Since the 2016 Presidential election, America has been embroiled in controversy over the politicization of journalism. In the bitterly contentious political climate that currently exists, opposing political groups are descending into tribalism as they seek to defend and define what is and isn't ethical journalism. On one side is the claim that the established media powers - network news, cable news, national newspapers - are engaged in reporting that is biased, dishonest, and unnecessarily antagonistic toward President Trump. On the other side is the claim that the administration of President Trump itself uses deception and social media to manipulate the opinions of voters. Both sides may feel fully justified in engaging in deception and manipulation of public opinion because it is done "in the name of a good cause" - aka the cause of opposing the other side with as much force as possible.
Americans feel compelled to take sides in this conflict and objectivity in journalism and in public political discourse seems to be fading.
Can Americans have confidence in the information they receive from the media or from the Trump administration when no-holds-barred political partisanship in reporting and administration communications has become the norm?
Is there any way to break this downward spiral of political tribalism?
What if leaders in Congress, the Trump administration, and the media had the courage to be doggedly persistent in seeking dialogue with leaders of the opposition, even those that they believe have been abusively manipulative and dishonest in the past?
What would that dialogue look like? Could it focus on solutions to current problems and reconciliation going-forward or would it need to address past wrongs and injustices and focus on reparations and remedies?
ORANS wants help in answering these questions. Will you be part of continuing political tribalism that divides and destroys or will you #JoinORANS to #FightTribalism. Reach out to us if you want to be part of the solution. Submit a comment through our Contact Us page or through Facebook or Twitter.
Everyone loves to be part of a team. A desire to join with other people in a common pursuit is deeply rooted in who we are as human beings. Being part of a team is a good thing and we are better, stronger, and more effective when we work together in teams.
ORANS is all about the effort to #FightTribalism - so what does that mean for you in deciding whether or not to join a team or a movement? Does it mean that we should avoid joining groups because they might end up being coalitions that draw their energy primarily from demonizing and opposing some other group? Well, maybe, but maybe not.
Surely, it is good to join a group that is focused on doing something together that you love or believe in - like participating in a sport, worshipping in a faith community, or working together on a community improvement project. ORANS completely supports the idea of collaboration and that takes joint action by groups. ORANS also encourages you to join groups that provide you with fellowship, joy and fulfillment. So, yes, go ahead and join the team that your heart feels called to join. However, ORANS also challenges you to recognize when a group that you are a member of begins to move toward tribalism, to resist that, and to use your leadership power and voice to #FightTribalism.
So you love your team, but you don’t hate your opponents. You can be a strong advocate for your team and what you believe in, but you don’t attack and demonize the people on the other side - even when, in your eyes they might be deplorable, ignorant, and hateful.
Attack the problems, focus on solutions, and always be ready for dialogue.
In areas of group endeavor that involve competition, compete fairly - without using deception, force, cheating, or exploitation to win. Taking a purely transactional, power-over-others, approach focused only on winning at all costs creates a bleak and barren competitive landscape where only the bullies thrive until they have destroyed the joy of the game for everyone. If that is what you want then, go ahead, but know that a ruthless, win-at-all-costs, approach will only isolate and alienate you from others in the long run. For those who choose to compete fairly, we need to #FightTribalism by calling it out when we see it, naming it, shaming it, and using your voice to insist on fair play.
Why not hate the opponent, the other that hates you? Don’t they deserve your anger and opposition when they are hateful?
Because your hate for them merely perpetuates a cycle of conflict, escalates the conflict, causes division, and, in worst cases, leads to violent outcomes that make everyone poorer, weaker and spiritually damaged. Loving the enemy, but hating the problem and attacking it with solutions-focused dialogue is a great way to start as you #FightTribalism.