Monday, April 11, 2016

We Are Watching A Case Study Of Hoizontal Hostility

Every day in today's news we see the battles between Trump vs Cruz vs The Establishment Republicans playing out in front of our eyes. Likely most reading this have picked sides and are passionately defending our turf, and possibly pointing out all the monsters in the other camps. Have you ever asked yourself why is it that the two most radically opposed to business as usual in D.C. are the most passionately fighting each other? Personally I took one of those "Who's the candidate for you?" Quizzes and predictably I was 94% aligned with Ted Cruz and 91% aligned with Donald Trump and significantly less with all others down to 11% with Hillary Clinton and 8% with Bernie Sanders. I am personally in favor of Trump but it's a coin flip on policies, I hold leadership skills and experience high on my decision process, if I was voting for a Senator where ideology is my primary measure I would vote for Cruz over any who ran. To me President is a bigger more broad thought process.

What we are seeing is what Dartmouth Psycologist, Judith White calls Horizonantal Hostility, that even though they share a fundamental objective, radical groups often disparage more mainstream groups as impostors or sell outs. Sigmund Freud wrote, "It's precisely the minor differences in people who are otherwise alike that forM the basis of feeling of strangeness and hostility between them."

We notice Horizontal Hostilty everywhere. When a deaf woman won Miss America, rather than cheering her on as a trailblazer, deaf activists protested because she spoke orally rather than using sign language and "wasn't deaf enough." In a study in Greek politics it was found the members of the most Conservative party judged most harshly the most similar party even more than the most Progressive. Also the most liberal party most criticized the next most Progressive.

There is an excellent case study with the Women's Suffrage Movement started by Lucy Stanton who created the nationwide organization and was making remarkable progress until two of her lieutenants, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cade Staton broke away and went to war with Stone for not being radical enough. Stone was aghast that Anthony attached her own movement with a racist organization led by George Frances that was working to block the black community from the right to vote. Biographers of Anthony said her radical ties set back the movement at least twenty years.

Hopefully, we who want to see change can come together rather than follow basic human nature and fight among ourselves. To me, I still see the smartest, if not most difficult path would be an alliance of Trump and Cruz. Can we focus on the real enemy is the question.