Why Tribalism Took Over Our Politics (The Wall Street Journal)

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    Why Tribalism Took Over Our Politics – By Aaron Zitner (The Wall Street Journal) / Aug 26, 2023

    Social science gives an uncomfortable explanation: Our brains were made for conflict

    Ahead of his arrest on Thursday in Georgia, Donald Trump repeatedly told his supporters about the legal peril he faced from charges of election interference. But the danger wasn’t his alone, he said. “In the end, they’re not coming after me. They’re coming after you,” he told a campaign rally.

    It was the latest example of the Republican former president employing a potent driver of America’s partisan divide: group identity. Decades of social science research show that our need for collective belonging is forceful enough to reshape how we view facts and affect our voting decisions. When our group is threatened, we rise to its defense.

    The research helps explain why Trump has solidified his standing as the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination despite facing four indictments since April. The former president has been especially adept at building loyalty by asserting that his supporters are threatened by outside forces. His false claims that he was the rightful winner of the 2020 election, which have triggered much of his legal peril, have been adopted by many of his supporters.

    CONTINUE > https://www.wsj.com/politics/why-tribalism-took-over-our-politics-5936f48e?mod=hp_lead_pos7

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