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Friday, September 25, 2015

The perils of tribal thinking.

What is the problem with the following sentence?

Jake Brewer was an IT specialist for the Obama White House, a husband and father of one child and another who will be born in a few weeks.

Think about it for a minute.

The problem is clear, after some reflection:

It does not represent the order of importance. He was a husband and father foremost, an IT specialist secondarily, and a man who worked in a political job last. 

He died in a tragic accident last week while riding a bicycle for charity. His wife--widow--is the noted conservative commentator Mary Katherine Ham. 

But the coverage of their marriage has featured, a la Carville-Matalin, the seeming Blue-Red mismatch.

While opposites may attract, it is compatibility that sticks.

In a moving memorial to her husband, Ham demonstrates how foolish it is to use a political label to define the whole person.

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