If the 2016 election taught us anything, it’s that everything is binary.

The two major party candidates were all that mattered. If you didn’t vote for one of them, then the #ImWithHer and #MAGA crowds were quick to say your non-vote was unquestionable support for their opponent.

(I am still not sure how all of that actually works. The starry-eyed fanatics could never quite explain it.)

Now, more than eight months into the Trump administration, that binary obsession hasn’t worn off. Those who criticize President Donald Trump and his opposition when necessary are left exhausted by the near-constant battling with respective tribes. There is no middle ground. You must declare not only a one-time loyalty to the chosen group, but you also must never waver from an unapologetic defense of the indefensible.

Because of this either/or mentality, some have concluded that increased opposition to President Trump, for instance, indicates that he is “winning” against his opponents.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

While I appreciate the idea of bottling up “liberal tears”, I also recognize that dislike of the president and his policies does not only come from those who label themselves Democrats, the media, etc. In fact, this president, unlike others before him, is opposed by many who just recently dismissed, or still reluctantly claim, the label of Republican. It’s easy to say “well those on the other side of the aisle hate you, so you’re on the right track!” It’s much more difficult to claim that one is heading down the correct road when those of diverse ideological backgrounds unify under a shared dislike.

A recent example of this is the reaction to Trump’s behavior on social media when it comes to the ongoing crisis in Puerto Rico, which Jay Caruso wrote about here. Trump often logs on to Twitter to mouth off when he shouldn’t. This situation was no exception.

At a time when presidential integrity is a must, the exceptionally thin-skinned Donald Trump used the moment to lash out at Democratic opposition while also making a classless jab at hurricane victims and relief workers.

While people like Jay Caruso and others – hardly members of the Left – make excellent points about Trump’s social media antics…

…classless members of the Never [Criticize] Trump Club simply won’t have it.

The problem with Mr. Schlichter’s statement that those criticizing Trump should only focus on PR’s recovery is that President Trump himself won’t only focus on PR’s recovery. As with nearly every crisis during this administration, Trump absolutely must insert his massively inflated ego into it. But such is the temperament of a 71-year-old reality star who possesses a “fighting!” mentality.

In situations such as these, Trump and his apologists determine that their leader is acting correctly simply because he’s receiving pushback. This determination isn’t difficult since ALL they see is binary.

“That side is always wrong. Our side is always right.” 

Such a statement is false no matter if the Democrats, the media, or Trump and his fan club repeat that line.

Many who didn’t support either major party candidate will call out Trump for his behavior, but will also give him credit where it is due. Personally, I don’t see any other way to go about reacting to this or any other administration. To do anything less would be tribalism.

And as we’ve seen in the past several years, tribalism does us absolutely no favors.