In this article, the “Them” are Trump Supporters, and the “Us” are people who find the Trump Administration’s behavior contemptuous, and in many cases, inhumane Fascist behavior. The “Us against Them” mindset develops in childhood, and is a simplistic way of thinking. When used in sports, it is generally a temporary mindset that acts as a bonding mechanism for team members, and people supporting “their” team. As a temporary mindset, it can be both functional and healthy.
When “Them against Us” becomes a long-term mindset, however, it supports prejudice, stupidity, fearful behavior, and angry behavior. Again, it is a simplistic way of thinking. Decisions are made from emotions, rather than conscious thought, and the mind becomes inflexible and incapable of clear thinking during interactions with the people they fear/hate. Typically, these people cannot be talked out of their prejudices, but must experience the “humanity” of the group they are prejudiced against, before their minds can be opened. (This is why people who travel to foreign countries are often more open-minded than their stay-at-home counterparts. People who read a lot also tend to be more open-minded.)
The Republican Party has embraced the “Them against Us” mindset as a philosophy of prejudice against anyone who is not white, and not born in America. If you are not a member of the club, you don’t belong here. (And those “others,” who were born here and are white, but disagree with those prejudices, will be dealt with later.) The Republican Party is essentially promoting Fascist behavior out of greed and ego. And things may get worse, before they get better.
This is not the first time people have used the “Them against Us” mindset to support prejudice and extreme behavior. Nazi Germany created death camps for Jews. In Fascist Spain, 220,000 civilians were killed because they disagreed with Fascism (and for their land, material goods, etc.). In the southern states of the U.S., thousand of black men have been “lynched,” primarily because they weren’t white. Currently, the Trump administration is separating the children, and infants, of immigrants from their mothers or parents. (And, have “lost” 1500 immigrant children.)
There are no easy solutions for the narrow-mindedness of prejudice and hate, but it can be minimized with a good education, from both parents and teachers. (Unless, of course, the parents and teachers are passing on their own prejudices.) Never the less, those of us who can accept and respect the differences of other humans have a responsibility to not only to educate our children, but to also protect our nonwhite, or immigrant, neighbors from the closed-minded, and inhumane, behavior of people who are becoming Fascists.
Failure to Negotiate
A significant problem with the “Them against Us” supporters is the inability to negotiate. For them, it is about taking it all. The extreme position, if you disagree with them, is that you shouldn’t be allowed to exist.
In early April, a White House official communicated the possibility of negotiating with California to resolve a dispute about vehicle emission rules. The Trump Administration has started rolling them back, while California regulators are pushing forward with tougher pollution-reduction requirements. This raises the possibility of automakers meeting different standards in different states. However, Trump administration is no longer expressing any interest in beginning talks.
Consider tariffs. The president has imposed tariffs on many nations we do business with regularly. There were no negotiations. These countries (Canada, the EU, Mexico, etc.) were simply hit by tariffs.
Consider the negotiations with the Democrats over the Dreamers. There weren’t any.