Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The Power of Political Tribalism

 At the Other McCain:

Ed McGinty is in the news again. The 72-year-old Democrat has made himself obnoxious to his neighbors in The Villages of Florida by riding around in his golf cart plastered with anti-Trump signs.

Last week, McGinty was arrested and charged with stalking after he accosted a woman at the neighborhood swimming pool who was wearing a T-shirt with the slogan “Joe Biden Sucks.” The details of that incident are less important than what Ed McGinty’s obnoxiousness teaches us about political tribalism. If you’re looking for a way to explain why a grown man would act the way that McGinty does, it was revealed in a Washington Post profile last year which mentioned that McGinty, a retired real estate broker and Philadelphia native, “has always been a Democrat, just like his parents before him.”

In other words, McGinty inherited his partisan loyalty to the Democratic Party and, until he moved to The Villages a few years ago, he had lived inside a bubble where such loyalty was commonplace, especially among Irish Catholics like himself. In 1960, when young Ed was 11, America elected its first Irish Catholic president, John F. Kennedy, who got 68% of the vote in Philadelphia. For the son of an Irish Catholic family in Philadelphia in those days, being a Democrat was as natural — just “the way things were” — as it was for me, growing up in Georgia during the “Solid South” days when there was no Republican Party to speak of in the state. (Kennedy got 69% of the vote in Douglas County, where I was a 1-year-old at the time.) I remained a Democratic Party loyalist until the mid-1990s, when Bill Clinton’s policies (particularly the so-called “assault weapons” ban) drove me out of the party. Probably I was like a lot of my fellow Georgians during that era. We had remained loyal Democrats until Clinton’s presidency convinced us that the party no longer shared our values, and that our loyalty was not reciprocated.

It’s difficult to believe that someone like Ed McGinty, who proudly boasts of his Catholicism and mentions attending Cardinal Dougherty High School, never reconsidered his political loyalty, given how the Democratic Party has gone all-in for abortion since 1972...

Still more.