An episode of Babylon 5 focused on a cultural practice of the alien species the Drazi. Every so often they had a big battle between Drazi wearing green scarves and Drazi wearing purple scarves.
There was no philosophical or economic dispute between the two sides. There was no matter of class or status or race that stood between them. No, they had a big box of mixed scarves and whoever drew out a purple one was on the purple side, and whoever drew out a green one was on the green side.
American politics has long born entirely too much resemblance to that conflict. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there are differences of principle between the major parties, and between various minor ones. However, those differences in principle get forgotten when it comes to actions by the party representative in office.
Republican implements gun control by executive fiat? That’s unimportant, his supporters say. “Who cares about…” or worse. “4-D Chess.” Democrat proposes gun control? High dudgeon from the Republican’s supporters.
Democrat says “we must enforce our immigration laws”? Cheers, or at least silence from Democrat pundits and voters. Republican says the same thing, and continues policies started under a previous, Democrat, office holder? Screams of “concentration camps”, “never again!” and “war crime” (one wonders with whom we are supposed to be at war).
For entirely too many people, principle takes a back seat to supporting “their team.” Unlike the Drazi, they may have chosen a side based on principle rather than simply pulling a scarf out of a box but when it comes to actual political action it’s “Green!” “Purple!”
Or “Red!” “Blue!”