Washington, DC -- (ReleaseWire) -- 11/21/2016 -- I believe the election of Donald Trump illuminates a true paradigm shift in American politics, a shift away from a politics driven at base by issues to one driven by identity. In the rise of both Bernie Sanders' progressive populism and Donald Trump's nationalist populism, we are increasingly seeing voters choosing a new sort of Internet-era tribalism, banding together in communities so like-minded that they serve as echo chambers for shared hopes and fears alike.
This new tribalism is both enabled and exacerbated by technology and the Internet. Increasingly, there are no gatekeepers, and the barrier to entry into the larger discourse is so low as to be non-existent. As a result, smaller groups can have a larger voice, and our political institutions have become increasingly fractious coalitions of polarized factions. The Democratic Party tries to coalesce Bernie's socialist tribe, the mainline Clinton progressives, environmentalist groups, groups defined by gender and race, and more. The Republican tent holds mainline fiscal conservatives, the Tea Party, Trump's nationalist populists, religiously motivated groups, and several flavors of libertarians. It's messy, much more gray area than the clearly drawn lines we wish existed to make our choices easier.
There's a dark side to tribalism. It tends to produce an us versus them feeling: "If you're not with us, you're against us, and if you're against us, you're the enemy." We're seeing some of this in the week since the election, with not only group demonstrations against Donald Trump but a rise in individual verbal and physical attacks that seem motivated directly by the election's outcome.
That said, tribalism also has its advantages. With such commonality of purpose and belief, these tribes can be very passionate, enthusiastic and creative and compelling. They produce leaders like Trump, who are willing to takes risks, to challenge what has gone before, and to inspire others to do the same. And if that energy can be harnessed and not allowed to run amok, I think we actually have the potential to meet our challenging global future.
The election is over, but the challenges facing us are far from it. Eight years of sweeping economic fundamentals under a rug of bailouts and quantitative easing has left us in a fragile, volatile and dangerous position. Individuals, corporations and nations are overleveraged, with almost nothing left in the toolbox to deal with the next crisis. To stand up and deal with these problems we have to acknowledge an uncomfortable truth. Our tribes, those groups that support our views and beliefs, that hold us up in times of uncertainty, that fight for us when we need fighting for—those tribes are social constructs. No single tribe can fix the problems facing our country, and no one can rely on their tribe to fix their individual problems.
As is so often the case, my advice in this time of change boils down to this: gather your own information, listen to many viewpoints, and in the end make your own decisions. Protect your wealth, protect your future. By doing so thoughtfully, you will of necessity be engaging beyond your own tribes, and your voice will have a chance to contribute to the conversation that must take place to lead our country into the future.
For over a quarter century, Dawn Bennett has been successfully guiding clients through the complexities of wealth management. Her unique vision and insight into market trends makes Bennett a much sought after expert resource with regular appearances on Fox News Channel, CNBC, Bloomberg TV, and MSNBC as well as being featured in Business Week, Fortune, The NY Times, The NY Sun, Washington Business Journal in addition to her highly regarded weekly talk radio program - Financial Mythbusting. Through prudent and thoughtful advice, Dawn Bennett has strived to consistently provide the highest quality of guidance.
About Dawn Bennett
Dawn Bennett is CEO and Founder of Bennett Group Financial Services. She hosts a national radio program called Financial Myth Busting http://www.financialmythbusting.com.
She discusses educational topics and events in the financial news, along with her thoughts on the economy, financial markets, investments, and more with her live guests, who have included rock legend Ted Nugent, as well as Steve Forbes and Grover Norquist. Listeners can call 855-884-DAWN a as well as take podcasts on the road and forums for interaction.
She can be reached on Twitter @DawnBennettFMB or on Facebook Financial Myth Busting with Dawn Bennett.
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