Losing my religion

I was not meant for the job or the spotlight of public life in Washington. Here ruining people is considered sport.” (Vince Foster, suicide note)

I have a confession to make. This may be hard to believe but deep inside this jaded and cynical exterior of mine lurks a starry-eyed idealist. And thanks to that weird cult called “Christianity” that I was raised in I have a Manichaean worldview where everything is divided into good and evil. Add to that a lifetime of reading books and watching movies where there are heroes and villains.

For most of my adult life I was very much a tribalist. I was a member of the Democrat clan of the Liberal (sometimes known as “Progressive”) tribe, or maybe it was the Liberal tribe of the Democrat clan. I’m not sure which is which, but I was a member of both groups.

As a tribalist, I unconsciously but conscientiously followed Arthur Silber’s Laws of Tribal Behavior, especially with regard to the first two:

ONE: To the degree that membership in a particular tribe or tribes is important to a person’s sense of identity, that person believes that his own tribe(s) is inherently and uniquely good. To the degree that tribal membership is a critical element of personal identity, all members of all tribes are convinced this is true of those tribes to which they belong.

TWO: Insofar as the tribe’s centrally defining characteristic(s) (race, religion, political beliefs, etc.) are concerned, all other tribes that differ with regard to these characteristics are necessarily inferior and wrong. This has an especially critical implication: at first with regard to these centrally defining characteristics, and inevitably in a more general sense, the individual members of all other tribes are necessarily inferior to and less worthy than the members of one’s own tribe(s).

Belonging to a tribe is like belonging to a religion. If you belong to either one a lot of your thinking is done for you. You will be presented with things to believe along with lists of stuff to support or oppose. The leaders of your tribe or religion will spend plenty of time telling you what is right and what is wrong. All you have to do is follow.

I lost my religion in my teens. I lost my tribe in the past few years. In both cases the effects were dramatic, but in the latter case they were more traumatic. Unlike some people I never really felt any hostility to my former religion, but then again my religion never betrayed me.

Over the years that I was a liberal Democrat I came to realize that the rules weren’t always hard and fast. I met conservative Republicans who were intelligent, informed and of good character. I saw some Democrats exposed as corrupt. I was aware of a creature called a “blue dog,” which is a conservative Democrat. But I rationalized them all as exceptions to the rule.

Most of my life my chief lament was that so many leaders of my tribe were weak and inept politically. The repeatedly caved in to the other tribe and lost elections they should have won due to stupid mistakes. I longed for a hero to rise up in my tribe. (In retrospect it is really surprising that I never became an Obot.)

Eventually I came to suspect that my leaders weren’t really weak and inept but were instead corrupt. That was in 2007. The following year . . . well, you know what happened in 2008.

Like I said before, I lost faith in my religion but it didn’t betray me. The leaders of my political tribe betrayed me and everything I was taught to believe in. The effect of that betrayal has taken years to sink in.

The first stage was the realization that my tribe was not “inherently and uniquely good”. What happened in 2008 was not merely a case of the wrong candidate winning. It was a conscienceless and unprincipled hostile takeover of the tribe. It was a metastasized cancer in the body politic. They cheated, and robbed the voters of their rightful choice.

The second stage was realizing that the other tribe was not “necessarily inferior and wrong”. This is where some people go astray. Just because Tribe D is bad does not mean that Tribe R is good. The fact is neither tribe is inherently good nor bad. They are both groups of human beings with all the collective traits of their members. That same thing applies to all those smaller tribes out there, so get off your moral high horse if you are supporting one of them.

So how do you live a post-tribal existence?

You cannot moor yourself to people, parties or even policies. You need to moor yourself to ethics and morals and principles. You have to decide for yourself exactly which ones that will be because sometimes they conflict and we all have to prioritize them according to our own conscience. But that is the foundation we build on.

After you do that you have to reevaluate all those people, parties and policies from your new perspective. I am still going through that reevaluation process.

This is all prefatory to what I really wanted to talk about in this post: Why I have come to despise some members of my former tribe.

The people I despise are the ones I refer to as “Vile Progs.” These people have no morals or principles. They claim they do, but they don’t. They will bash you over the head with their alleged principles and then throw them aside the instant they become inconvenient.

But their worst trait is that they are not only willing but are eager to engage in the politics of personal destruction. They didn’t invent POPD nor are they the only practitioners, but two wrongs don’t make a right.

They tried to destroy Hillary Clinton. They called Bill a racist, along with anyone who criticized Obama. They not only went after Sarah Palin but attacked her family as well. Even after the election they continued to attack her. They attack anyone who opposes or disagrees with them.

They don’t care whether the things they say are true or not, they only care whether their attacks are effective.

You don’t have to like Mitt Romney or agree with his policies but he has a lifetime record of accomplishment and charitable good works. For the past few months he has been accused of being a felon, a murderer, a tax cheat, a vulture capitalist and a liar. They have attacked his wife Ann too.

Politics ain’t beanbag but this crap is way beyond the pale. It’s disgusting. The Vile Progs must be defeated and discredited. Barack Obama is their leader. Fuck ’em all and let God sort ’em out.

Not Vile Progs

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65 Responses to Losing my religion

  1. myiq2xu says:

    Their latest target was Jim Lehrer.

  2. catarina says:

    *We* are your tribe now..muahahaa..

  3. swanspirit says:

    written by A.K. Mullins; performed by W.V. Hill
    2005 Big Belly Records
    Corn On Macabre
    Thu Aug 04, 2005
    Country : Alternative Country





  4. DeniseVB says:

    Here’s something I stole from Facebook which kinda said it all to me:

    Chris L Garcia posted: He’s as ignorant as his supporters…………………… The danger to America is not Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president.

    The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their president.

    The new tribe will rise again !

  5. DM says:

    Eventually I came to suspect that my leaders weren’t really weak and inept but were instead corrupt. That was in 2007. The following year . . . well, you know what happened in 2008.

    From 2007, I saw how corrupt and autocratic the Democratic Party in Washington was. My view of the Republicans hasn’t changed much. I think Romney is a good man, but his party stinks. Obama should not be rewarded with another four years, and the country cannot afford four more years of Obama.

    Romney 2012!

  6. angienc says:

    Great post, myiq.

  7. yttik says:

    Good post! It’s been an eye opening couple of years. What has really pushed me away from the left is all the negativity. America is a mean country, capitalism sucks, the rich are greedy, everybody is racist, your kids are fat….. Then of course all the low brow tribal members hit you with the threats of rape, death. and dismemberment, which pretty much harshes the rest of my idealism mellow.

    A wise liberal once said, you get what you focus on. That’s why you don’t go to antiwar rallies, you go to peace marches. That’s why the War on Drugs, the War on Poverty, the War on War, have all made the problems worse. If you want to help the poor, you create prosperity. If you want to end war, you create peace.

    It’s really ironic, the Republican is the only one talking about creating jobs, creating prosperity, and creating peace through strength. The other guy is busy trying to save Big Bird.

    • Gosh yttik, you sound like a New Ager, being all positive and stuff. LOL But don’t forget the Vile Progs will hate but have a smile on their face while they do so — “I Love Haters” — sums up their philosophy.

    • votermom says:

      ITA. Libs talk about self-esteem all day long and yet have no national self-esteem. If we don’t believe in the good about our country, how can we live up to its ideals?

      • Glennmcgahee says:

        What I’ve discovered is that the “Liberal/Progressive Party” (I too consider myself a liberal: maybe a Bluedog, but not a party) only sees this country through the metropolitan areas and most have never set foot in a rural area or got their hands dirty doing manual labor type chores. Thats only for the ignorant, uneducated types who they’d rather spit on. You know, the bible clinging, gun-totin’ ringers.
        I’d give a million bucks to be back living in the country with nice folk.

  8. wmcb says:

    Best of luck with your sorting and reevaluating and journey, myiq. I think many of us are in that same boat. And for all that I get accused of it, no, I have not become an R. I am what I have always been: a “classic” liberal, very concerned with individual rights and preserving our unique and liberty-fostering American Experiment. A practical person who wants to do much, but recognizes that a) there is only so much money, and b) the more you let govt do, the more power they acquire, and that danger needs to be recognized and guarded against in all we ask them to do.

    I am, for now, supporting a lot of R’s for office. I have no idea who I will support in the future. Like you, I have not switched tribes, I’ve become alert to the dangers of political tribalism itself. And BTW, I hear many many conservatives say that THEY compromised their principles to blindly support and avoid critiquing GWB for much the same reasons that Dems do Obama now – He was “their tribe”. And they almost fucking destroyed the right and conservatism in doing it.

    I think there are a lot of people in this country, all along the political spectrum, who have woken up. Yes, they may make a calculated practical decision to vote for this guy or that guy, but they will never again set aside their own principles to blindly follow.

    Whining and railing at the politicians to change the tribalism from the top down (a la Huntsman) isn’t going to work. You know who can fix this country? It ain’t them. It’s not some perfect leader. US. We the People. Not by joining this group or organizing that big protest, but by stubbornly holding to our ideals, and judging all pols by them – rather than letting the pols and the parties tell us how to judge one another. At the moment, the hate and villification and manipulation and demonizing is mostly coming from the left. Will it always? I have no idea. I’ll just continue to call em like I see em and decide based on MY principles what policies and pols I think are best for the current situation. I’m not checking my own brain or instincts at the door for any party, ever again.

    Fuck them all. ‘Merica. That’s what I care about.

    • Thank you! Well said! (I too have been accused of being an ‘R” this time out- and that is the least offensive thing that has been said about me since 07 lol)
      Indeed- there is only so much we can do- and I found out long long ago that letting govt “help” you is akin to selling one’s soul. That system is designed not to give a hand up- but to crush people by making them ever more dependent.

  9. DM says:

    BD/TIPP Poll

    IBD/TIPP 2012 Presidential Election
    Daily Tracking Poll
    Day 1: Oct. 9, 2012
    Romney: +2.0

    Romney held a 2 point lead over Obama among likely voters in the first day of our presidential tracking poll as both men and independents solidly supported the GOP candidate. A key swing group making up nearly a third of voters, independents favor Romney over Obama 52%-34%. In 2008, Obama had a 52% to 44% edge among independents. Romney also has a 54% to 38% advantage among men voters, a group Obama won by one percentage point in 2008. Intensity among Romney voters has also strengthened: 70% of Romney voters now support him strongly, vs. 62% in September and 46% in August.

    more details:

  10. driguana says:

    What an amazing post, once again. I think you speak for a lot of us….like we’ve found our way home. This past year has been difficult for a lot of us…I’ve lost personal friends over all of this political bullshit and even watch members of my own family turn on each other….very sad. New leaders have to emerge, with a different kind of strength. It’s funny but somehow symbolic that you talk about “tribe”. I’ve just finished my first full length book of “groove poetry” entitled, you guessed it….Tribalism. I’ll share one here….thanks, my man…
    The Primitive

    take me back to the primitive
    one stone at a time
    root by root
    myth by myth

    take me back to the primitive
    to a time of fire and rocks and water
    to the birth of hot
    and strength and clarity

    teach me to enkindle
    and speak like a bird
    and sit still for an era
    like a boulder

    throw me to hunt and gather
    my needs and desires

    lift me up to the superlative
    to the rhyme of a mother tongue
    to the love for a fatherland
    to the hope of a prodigal son
    and to the need for an honorable daughter

    to the death of everything I forgot

    teach me how to rekindle
    the warmth of an old word
    and to listen to a culture
    that I shoulder
    and to act and be blunt

    about heart and soul fires

    I want to go forward to a new
    primitive time
    of flesh and bone
    of frankincense and myrrh

    I want to get down on my knees
    to mud
    and mortality and dirt

    I want to go back to the primitive
    to make fire
    to aspire
    to get down

    take me back to the primitive
    fire by fire
    stone by stone
    root by root…

    take me back
    to the tone age
    back to the mythic
    back to the lithic

    take me back to the primitive
    one stone at a time
    root by root
    myth by myth

    santa fe

    La Cienega petroglyphs 2009

  11. carol haka says:

    The thing about God is he/she is always there working behind the scenes ready to be with you at a moments notice when you call. Religion is a man made ritual to celebrate a diety. Most psychologists believe a predisposition to believe in a God from anthropological studies. My mother always said “believe, what,s it going to hurt. If you are wrong, what’s it going to hurt. But if you are right ….” when I studied Judaism though historical events is when I determined Christianity was most a political movement. Who cares if it comforts. I enjoy Joel Osteen and watch his show every week without damaging anything. 👿 t

    • carol haka says:

      Damn phone. Most politicians are interested in power and perks it appears. Sarah and Mitt and Paul are efficiency experts that what to solve a problem. Like God, we will be able to let them work behind the scenes and be there for us when we need them. I will rest after the celebration of the election. I won’t even worry about the moving trucks out front WH loading our money in it for the Obamas retirement. Let them have it, when the time is right they will pay for their crimes. :evil

      • myiq2xu says:

        Barack Obama is not evil. True evil would have more gravitas.

        He is really a figure of tragedy (in the ancient Greek sense), a very flawed man who is in way over his head. If he had been properly vetted he would have never won a single election.

        • carol haka says:

          Actually, the :evil at the end was missing a colon after the l to make 👿 I do find him tragic in that he is evil because he took an opportunity to represent a certain demographic and make a lasting positive mark on history. He instead continued his epic desire to treat himself while he had great disdain for this he had a chance to change their lives positively.

  12. DM says:

    Using the race card is a way of life.

    Posted at 01:45 PM ET, 10/09/2012
    Stacey Dash supports Mitt Romney, gets racial backlash on Twitter: Not all blacks must be Democrats
    By Crystal Wright
    Crystal Wright is an occasional contributor to The Root DC and is the editor of the political site “Conservative Black Chick.”.

    Actress Stacey Dash got slammed on Twitter for supporting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. (Evan Vucci – Associated Press)

    Before she endorsed Republican candidate Mitt Romney for president, actress Stacey Dash forgot to read the “black memo” that states all blacks must vote Democrat — or else!

    “Vote for Romney. The only choice for your future. @mittromney @teamromney #mittromney #VOTE #voteromney”

    When she tweeted that comment with a patriotic photo of herself clad in a red bathing suit, Dash uncorked racist rage from Obama supporters:


    Another tweeted: “We’ve been letting you slide for years! It’s OVER.”

    Both comments suggested Dash wasn’t “really” black because she had the audacity to vote for Romney. Still, another tweeted, “Stacey Dash had a perm since birth. . .I knew I couldn’t trust her.. Lol .”

    The implication is that Dash, who has straight hair, “thinks she’s white” and therefore can’t be trusted to be a true black, as evidenced by her Republican nature.


  13. bluestate says:

    The people I despise are the ones I refer to as “Vile Progs.” These people have no morals or principles. They claim they do, but they don’t. They will bash you over the head with their alleged principles and then throw them aside the instant they become inconvenient.


  14. Constance says:

    Good post and I agree. I can’t wait for the real Dems to get their party back so I can have some choices of who to vote for. I have always been an Independent and consider both parties corrupt.

    • myiq2xu says:

      All those third parties would be just as bad or worse if they ever got big enough to compete to power.

      That’s because power corrupts. Ironically the people who want power the most are the least qualified to hold it.

  15. HELENK says:

    today’s democratic party has made me ashamed and embarrassed that I ever was a democrat. I feel that I should apologize to every one I had political discussions with defending the democratic party.

    Today’s democratic party is just plain ugly. They can not be trusted with my country. Until now I never questioned the loyalty of either party to this country. Now i have a lot of questions about the democratic party.

    • cj says:

      The Democratic Party got ugly so fast that’s it’s really difficult to explain the phenomenon. It’s like suddenly Barack Obama descended, and the tribe went Lord of the Flies overnight.

      I don’t know who these people are. I was a Democrat all my life until 08, and I’ve never met a single Democrat who acted like the vile progs. Never, and I’ve been around a long time.

    • eriezindian says:

      To Helen K……..yes,yes,yes!!!

  16. HELENK says:


    found this and thought that the backtrack’s are packing for Hawaii as we speak

  17. DandyTiger says:

    Honk x 1M! Great post. Sums up my thinking and experience too.

    Funnily enough, as traumatic as it as been, it has also been amazingly freeing and has liberated me and my thinking. Now I see what fools the blind tribal members of both sides are. I can also see those few who are practical and want to get things done. So I have some hope despite it all. And in the end, DC and their corrupt dealings aren’t want really drive and make a country. We do. Fuck ’em.

    • myiq2xu says:

      What really bothers me is the people who went willingly back to the Kool-aid.

      • DandyTiger says:

        I sort of understand it. The need for a tribe is a powerful thing. It’s not just random that we tend to form into tribes. But what’s extra sad is when they go back to one that doesn’t want them.

        • myiq2xu says:

          For most of human existence tribal membership was essential for survival. The worst possible punishment was banishment – it was effectively a death sentence. No other tribe would adopt someone whose own tribe kicked him out.

          A tribeless person could be killed without any consequences.

  18. Tribal loss is difficult but I wonder Myiq, myself and others — were we really part of it, or more like members in it who were really outsiders trying to be a part of it?

    I think deep down we all believed this but it took 2008 to get us back in touch with it:
    “You cannot moor yourself to people, parties or even policies. You need to moor yourself to ethics and morals and principles. You have to decide for yourself exactly which ones that will be because sometimes they conflict and we all have to prioritize them according to our own conscience. But that is the foundation we build on.”

  19. You know I agree with you about Vile Progs. And you’re right that every party has their unthinking, uncritical followers. Romney Democrats has a lot of actual Republicans and conservatives (a similar distinction to Democrats and progressives) and I am annoyed to no end by their lazy and constant “socialism” arguments. Be a little more selective in your arguments, people!

    Yes, it’s true that socialists found a way to marry some of their agenda with the liberal/progressive agenda, just as some right-wing groups did with conservatism. But they are not the same, and when you say they are, when you (universal you, ftr) use these lazy-assed short-hand talking points, you make sure people don’t take you seriously. It is simply not credible that socialism is taking over.

    It is, however, credible, that progressive ideology includes some socialistic tendencies and oh, by the way, is absolutely authoritarian and poisonous. But really, all you need to say is that progressivism is authoritarian and then demonstrate how it is. And then you can get your ideas taken seriously because you don’t sound like some throw-back to the 1950s. And credibility is important to actually changing hearts and minds. Neither side, conservative or progressive seems to get, or care about this.

    That’s why I think I’ll likely remain an independent the rest of my life, though there are down sides to that too.

  20. britgirls says:

    I’m in agreement with so much of this post. 2008 was extremely traumatic, but I’m now feeling really at peace and so glad that my eyes have been opened. The Dem party truly revealed itself by their treatment of Hillary. I don’t know what they were thinking … that BO would share all the campaign funds or what? Heh! Anyway, it was a very short-sighted idea to throw their support to the empty chair. I switched my party affiliation from Dem to Independent right after the 2008 convention, and this is where I’ll stay.

    I’ve already looked over my sample ballot for Nov 6 and it is all over the place! I’m voting for Romney of course! And feeling really good about it! Other than that it’s a vote for any woman on the ballot regardless of party (just want more women in office). If it’s a choice between two guys then I’m researching the candidates. So no more voting strictly along party line for me EVER!

    • Underwhelmed says:

      That’s a dangerous philosophy, imho. Australia is being driven into the ground by its historic first female prime minister, who really acts like Obama in drag. The parallels between your Democrats and our Labor party are chilling- the deceit, the corruption, the politics of personal destruction. O and G have so much in common — both born/raised in a foreign culture, with deep steeping in Marxism. And now both our countries are reaping their sour whirlwinds. It’s not enough to say yay, an historic first (fill in the blank) candidate! Every single person who shows an interest in getting their hands on that much power must be ruthlessly and remorselessy vetted. No excuses, and no wink wink nudge nudge it’s more important to stick with the tribe than subject them to impartial investigation. Voting for every woman, regardless, is as mindlessly tribal and ultimately self-defeating as voting for Obama has been for the AA community.

      • britgirls says:

        I know … I have Australian friends that are crying out that their first female president has been a total disaster. Also, my husband asked me what I’ll do if Mitt does a fantastic job over the next four years and then Hillary decides to run in 2016. That’d be a really hard choice.

        • DM says:

          I’d say, go for the sure thing. If Romney has done a fantastic job, why fire him? It’s not his fault that Hillary got stabbed by her own party in 2008.

        • myiq2xu says:

          The first test of a candidate has to be competence and character. If they don’t have both nothing else matters.

        • Underwhelmed says:

          Oddly enough, in our opposition leader we have a man of principle and faith, who has (among other acts) cycled 1000kms to raise funds for ovarian cancer awareness, has a female deputy, always has a female chief of staff, and who — at no time — can be shown with evidence to have demeaned or disrespected women. (He’s long term happily married with 3 daughters, btw). But the current line of attack is that he’s a misogynist. Meanwhile, to preserve her precarious hold on power, our illustrious leader stood up in parliament and defended a man in her party who sent texts to a male staffer comparing female genitalia to mussels – and apparently that was the nicest thing he said in a whole slew of texts. He’s being investigated for sexual harassment and fraud, btw.

          With Hillary, I think she’s done. Sad, but she made her choice to lie down with Obama. If Romney wins and is halfway competent, and has a good person coming up behind him, the Ds will be in long term trouble … until there’s been enough collective memory fail for people to believe lies about the incumbents. Unless this time the bad guys have just gone too far. The trouble is, once people get used to a good economy etc, they start taking it for granted and assuming that it happens by itself. That’s what went wrong here and we’re going to be paying for that mistake for decades.

        • DM- or that she said, “No problem!” to getting stabbed in the back.

        • kk says:

          I’m from Australia, and am an ex labour voter..but I voted for Julia, who at lease has some integrity… Rudd, her jealous labour rival has been nothing but disrespecting her and all women. Rudd is a dick..Abbott, the ‘conservative’ iis better than him…

    • I support you in your decision to support all the women on the ballot. We need all kinds of women, even crazy poisonous progressive ones, and the crazy pro-life religious zealot ones to break the 50% barrier. Then we can worry about weeding out the crazy ones. Let’s get a glut so we can make some real choices.

  21. yttik says:

    LOL, okay, this is tribalism. “If you vote for Romney and he turns out to be a good president then you won’t want to vote for a Dem in 2016!”

    Yes, yes, that is my biggest fear! OMG, what if we get a good president??

    Some people really think this way. It’s more important to have a Dem in office than it is to have a good president. It’s the brand that’s important, not the quality. I blame that on too much TV.

  22. Karma says:

    Great post.

    And basically a theme for everyone here. We haven’t lost our principles in the name of the tribe. Even blazing a path for several years prior to the masses having their eyes opened. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy and Chicago pay-to-play shakedown artists certainly wasn’t what the country needed after the violation of the Constitution and crony capitalism lies that got us into Iraq.

    Thanks again for being a voice of sanity in the midst of this upside down reality we’ve been subjected to for years. The entire board has fought against the tidal wave of lies and distortions while searching for truth.

    And despite that being one of the reasons I wanted Romney to win. So that the media would finally do it’s job of reporting and the Dem party would start to fight for typical Democratic principles. I worry that we’ve been on this path for too long to correct it even if a Republican is in the WH. That lies and smears are more important than a truthful debate about important topics of the day.

    With the media protecting both Bush and Obama still twitching my tin-foil hat The only thing that I can hope for now is that Romney fixes the economic disaster that the last two presidents put into high gear. While repealing the economic disaster on the horizon, Obamacare.

    I was enormously relieved when Mitt saved the Olympics. And that’s what I hope a Romney presidency will bring to America.

    *It has taken years to be able to write hope without pausing like it was a dirty word.

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