august-most-violent-shootings-chicago-20160829-story.html


I would put the National Guard on the streets of Chicago. In every neighborhood. They are ready, they are available. Instant law and order. 


Apparently, black lives really don't matter.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

Anthony Weiner, Bill Clinton. Cut from the same cloth. If Anthony had as many apologists as Bill does, Huma would be shrieking about a "vast right wing conspiracy." Apparently, Anthony is disposable. The big thing that Trump is missing here, along the lines of the "Crooked Hillary" thing, is the "Creepy Bill" truthism. He should, like, you know, capitalize on it.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

It will only be a matter of time because many former conservative regulars along with former liberal regulars are no longer posting on Bookman's, blog that the grubers will be coming over here to troll. Some are already trolling on Kyle's, blog regularly. Bookman's FNM, has  deteriorated to only a handful of posters.  

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@SGTGrit I haven't even clicked on that blog in over two years but my guess is that kamwhack and gitmo will go down with the ship.

Here's_to_Blue
Here's_to_Blue

@SGTGrit I'll reply to your comment here as well.  A lot of the regular bloggers who may have dropped off did so when the AJC went to a pay wall for reading and making comments on the opinion blogs.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

It's a set up?

Both of our presidential candidates have set THEMSELVES up.

One for withholding (Clinton) one for not withholding (Trump)...

Trump runs wide open.

What can I say? ^^^ that's my best attempt at football analogies. 

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@RafeHollister @FIGMO2

I could've mentioned fumbles and turnovers but I didn't know how to fit 'em in.

I was scrimmaging?

(ISH)

Bruno2
Bruno2

@RafeHollister @FIGMO2 You should check it out when Fig puts her backfield in motion..... She gives the term "tight end" a whole new meaning.  ; > }

The Doom
The Doom

Tribalism?


I'm just glad my tribe is bigger, badder, and meaner than any other tribe out there. 


Roll Tide!  

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

^^^ For an organization that is supposedly a charity, the Clinton Foundation spent very little money on "direct aid." IRS documents showed that the Foundation raised over $500 million from 2009-2012, and yet the Clinton Foundation only spent $75 million on "programmatic grants."


"The other $425 million was allocated as follows: more than $25 million went for travel expenses; almost $110 million for employee salaries and benefits; and $290 million for 'other expenses,'" reports Discover The Networks.^^^


http://www.dailywire.com/news/8561/7-things-you-need-know-about-clinton-foundation-aaron-bandler


And that doesn't count all of the foreign "donations" that they tried to hide from the IRS.


And as far as Trump U defrauding anyone, google "university fraud" and see how many students are suing public institutions because the lame education they received is worthless.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@IReportYouWhine Those students should have attended Laurette University, where Slick would have looked after them.  He only made $17 million as an "honorary trustee".  Of course, Hillary had to provide the "pro" for all that quid, by adding Laurette to all the education seminars sponsored by the Dept of Clinton.  AND, she claims to be against "for profit" education, haha, any "for profit" that doesn't grease her palm, anyway.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Someone said it before but it bears repeating


Trump University - defrauded people out of millions.


Clinton Foundation - Stellar ratings from charity watchdog groups and has helped millions around the world


Interesting that they see the foundation as the enemy but Trump U ? Well that isnt fair cause Trump said that Mexican Judge ain't fair. 


You just cant make this stuff up

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

The far-left AKA progressives think that fixing something that isn't broken through inane experimentation is progression. Over the last eight years of Obama's transformation we've witnessed regression not progression. The failing ACA is an example. Another is a weakened military due to the governments social experimentation. Still more evidence of regression is a severely weakened economy that has had to depend on a federal reserve printing money to prevent economic collapse. I can go on and on but the progressive experimentation has produced dismal results. No generalities just realities.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@SGTGrit For some people, allowing millions of Americans to get health insurance, and stopping insurance companies from denying insurance is a regression, not progression.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Hedley_Lammar @SGTGrit @MarkVV 

Oh please that tired old notion that Bush had sole responsibility for the great recession is proven bunk. There was plenty of blame to go around and both political parties shared responsibility along the financial sector.

Now on the ACA you would have to be willfully ignorant not know that three major insurer players in the ACA are scaling their participation way back. Why are they doing so? Because they're losing tons of money. Why are they losing money? Because the foolish notion that healthy young people's participation would offset the cost of insuring those in poor health. The fact is that healthy people are not offsetting the cost of insuring the others because they're dropping out due to rising premiums. Can you say the predicted "death spiral".

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@SGTGrit @Hedley_Lammar @MarkVV Oh please that tired old notion that Bush had sole responsibility for the great recession is proven bunk.


Umm no it isnt. They dont call it the Bush recession for nothing.



What do you think is going to happen when you 


1. Give tax cuts to your rich buddies who dont need them


2. Start two trillion dollar wars.


3. Deregulate everything leading to Enron and the housing crisis


That was all on Bush.


Can you say the predicted "death spiral".


Been hearing that for 7 years now. Listen nobody said ACA wouldnt need some tweaking. SS has been modified many many times as well. But if you think we are going back to the way it was before. And throw about 20 million people off insurance in the process you are nuts.


We have one of two choices.


1. Fix ACA which can be done if Congress will get serious


2. Single Payer


That is it. There are no other options. 

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Hedley_Lammar @SGTGrit @MarkVV 

"Bush recession", that would be like calling the dot.com bust the Clinton, recession. Of course Bush, could take credit for fixing the 2000 recession, while giving discredit to Obama, for prolonging the one that he inherited. 


How would you propose the congress fix the ACA? How could we fund a single payer system when medicare is going broke?

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Hedley_Lammar @SGTGrit @MarkVV 

Social Security is already technically broke because government can't pay back the IOU's for money they've borrowed from it. Medicare is indeed going broke. I guess you must be one of those who think we can borrow money and continue only paying interest on the debt forever. Enjoy your unicorn fantasies.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@SGTGrit @Hedley_Lammar @MarkVV Its just facts


SS is just fine. And all that needs to be done is raise the cap a bit and it will be fine basically forever. 


DId you know that SS took in 55 BILLION more dollars than it sent out in 2014 ?


Of course you didn't.


And even if we dont raise the cap SS wont be broke. It just wont pay out as much as before. But they will still have money. The "broke" word is just used to scare people.


The program is rock solid and isnt going anywhere. 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@SGTGrit @Hedley_Lammar @MarkVV Yawn


I gave you all the facts. Nothing in that report contradicts any of that. 


Over the program's 80-year history, it has collected roughly $19.0 trillion and paid out $16.1 trillion, leaving asset reserves of more than $2.8 trillion at the end of 2015 in its two trust funds.


Exactly what I said.



Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Not with the large number of Democrat losers infesting our once-great nation, no.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@SGTGrit @MarkVV @Hedley_Lammar I have had enough to say about this issue in detail already. When someone then keeps repeating this worn out, stupid and inhuman argument,all one can do is to dismiss it as such.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Blaming Our President Bush for Enron isn't any more honest than blaming Him for 9/11. Enron's bankruptcy was years in the making and declared in 2001. Like 9/11, it had its roots deep into the Clinton administration, but of course that's not very interesting to leftists.

Just another Democrat "hot potato" tossed to Our President Bush. And he never complained about it, or blamed others, like crybaby America-hater Obozo.

bu22
bu22

@SGTGrit @Hedley_Lammar @MarkVV Medicare is in far worse shape than social security is.  Neither one has funds to pay out their future obligations.  That's the definition of broke.  But Democrats are financial illiterates.  They thought just because they told banks to make bad loans that everyone would profit.  Next stop-2008.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Hedley_Lammar @SGTGrit @MarkVV 

Of course you skipped over the opening report comments about pending shortfalls and neglected to mention the federal government borrowing from the trust funds backed by worthless government IOU's. Geez, you liberals are either willfully ignorant, totally ignorant or just plain stupid. Gruber on.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@xxxzzz @SGTGrit @Hedley_Lammar @MarkVV Neither one has funds to pay out their future obligations. 


Yes they do. And even if they come up short they aren't going to pay out NOTHING. That is the exact opposite of "broke"


Nobody told the banks to make all those loans. They got greedy.



Thanks for playing.