Going Tribal

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Last fall my daughter spent a semester in our nation’s capital participating in a program for those interested in public policy. After an exhausting morning moving belongings into her new digs, we gifted ourselves with the remainder of the day.  The weather was glorious and meandering through the historical sites was flat-out awe inspiring.

As we strolled past the White House taking it all in, a woman leisurely peddled past us on a bike, then suddenly belted out “F**K YOU TRUMP! –WOOOOOO!!” Her fist was pointed straight up in the air as if she had just crossed the finish line and won the Tour de France.

No one laughed, no one clapped, no one shouted her down; maybe people were too weirded out to say a blessed thing. I mean seriously, what “normal” person does that?

Fast forward to yesterday and some 21 year old congressional intern, probably about the same age as the girl on the bike, was standing in one of the majestic, marbled halls of congress, saw the President of the United States walk by with other members of congress and screamed “F**K YOU TRUMP!” before scampering away to hide.

(No follow-up WOOOOOO!!! that I’m aware of.)

I read this morning that the intern will be “censured” (loosely translated-nothing will happen) and that she will stay on in her position as an aide to a Democratic Congresswoman.  I asked my husband what he would have done had this been his own daughter. “I’d be half way to Washington” he replied matter of factly, “bringing her home to work at McDonalds for the rest of the summer.”

I wonder if this girl’s parents are half way to DC..honestly, I doubt it.

You see, we as a culture are so far off the civilized path at this point that I imagine her parents are possibly sitting on their deck, sipping martinis, scheduling TV appearances and fielding congratulatory phone calls for having raised such a “gutsy young woman.”

What a travesty if true.

Good luck to this girl when she enters the work-force.

Good luck to her future bosses, a few of whom she won’t like.

Good luck to those who reflexively, feverishly ascribe value, bravery and righteousness to what is nothing more than attention seeking, explosive, verbal flatulence.

And good luck to us all as we willingly dismantle every last vestige of respectful behavior and personal self control, trading (what was once) common decency for unrestrained, unrefined absolutism, tribalism, confrontation and evidently, sanctioned harassment.

 

 

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