OPINION: Alabama Senate race highlights new ‘tribalism’ that threatens our democracy

A little over 150 years ago, our tragic, violent Civil War came to a close.

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It was fought by forces on one side who wanted to preserve the Union, the ideals our Constitution were based on, and the achievement of a common good for all Americans. On the other side were people driven by tribalism and values such as a support for slavery more than any belief in the Union or the larger good.

There was no guarantee the Union would survive, but it did because patriotic Americans stepped forward to preserve our Republic.

The secession of the Confederate states was a dramatic way to fight for one’s own tribe and to do damage to America and to the Union of folks who believed in the common good.

Today, we are again faced with a group of Americans fighting against our Union and the common good in order to advance the interests of their tribe. This is incredibly dangerous to our democracy and the ideals based in our Constitution.

A nation can have a healthy, functional democracy only if its citizens are willing to go beyond the interests of their tribe and work for the common good.

AP
Steve Bannon, left, introduces U.S. senatorial candidate Roy Moore, right, during a campaign rally, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Fairhope, Ala.

When tribalism is the most powerful drive, democracy either can’t exist or it is not functional. Citizens have to be able to walk away from their tribes, compromise, and build a system that is good for all. We are at a key moment today where what color jersey one is wearing is more important to folks than the common good of the country.

This week a key Senate race highlighting this tribalism is happening in Alabama, and is again endangering our Union and putting our American ideals at risk.

A group of voters in Alabama have decided that ideology and party are more important than integrity and the common…

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