In the current year of 2016, the Republican Party is faced with a serious challenge in its nomination process. Do they pick the guy the supporters of the Tribe of Parents want or do they pick the guy the supporters of the Red Tribe* want?
Trump voters are parent tribalists more often than Cruz voters, who are rock-ribbed Red Tribers. Palin is relevant here as an example of a pure-outsider to the Red Tribe.
Members of the Tribe of Parents are interested in practical natalism and improving conditions for people who have children (implicitly, married people).
The Red Tribe is strivers. Red Tribe folks are much more interested in affinity clubs/groups. The Tribe of Parents is more interested in local community groups.
Trump talks like a parent, making practical and tangible promises. Cruz talks like a striver, emphasizing in-group jargon and abstraction as a sign of superiority to the outgroup.
Palin was criticized within the right for being vulgar and interested in financial security for her family after her moment of fame passed. She was criticized for thinking and behaving like a parent. Now the same people are bringing very similar criticisms to bear on Trump, that he is a huckster and con artist and vulgar and just trying to use this race to increase his personal wealth. In other words, that he is committing the crime of being a parent instead of a striver devoted to higher abstract principles than his own children.
Red Tribe strivers tend to engage in SJW style projection about how wanting to preserve something for people who aren’t bound by affinity is hucksterism. Red Tribe strivers use the fact that Trump supporters aren’t articulate as a proof that they’re being conned by Trump. But being inarticulate about basic beliefs in God, family and country are normal and human…and average. Strivers are defined by their insistence upon and investment in the notion that they’re above average. So the Red Tribe loves a wonkish personality selling them their comforting beliefs but presume that a non-wonk isn’t sophisticated enough to learn how to join their club.
This is a concept I’m working out in real time, but I think it’s key to understanding larger cultural shifts going on of which Trump is just one piece.
*The Red Tribe is most classically typified by conservative political beliefs, strong evangelical religious beliefs, creationism, opposing gay marriage, owning guns, eating steak, drinking Coca-Cola, driving SUVs, watching lots of TV, enjoying American football, getting conspicuously upset about terrorists and commies, marrying early, divorcing early, shouting “USA IS NUMBER ONE!!!”, and listening to country music. This definition from Scott Alexander at Slate Star Codex is not exactly right, but it’s not all that wrong either. What it mostly gets wrong is the striver aspect of Red Tribe folks, who have buckets of strivers in their midst.