Opinion

Group behavior

To the Editor:

Ever since 2016, my question, “Why would voters vote against their self-interests,” has not been answered. It was quite evident, as Donald Trump ran for president, that most of his political promises at the time would in time hurt most voters, both Democrat and Republican. And yet, Republicans voted for Trump in droves. But why would supposedly rational people do this? 

On June 16, Congress voted to censor Donald Trump for racist tweets he made over the preceding weekend. The vote was evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, with four Republicans voting with the Democrats. Social media was also evenly split with Republicans supporting Trump. It is now official: the Republican Party and Republicans support a white racist agenda. This was made quite clear and there is no argument that this is the case: white Americans in support of Trump support a white racist agenda. 

Is this good or bad? History says it’s bad. Any such racist ideology ends up as the Jewish Holocaust (6 million deaths), Cambodian genocide (3 million), Rwandan genocide (1 million), and many more. From 1941 to 1945, America took part in a world war against an evil and murderous nationalism called German white racist Nazism, the end result being that by [WWII’s] end in 1945, this ideology caused the death of over 50 million human beings. And now, in the 21st century, this murderous ideology is on the rise again worldwide.

But why? There is no denying that humans are groupish. Be it family, tribes, states or nations, humans will naturally coalesce into small groups and tribes, identify with those groups and tribes and will war against other groups or tribes that do not identify with them. That has been the case since the dawn of human history. It all has to do with resources, be they food or reproduction. That is what makes groups and tribes so hostile and aggressive towards each other. Now just extend that to states and nations.

A small group or tribe is homogenous. The white tribe 5 miles away from another tribe that is brown, say, will be in conflict with each other for resources they need to survive. This will also be the case if one is Protestant or Catholic. With any group, you will have conflict. 

So here we are in 2019 and we still have racial conflict in the United States. What makes it so egregious is the fact that we now have a president who is fanning the flames of this racism, a political party that supports this racism, and a white population armed to the teeth that are willing to follow through with that hate and violence.

James P. Chasse

St Agatha

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