Election 2016: American tribalism on display

Only 77 high octane days of campaigning left until the election and only about 77 days until the drone strikes aside, the best president is leaving to be replaced with whoever emerges from the ashes left by the Clinton and Trump campaigns.

This race has been divisive and a highly stressful affair for minorities both of the ethnic and religious variety.

It’s also been an anxious affair for disenfranchised white people who feel that their government in the past few decades has turned its back on them. America is more divided and different in every way, despite both campaigns being run in startlingly similar ways.
Granted, the candidates are not the same in how they present themselves, but both come from wealthy families.

Hillary’s father owned a successful company in the textile supply industry whose clients included offices, hotels and airlines. Donald’s daddy passed on the family business of real estate to his son and was worth close to a quarter of a billion dollars. America is choosing between two people with comparable upbringings.

The candidates are distinct, and people should vote according to what they believe in. But the reason why both candidates are where they are is the same reason why we care about where Kate Middleton and Prince George are vacationing this month. Royal families can thrive off of their celebrity status in democracies just as well as they did when monarchs reigned.

Both of these campaigns are being run in the United States of America, and despite the deep division between their supporters, they are all Americans first and Democrats or Republicans second. Americans have certain pushable buttons, the most obvious being parents of dead children to justify political stances.

For Trump it is Mary Commanday, the mother of the American ambassador who was killed in the Benghazi attacks on the American Embassy in 2012.

For Hillary it is Khizr Khan, the father of an American soldier who was killed during the War on Terror in Iraq 12 years ago.

Whether you agree with either party’s stance (Trump is a racist/Clinton is a criminal), from an objective view, both campaigns are using dead American patriots as pawns to prove a point.

This is because regardless of political affiliation, married Americans with children are more likely to vote, with married couples making up 58% of the total voting population and 65% of the votes cast in 2000. So don’t worry America, you’re not as divided as you think.

A second parallel between both campaigns is one that does not need stats, and that’s the fact that there are some Americans (a huge country—meaning that there’s a lot of them) that are cuckoo for cocopuffs. Take the father of the terrorist behind the Orlando shooting.

This man is a big fan of the Taliban; a terrorist organization that was put into power as a result of American intervention, then removed as a result of American intervention. Regardless of how they came into power, the Taliban, known for its atrocities, is not the team you want to be rooting for.

David Duke, a former grand wizard at the Ku-Klux Klan and elected state official, is also not a savoury endorsement. He shares the anti-Semitism of the Taliban, as well as intolerant views of the LGBT community, not to mention the disgusting history of racism against African Americans.

Both of these endorsements are coming from bad people, but these two men, aside from their similar disposition, share something in common.

They are both American citizens who have the right to endorse a candidate. Americans should take this as positive, regardless of party affiliation, their candidate comes from money, uses dead children to curry favor, and has really bad homophobic endorsements from the fringes of society.

Americans are going through a real catastrophe of an election. On one side the rafters are filled with racists, while the opposing team is filled with terrorist and terrorist sympathizers from the perspectives of the opposing political tribe.

At least the similarities between each election campaign show that each wing of the overarching tribe of America still reacts to the same triggers.

About Josh Skinner 66 Articles
Josh Skinner is a loose cannon that gets results in the field of Journalism. He began in Radio doing interviews with local community members with his show Trent Variety, in 2015 he produced his own radio series for CanoeFM titled My Lands are the Highlands, both of which you can find at Soundcloud.com/trentvariety. He has since decided to pick up writing at Arthur Newspaper and can often be found lurking in the shadows at City Council meetings, observing high octane conversations about city planning and zoning.