At the bottom, not at the top
Perhaps we have a certain innate hunger for tribalism. It used to be that religious, racial, cultural, and sectional differences satisfied that hunger, insofar as we were socially permitted to speak ill of other religions, races, cultures, or parts of the country. Now that we have forbidden religion, race, and culture (at least) as subjects for at least overt tribalism (a good thing!), we seem to be stuck with politics. It is now socially acceptable to say that you are evil if you believe the things many (say) Republicans believe, and totally unacceptable to say you are evil if you believe the things that many (say) Catholics believe. That would have been incredibly weird at any time prior to about 1955, but this is where we are.
Perhaps, if we are lucky, we can focus our need for tribalism on something fairly benign, like college sports (OU sucks!). Even that, however, is difficult, what with the promiscuous use of the transfer portal....
Thank you, thank you for the keen insights and the elegant manner in which you explain them. I can only hope that it begins to make a dent in our collective madness.