Author Archives: R.D. Walker

Was it an unsuccessful coup in Turkey?

Or was it an extremely successful purge?

The Turkish justice minister says 32,000 people have been arrested since the country’s failed coup, and more may follow.

In a live interview with private broadcaster NTV on Wednesday, Bekir Bozdag said 70,000 people have been processed and 32,000 were formally arrested since the July 15 coup attempt. “There may be new arrests or releases according to the evidence and information gathered in the investigation,” Bozdag said.

He also said Turkey was building a courthouse in the outskirts of Ankara, the national capital, for the prosecution of suspected coup plotters.

More than 50,000 people have been expelled from the civil service, including in the military, police, judiciary, and education, through decrees under the state of emergency declared after the failed coup.

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What is killing the American dream?

In a word: Government. Watch. It’s important.

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Charlotte BLM narrative collapses…

They said it was a book. They said he raised his hands.

But new information casts serious doubt on the original story. Scott’s wife can be heard on a video she released telling the police that her husband didn’t have a gun. The police can be heard on her video recording repeatedly telling Scott to “drop the gun.” Law enforcement released video from the dash cam of the police car that showed Scott didn’t raise his hands before he was shot, and the police audio also shows that police yelled at Scott to drop the gun at least ten times. The gun and holster found at the scene had Scott’s fingerprints and DNA on it. The book Scott was allegedly reading before he was shot and killed was not recovered at the scene.

But Mrs. Scott knew her husband did have gun. According to papers filed last year by Scott’s wife, he threatened to kill her and his family with it.

Of course those who want to believe that this man was executed by a racist cop will continue to believe it.

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Was Trump for or against the war in Iraq beforehand?

Who cares? It is irrelevant. He wasn’t in government. It wasn’t his job to know. Any statement you can find that he favored it – “Yeah, I guess” – is so watered down as to be meaningless.

What is important is that Clinton was a United States Senator and she actually voted to go to war. It was her job to decide and she decided to vote to go.

But even that isn’t that important to me. I supported going to war with Iraq. After 9/11, I was in no mood to let an America hating Muslim terrorist who had used chemical weapons in the past, who had attempted to develop nuclear weapons, who had attacked American allies, who was in violation of the terms of his 1991 surrender and who had tried to assassinate a former US president stay in power.

In that time and in that place, Saddam Hussein had to go. I didn’t support nation building. I didn’t support a light force of occupation. I didn’t support a light hand in governing. I supported shock and awe to continue until they were crushed, demoralized and no longer able to resist.

That didn’t happen. I will not shrink from my support for the invasion. That the occupation of Iraq was mishandled does not undermine the logic supporting the invasion.

Back to Clinton. Her maleficence isn’t that she voted for the war. Her vile, corrupt maleficence is that she voted to support the war and then spent the next six years undermining the war effort for her own political gain. She sent the troops to war and then, when they were in harm’s way, stabbed them in their backs.

That’s what matters.

Trump’s 2003 man-on-the-street opinion of whether we should go to war matters not in the least. It is doubtful he knew where Iraq was geographically located in 2003. The only reason it is an issue at all is because Trump has made it one by attacking Clinton’s reasonable vote to go to war without a single comment about her subsequent corrupt, treasonous undermining of the war effort.

Yet again Donald Trump, all full of sound and fury, takes a shot at Clinton… and misses.


Tragedy Averted

This morning we woke to a lower crest. At 22′, the damage will be minimal. That said, it is still the second highest flood in Cedar Rapids history. This time the city was prepared.

You would have been inspired to see people work together to save the city. It was truly a testament to the American can-do attitude. If you are struggling to find reasons to feel patriotic these days, the work, dedication, selflessness and love exhibited by your fellow Americans here in the heartland is a damned good reason.

Somebody created drone footage of the pre-flood preparations. It is very well done. Hopefully this video is one-of-a-kind and you will never again see this city or any other evacuated and almost devoid of people.

Things to look for: The sand filled Hesco Barriers along the river are blocking all of the bridges. The streets are covered with sand. The clean up will also be a monumental task.

I don’t know if Cedar Rapids could have survived another flood like 2008. I thank God in his heaven that we won’t have to find out.


Thoughts on last night’s national embarrassment

It was not enjoyable viewing. It was painful to watch. It did not enlighten the mind or uplift the spirit; quite the opposite. It was certainly not a game-changer.

If you want evidence that Hillary Clinton is a historically poor presidential candidate, you saw it last night. That she was unable to completely and utterly destroy her opponent last night is proof just how terrible she really is.

Trump, a candidate from a major political party who seems unable to construct a grammatically correct sentence, held his own against Clinton. While it was difficult to follow him through the word thickets and tanglefoot syntax he led us, it is clear that he was not badly hurt last night.

Early in the debate both candidates dived deeply into the sewer of pander and argued over which is more determined to use the power of the administrative state to restrict trade, block commerce and self-impose trade sanctions against the people of the United States.

In stating their opposition to NAFTA, Clinton was obviously lying that she now opposes it while Trump seems to believe NAFTA is a net-negative for America. It is difficult to decide which of these contemptible positions is more vile.

They both promised to use the heavy hand of state regulation to restrict trade but Trump promised these new regulations while he simultaneously argued he would deregulate business. Again, Clinton promises no such thing, rather promising volumes of new regulations, making her policy an economic disaster. Trump’s is merely a dog’s breakfast of contradictions.

From there it went downhill. By the end we were witness to Clinton promising a foreign policy that is more of the same failed policies of the Obama years and Trump spewing forth endless, confused, run-on sentences of broken syntax that were virtually indecipherable but for the occasional “defeat ISIS” and “take the oil”.

There were no knockout blows. Judged by the rules of a high school debate team, Clinton soundly defeated Trump. While her policies were disasterous, she was calm, prepared and focused. Trump was angry, juvenile, often baited and generally incoherent.

For example, Trump seemed to admit he pays no taxes. He lied when he claimed he never supported the Iraq invasion. He called for nationwide stop-and-frisk. He defended his birtherism. He even mentioned Rosie O’Donnell!

The audience laughed at him when he said he has a “winning temperament”. Clinton should have crushed him but she didn’t.

The thing is, this debate will not be judged by the Marquess of Queensberry rules rules of a high school debate. It will be judged on a curve. Zingers count for more than policy coherence. Humor counts more than focus.

And so it will continue. Two grotesques will continue to wrestle in the mud of American politics. I don’t know who won last night by the rules of reality television idiocracy in which we live but I know what was lost: Decorum, dignity and discernment.


Debate Stream and Live Chat



The Candidates Debate

I will be watching for the same reason most people watch NASCAR. I will be hoping for a fiery crash.

We will stream the debate here and I will attempt to live blog it.

I am offering up a drinking game. When either candidate offers an untruth, distorts reality or otherwise lies, sip a teaspoon of beer.*

Tune in later…

*The Real Revo will not be held responsible for any alcohol related deaths.

Nature wants you dead.

Standards of living have improved dramatically over the last couple of generations regardless of what the whiners say. What is quoted below represents a truly huge increase in your standard of living; almost immeasurable. And it doesn’t even include video on demand, craft beers or Kate Upton.

By the age of one, how many times had modern medicine saved your ass?

What about by the age twenty? How about now?

How many times has nature tried to kill you? Strep, staph, weather, tsunamis, all the vaccine preventable illnesses, tooth decay, allergies that range from life-threatening to “goddamnit, it’s spring and the trees are fucking,” and whatever the fuck Gwyneth Paltrow is getting stung by bees to cure.

And the goddamn flu.

Without modern medicine, how much worse off would your life be?

If you go back to doing all things naturally, a tiny emergency turns into a big one. A long term chronic illness turns into a quick death sentence.

Read it all.


Instapundent banned from Twitter

This is what you see this morning when you go looking for Instapundent’s Twitter feed.


It would seem Twitter is upset about this Tweet.


Riots are not peaceful. They are violent and threatening. Anybody remember Reginald Denny?

Running down people who credibly threaten you with violence and force is justifiable. I would just turn on my hazard lights, toot the horn… and then run them down.

It would seem that Twitter has been on a banning binge lately. I think I will self-ban and delete the Real Revo’s Twitter feed. Why provide free content to a hostile entity? What say you?


Fair trade isn’t.

It is often said that Trump will use trade protectionism because free trade isn’t necessarily fair trade. We are told that if, say, Japan imposes tariffs – aka import taxes – on GM products but the US does not impose tariffs on Toyotas, it is not fair trade.

The question is, to whom is it unfair?

Suppose I want to purchase a Lexus LS (a Toyota product) in 2017.


I have saved and I am ready to make my purchase but when the day finally arrives, I learn that the price of the car has increased by $10,000 due to a tariff imposed under Trump’s plan.

Trump argues that it is unfair that Tokyo places an import tax on the Chevy Malibu in Japan. He has, in an attempt to benefit General Motors, responded with a retaliatory tariff.

Is this fair to me? No. It represents a significant increase in the cost of the car I want. The cost increase is nothing less than a new federal tax on my household. It benefits me in no way whatsoever but has significantly increased my costs (or forced me to do without a car I want).

Is it fair to the Bill Jones, the owner of the local Toyota/Lexus dealership? No. The increase in the cost of his automobiles due to the new federal tax means that his income has fallen significantly.

Is it fair to the Jack Williamson, the owner of the Chevrolet dealership across the street? It helps him a little in the short run, but not much. For example,I want a Lexus, not a Chevy so I still won’t buy a car from him. Other buyers will, however. In the long run the reduction in competition allows GM to keep prices higher than they otherwise would and higher prices get passed to the consumer. Higher prices mean fewer sales. That is bad for Williamson’s bottom line.

Who does it help? It helps the owners of GM and the UAW.

In other words, the new “fair trade” policy is grossly unfair to consumers and to importers, does little for domestic retailers but is very good for GM and its union.

The federal government intervened in the market, took money from the pockets of millions of consumers and put it in the pockets of GM and the UAW. There is absolutely, positively nothing fair about that.


WMDs used in Iraq?

That’s right. ISIS is evidently deploying chemical weapons against US troops.

There was a time when a chemical attack against US troops would have warranted a “we interrupt this program” news flash on every network.

There was a time when use of weapons prohibited by the laws of land warfare would have dominated the news for weeks.

There was a time when using chemical weapons against US troops would have resulted in a massive retaliatory strike that would have caused the entire world to tremble.

Not anymore.

ISIS is suspected of firing a shell with mustard agent that landed at the Qayyara air base in Iraq Tuesday where US and Iraqi troops are operating, according to several US officials.

The shell was categorized by officials as either a rocket or artillery shell. After it landed on the base, just south of Mosul, US troops tested it and received an initial reading for a chemical agent they believe is mustard.

No US troops were hurt or have displayed symptoms of exposure to mustard agent.

Sooner or later they will get lucky and the results will be horrific.


I am a sworn member of #NeverTrump but, damn…

…this video comes pretty close to convincing me to vote for the douchebag.

I mean, at about the two minute mark I was convinced that a vote for a candidate from a deep-blue state, a man who had no political experience, a long record of left-wing views, a penchant for conspiracy theories, a disastrous personal life, a messy business career, a truckload of racist baggage, and an appalling habit of toadying to Vladimir Putin is a moral obligation that I cannot ignore.


Obama’s CIA director voted for a Communist Party member for president


Yep. That sounds about right.

At his first polygraph test to enter the CIA, the future director had a secret.

John Brennan on Thursday recalled being asked a standard question for a top security clearance at his early CIA lie detector test: Have you ever worked with or for a group that was dedicated to overthrowing the US?

“I froze,” Brennan said during a panel discussion about diversity in the intelligence community at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual conference. “This was back in 1980, and I thought back to a previous election where I voted, and I voted for the Communist Party candidate,”

There is also evidence that he has converted to Islam.


Did police purposefully shoot Rahami just a little bit?

A writer for the New York Daily News has a theory. His theory is that somebody upstairs in government wanted Ahmad Rahami alive so, in the midst of a firefight, police consciously and successfully shot to wound him rather than kill him. This contrasts, according to the writer, with the treatment received by African Americans at which, evidently, police consciously and purposefully shoot to kill.

Police located Rahami in Linden, N.J. Two officers were shot during the confrontation. One was saved because of their vest and another got grazed in the face by a bullet. In spite of all of this, those officers and others found a way to arrest Rahami without blowing his head off. It’s amazing, but surely that was not an accident. Somebody somewhere wanted Rahami to be brought alive for questioning.

What I want to know is this: Can African-Americans all over the country get a little of that Ahmad Khan Rahami treatment?

Only someone who has never fired a handgun would think this idea is credible. Beyond that, ff you have ever returned fire with a handgun at a person who is trying to kill you, you know how abjectly absurd this idea is.

First, if you are in a firefight – or believe one is imminent – and believe life your is in mortal danger of being instantaneously snuffed by a rapidly moving man who wants desperately to kill you, about the best you can do is send rounds in his direction. The idea that anyone in the heat of combat, adrenaline pumping, in peril of instant violent death can “aim for the legs” is a fantasy of the uninformed.

Secondly, the legal concept of “shooting someone just a little bit” is absurd. Either you are in mortal danger or you are not. If you are in mortal danger you must respond with deadly force. If you are not in mortal danger, you don’t fire your weapon at all. In other words, a firearm is a deadly weapon that can only be used when lives are legitimately in danger. We should support neither, 1) prohibiting police from using deadly force when they are in mortal danger nor, 2) allowing police to use a deadly weapon when they are not.

The writer’s idea that some suspects survive shootouts with police and some don’t because of where the police are told to aim is utterly preposterous.


The First Amendment won’t stop Trump!

If you blog about how to make an explosive device during the Trump Administration, prepared to be arrested immediately.

Trump also said he believes there’s a foreign connection to the attack.

It is unclear whether Trump obtained his information from some sort of briefing.

His campaign has declined to say.

Trump is also saying that people who publish bomb-making instructions in magazines and on websites should be arrested “immediately.”

“They’re making violence possible,” he said.

Just yesterday I spoke on this site about how to make tannerite detonate without shooting it.

If Trump gets elected, I am going to need to recruit a team of volunteers to scrub this site of any type of explosive device descriptions and anything that Donald might consider libel. I don’t want to go to jail.

More here.


In the Navy

No problem, honey!  Now you can be a man.

No problem, honey! Now you can be a man.

The United States Military has determined that cross dressing service members will enhance America’s defense posture and warfighting capabilities.

All members of the United States Navy will undergo indoctrination in order to train them to accept that this policy isn’t insane.

As the Pentagon makes changes to allow transgender service members to serve openly, the Navy is holding training to educate all troops on the new policies.

In an all-Navy message published Tuesday, Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Robert Burke said a three-pronged training approach will equip senior leaders and rank-and-file personnel for the changes.

“This training will emphasize policies and expectations of personal behavior,” the message states.

Beginning Nov. 1, mobile training teams composed of Navy fleet representatives and subject matter expects will be dispatched to deliver face-to-face briefs to senior leaders, including commanding officers, executive officers, command master chiefs, and chiefs of boat.

More at the Military Times.


Your dog is a slave

A new book calls for the abolition of pet slavery.

Those individual educational efforts will merge into the creation of a grassroots movement that will do what the large welfare charities have not done and cannot do: be an anti-slavery movement for nonhuman animals and promote the idea that all sentient beings have the moral right not to be used as the property of others.

In this book, we discuss six principles that make up the Abolitionist Approach:

I. Principle One: Abolitionists maintain that all sentient beings, human or nonhuman, have one right—the basic right not to be treated as the property of others.

II. Principle Two: Abolitionists maintain that our recognition of this one basic right means that we must abolish, and not merely regulate, institutionalized animal exploitation, and that abolitionists should not support welfare reform campaigns or single-issue campaigns.

III. Principle Three: Abolitionists maintain that veganism is a moral baseline and that creative, nonviolent vegan education must be the cornerstone of rational animal rights advocacy.

IV. Principle Four: The Abolitionist Approach links the moral status of nonhumans with sentience alone and not with any other cognitive characteristic; all sentient beings are equal for the purpose of not being used exclusively as a resource.

V. Principle Five: Abolitionists reject all forms of human discrimination, including racism, sexism, heterosexism, ageism, ableism, and classism—just as they reject speciesism.

VI. Principle Six: Abolitionists recognize the principle of nonviolence as a core principle of the animal rights movement.

On the bedrock of these six principles, we maintain that that we can end animal exploitation.

These dogs would like to provide a canine response to the above.


And our first contestant is: Ahmad Rahami

The first named New York City bombing suspect.

Law enforcement officials are searching for a 28-year-old man suspected of playing a role in the series of blasts that have terrorized New York and New Jersey over the last three days.

Multiple senior law enforcement officials and an NYPD spokesperson early Monday identified Ahmad Rahami of Elizabeth, New Jersey, as the suspect. The FBI said Rahami, a U.S. citizen of Afghan descent, should be considered armed and dangerous.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo conceded Monday that officials could not rule out international terrorism.

I am shocked. I was expecting the name to be something like Kevin Johnson or maybe Hoshi Hotaru, weren’t you?


Jan Žižka defeated the Catholics and then his radical erstwhile allies


Jan Žižka was the commander of the Hussite forces during the Hussite Wars in Bohemia in the 15th century. He is considered to be among the greatest military leaders and innovators of all time and is one of several commanders in history who never lost a battle.

A hundred years before Martin Luther nailed his religious principles on the door of a Wittenberg cathedral, Jan Hus was preaching reformation in Bohemia. He was burned at the stake by Hungarian and German Catholics for his “heresy” and his followers, protestant Hussites, rose up to demand religious and national freedom.

Žižka fought two major crusades against the Catholics and defeated them each time. He is a national hero in the Czech Republic.

The Hussite movement, however, was not monolithic. Once success in battle freed the Hussites from Catholic control, the movement broke into factions. The faction that most radically departed from the Catholic Church were called Taborites. The Taborites fought alongside Žižka against the Catholics but once that threat was reduced, they turned on the moderates.

The most radical of the Taborites called themselves Picards and they were radical indeed. The Picards set up communistic society in Bohemia in which they promoted beliefs that included rejection of marriage, holding of wives in common, the abolition of distinctions of rank and wealth and acceptance of public nudism in the manner of Adam and Eve. The Picards grew to 80,000 members but their radicalism was too much for Žižka.

In 1421, Žižka sent a force of 400 to exterminate the Picard leadership; he ordered them burned at the stake as heretics. Later, Žižka formed a coalition of moderate Hussites and friendly Catholic nobility to battle the most radical Taborites of the Hussite movement.

Žižka understood that the enemy of Bohemian nationalism and the Reformation wasn’t just the Catholic Church, it was also the most radical elements in his own Hussite movement.

Žižka was so well regarded that when he died, his soldiers called themselves the Orphans because they felt like they had lost their father. His enemies said that “The one whom no mortal hand could destroy was extinguished by the finger of God”. He is remembered today as a national hero of the Czech people.



New York shutting down masturbation stations

Leftists have no understanding of human nature.

Let this be entered into the record as exhibit #945,234

The Wi-Fi kiosks in New York were designed to replace phone booths and allow users to consult maps, maybe check the weather or charge their phones. But they have also attracted people who linger for hours, sometimes drinking and doing drugs and, at times, boldly watching pornography on the sidewalks.

Now, yielding to complaints, the operator of the kiosks, LinkNYC network, is shutting off their internet browsers, but not their other functions, while it works out a Plan B with city officials.

“People are congregating around these Links to the point where they’re bringing furniture and building little encampments clustered around them,” said Barbara A. Blair, president of the Garment District Alliance, a business group in Manhattan. “It’s created this really unfortunate and actually deplorable condition.”

Why, it is almost as if, in shared-resource systems where individual users experience no personal cost, people act independently according to their own self-interest and behave contrary to the common good of all users by abusing that resource.

Who could have seen that coming?



Let’s play Solomon and divide this baby

According to the left, well balanced rights look like this:


Girls from a swim team in New York City’s Upper West Side are too scared to use the women’s locker room at a Parks Department swimming pool. In March, a sign appeared noting that everyone has the the right to use the restroom or locker room consistent with their “gender identity or gender expression.” Around the same time, the girls, who range in age from about seven to 18, became concerned after they saw a “bearded individual” in the women’s changing room.

They are now using the family changing room to change in and out of their swimsuits, but it is not big enough for all 18 girls.

As is the case everyday, we are forced in this situation to balance rights. In my oft used example, I have the right to raise hogs but not on a quarter acre lot in town. My neighbor’s right to enjoy home and hearth in a residential community trumps my right to raise hogs on my land. His rights and mine are placed in the balance and his are deemed weightier.

Let’s put the rights of showering naked people in the balance, shall we?

Comes now a biological man who, to paraphrase Shania Twain, “feels like a woman”. This person is, presumably more comfortable in the public locker room nominally reserved for girls than in the boys room or the private shower room offered. He/she does not want to use the private locker room provided because he/she insists that he/she has the same right to use the communal showers as anyone else who identifies as a woman. He has his rights, you know.

On the other hand, there is the girls swim team. Like the person above, they want to be comfortable in the communal locker room. The problem for them is that they don’t feel comfortable with a hairy, bearded, breastless “woman” showering next to them. So-called enlightened people scoff at the girls’ discomfort even as they feel deep sympathy for the discomfort penised, bearded, hairy chested “women” feel when compelled to use the men’s locker room or to shower in private.

In order for everyone to be comfortable, somebody is going to have to use the private shower.

The de facto “solution” as effectively endorsed by the New York City Parks Department and the officials who set policy in New York is that 18 girls share a single shower head in a single stall shower room so that the right to feel comfortable of one bearded, hairy “woman” is protected.

I wonder if Revo Readers can come up with any other locker room solution that balances the rights of all involved in a less burdensome matter.

Good luck. It’s a real head scratcher.


Are millions of American teens starving?

According to this article, millions of American teens are starving and going so far as to prostitute themselves for food.

The study found at least 6.8 million people were “food insecure,” meaning they didn’t have reliable access to affordable, healthy food. Another 4 million were in “marginally food secure” households, where the “threat of running out of food is real.”

All of the 10 communities surveyed in focus groups mentioned teens using sex to pay for meals. Eight of the 10 mentioned criminal acts, ranging from shoplifting to drug dealing, to pay for food. And widespread scrutiny around surrounding hunger often prevented teens from opening up.

Interesting. Especially when you consider that Food Stamp benefits cost $74.1 billion in fiscal year 2014 and supplied roughly 46.5 million Americans with an average of $125.35 for each person per month in food assistance.

In fiscal year 2014, WIC served 8.3 million Americans with an average of $43.64 per person per month – or $4.3 billion per year – in food assistance.

The federal CACFP program provides reimbursement for healthy meals and snacks in child care centers, family child care homes, after school programs, emergency shelters, and adult day care programs.

The USDA also offers the School Breakfast Program (SBP), the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Special Milk Program (SMP).

Additionally, the federal government supports the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) and the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).

This does not include state nutrition programs, church and private food banks and free meal programs, individual charities or direct cash welfare payments.

Then there is this…

Children of parents with less than 12 years of education had an obesity rate 3.1 times higher (30.4 percent) than those whose parents have a college degree (9.5 percent).

Children living below the federal household poverty level have an obesity rate 2.7 times higher (27.4 percent) than children living in households exceeding 400 percent of the federal poverty level.

Children living in low-income neighborhoods are 20 percent to 60 percent more likely to be obese or overweight than children living in high socioeconomic status neighborhoods and healthier built environments.

Finally there is this:


Can anyone explain why, in this environment, millions of American teenagers are starving? Or could it be that they are not and the article quoted above is propaganda?


Clinton to require employers to pay maternity leave

Here is the plan to expand the leviathan’s administrative control further burden employment…

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday will unveil several policy proposals for lowering child-care costs that were crafted in part by her daughter, Chelsea, including a plan to guarantee six weeks of paid maternity leave…

Nah, just kidding. That is actually Donald Trump’s plan. Here is the real quote.

Donald Trump on Tuesday will unveil several policy proposals for lowering child-care costs that were crafted in part by his eldest daughter, Ivanka, including a plan to guarantee six weeks of paid maternity leave that marks a striking departure from GOP orthodoxy of recent years.

Don’t feel bad for believing me. Clinton offers a similar policy. After all, they are both big government boosters.


Yay Team!


Last Saturday Iowa went nuts. Saturday was the annual the Iowa-Iowa State football game and it is a long tradition that everything in the state stop, everyone choose sides, get drunk and treat the game with the moral equivalent of existential warfare. You must choose sides. You must care deeply. You will be a winner or loser by the end of the day. You must support your team.

The next day photos of groups of supporters decked out in the colors and engaging in tailgating and sports bar revelry were regaled with thousands of likes on social media. This is an event about which people care deeply and loyalties to the colors and teams are intense and fierce.

This fascinates me. After all, it is just a game. It is a game played by children. The outcome of the game, in the grand scheme of things, is inconsequential. Unless gambling is involved, who wins and who loses will affect most not at all. On paper, people really shouldn’t care much at all.

Oh, but they care. They care intensely. They care like a loss by their chosen team is a personal failure that reflects poorly on their own character. I know people who care about very little more than they care about the performance of their chosen team.


I think it is clear that rooting for your chosen sports team is a core part of the human experience. It seems to provide sense of belonging to the tribe. Sports identification fills a part of the human need for kinship, inclusion and acceptance. Being a member of the team (aka tribe) boosts self-esteem and creates a sense of personal pride. When your teams wins, you feel like a winner and that is an awesome feeling that isn’t easy to get in the modern world. The flip side, of course, is that when your team loses you feel the agony of defeat and all of the emotions that come with it.

Is this healthy? I think that, for the most part, it is. A longing for belonging and to be part of a collective struggle seems to be a basic part of the human psyche and sports identification – for the most part – fulfills that need in a safe, innocuous manner.

The problem is that this need for belonging and struggle can be exploited in unhealthy ways. For example, in politics.

Every four years the American political system taps into the emotions of last weekend’s Iowa-Iowa State game and exploits this human instinct for tribe identification and self-actualization and ties it to the success or failure of the team. This irrational tribalism is fine for sports but it is troubling when tied to politics.

Step back for a moment and become a man from Mars. Behold Americans getting emotional in their support for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Listen to them talk in apocalyptic terms regarding the importance of their team’s victory. The reality is that, for most of them, the difference between Trump and Clinton in the White House will be only at the extreme margins of their lives.

Yet they care. There are only two tribes and they have a strong instinct to join one tribe or the other and to pledge extreme fidelity to that tribe. They self actualize around the success or failure of their tribe and they feel like winners and losers based on the outcome of the tribal conflict. This is not rational and it does not lead to good government.

Tribal identity is at the core of sports team identification and it makes people care intensely about contests the outcome of which are inconsequential. With sports, it is a healthy outlet and harmless. When that same human instinct is exploited by political parties it allows them to put forward grotesques like Clinton and Trump and still get people to self-actualize around the outcome of an election in which, no matter who wins, the people lose.