Our Concept Of Tribe Will Define America's Future
History and Today demand that we define ourselves as "The American Tribe".
There appears to be something in our genes that arouses our impulse to define ourselves with our "tribe" and to be suspicious of other "tribes" in any ways they are unlike our own.
If true, we need today's chance to strengthen our concept that we Americans are all part of our American "tribe" and recent events have diminished that feeling by causes that encourage us to see ourselves as Democrat or Republican, Red States or Blue States, Whites. or Asians, or Blacks, or Hispanics, Legals, or Illegals, separating us into distinct "tribes".
President Obama could, and should, have said something like "I am an American, born of a black father and a white mother, raised by a white grandmother and married to a black wife. I am an American, not one thing or the other, but both at the same time, American!"
Would that have made a difference in America today? Would Obama even have been elected president?
We will never know the answers to those questions, in large part because then Senator Obama did not take that path.
Now it is time for America to take a united path, just as we did when Imperial Japan attacked and Adolph Hitler and his Nazis were running rampant across Europe; just as we did in the Cuban Missile Crisis, and following the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers when we knew that we were all being challenged as Americans.
I sense that every person on this planet Earth would rally together, if we were to be challenged by aliens from outer space. Barring such an external threat, we find ourselves divided into our “tribes" as defined by borders and flags, languages, cultures, doctrines, economies, and historical divisions such as religion, and ethnicity.
Today's America is a reflection of what is wrong with the world. America has at times been a beacon, a glimmer of what the world could be, if a League of Nations, and a United Nations could actually fulfill the dreams of a torn and waiting world divided against itself.
If America realizes its potential and shows how diverse people can live together in harmony under a system of laws and equal justice for all, we can once again be that beacon for the world.
Until that day, we are no better nor worse than the struggling world around us.
We want to believe that we are better, that our Constitution already makes us unique, and that our form of capitalism offers the individual hope and opportunity for a rise to the top of the human totem pole of our “tribe”.
There is an historic American example of how tribalism has failed in the past. Native Americans were divided by tribalism, linguistically, and culturally. They were unable to unite to defend their collective ways of life. They were subjected to the many indignities that followed. Divided they fell.
America’s future could be similar, or we could learn from history and the warnings of our first president, George Washington. He warned that our “liberty depends on [our] unity.”
His warnings can be read in “Washington’s Farewell Address” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington%27s_Farewell_Address) and his warnings are as true today as they were when his “address” was made public as an article in a Philadelphia newspaper dated September 17, 1796 and published on September 19, 1796.
I urge every patriotic American concerned about America’s future to seek out and read his readily available farewell address. It speaks to today’s priority concerns equally as well as it did to America’s priority concerns 220 years ago.
Over those 220 years his warnings have sounded less and less on our national consciousness. They are warnings against what America has become....dire warnings from a man considered "The father of our country" and his close friends Alexander Hamilton and John Jay.
© 2016 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.