“… I have covered enough of my colleagues who have ended up … in cages in kangaroo courts, in places like Cairo or Moscow, on trial for being inciters or sympathizers or associates or … flat out terrorists. So I feel I have to stand up for my own tribe (emphasis added) in the United States.”
Christiana Amanpour is a British-Iranian international correspondent and CNN superstar who once said, “We in the press, by our power, can actually undermine leadership.” She is a passionate “never Trumper” of the first order and appears fully committed to using the powers of the press to obstruct, subvert and nullify President-elect Trump and his evil and dangerous “tribe” of right-wingers, war-mongers and enemies of freedom and the First Amendment.
Now the burgeoning power and popularity of Trump has thrown her into paroxysms of fear, and she appeals for the safety and freedom of the American press. This suggests to me that her so-called “power” of the press is more bluff than anything else; it collapses when a really tough leader like Trump comes along.
For over a half-century, weak-kneed politicians have bowed before the press and provided them with politically correct “safe zones” of interaction where the left ran amok and the right was relegated to the sidelines. This was not due to the sheer power of the press but, rather, to the naivete and cowardice of conservative and traditionalist politicians who have sat quietly by and merely watched as the godless and pagan left took control of the country.
It is all a matter of tribes and tribality, and the “diverse” Democrats of many races, hues and ethnicities have somehow emerged as a stronger, more committed and more unified political force than the predominantly white and Christian majority on the Republican side. That is, until Trump appeared as a unifying force who quelled political correctness on the one hand and the limp-wristed faux-warriors of the press on the other.
The issue of political tribalism has been widely discussed, and many consider the recent presidential campaign and election as perhaps the most hateful and divisive in American history. This was not just an election but internecine warfare between alien tribes bent on the annihilation of the other. Matt Lewis says America’s political parties are “just tribes now,” and all of the old rules are thrown out the window. Moreover, he says our civilization is “regressing as a result.”
Tribalism has a warm, fuzzy side and a very dark and ominous side as well. As long as one is a valued member of the in-group, he or she enjoys the benefits of acceptance, support in time of need and a sense of shared meanings. Those not in the in-group are to be avoided and marginalized at best and exploited and even killed at worst.
Whether good or bad, the formation of tribes and competition between them is as human as breathing. The psychology of kinship is a major aspect of Human Paleopsychology, and the issue of tribes and tribality is of fundamental significance. Human beings naturally form tribes of like “kind,” and it is pleasurable, highly functional and adaptive to do so. Moreover, identification with such larger-than-family units has been a part of human experience from the “caveman” to the present.
A person’s sense of self, the quality of his or her social relationships, and levels of both physical and psychological health resonate strongly with relative “success” in being a valued member of the “tribe.” Human beings are a group-oriented species, and being alone is highly aversive. Most of us will do anything to avoid it.
If being “tribal” is therefore natural, adaptive and necessary for good health, why would anyone be lured into thinking in a “post-tribal” way? In fact, there are no post-tribal people on the face of the earth. However, there are those who have adopted the false premise that such a thing is possible, and they pay a great price for it.
A so-called “post-tribal” individual not only loses his or her tribal benefits in terms of self-identification, belongingness and health, but he or she is monumentally handicapped relative to highly organized and efficient tribes competing for limited resources. While others are begging, manipulating, voting and even rioting for a bigger piece of the pie, the post-tribalist quietly watches without complaint as his or her world slips away.
America was once a Christian nation, and those legions of unhyphenated Americans unaware of their country of origin could bask in simply being a “Christian American.” They had a tribe and a great and respected one – America itself. Now, while masses of immigrants and hyphenated Americans glory in their race, ethnicity, religions, cultural dress and habits, and exalted “diversity,” the once-majority population is left out in the cold.
Sociologists coined the term “neotribalism,” which refers to the process of manufacturing new kinds of tribes when older and natural forms are not available. Since human beings seem to need some form of tribal identification to exist, the lonely post-tribalist of European descent must invent new groups to join and believe in. Some of these groups are simply silly, others harmless but intellectually and spiritually vacuous, while others are ancient, ugly and anti-Christian throwbacks like witchcraft, satanism and paganism.
So while the neo-Marxist, liberal and Democratic super-tribe coalesces around its constituent sub-tribes in the press, the entertainment industry, academia and the courts, the “post-tribal” and unchurched white Christian youngster must find spiritual meaning on Facebook, increasingly stupid and banal TV fare, sports, drugs, and increasingly elaborate tattoos and body piercing. Such is post-tribal and post-Christian America.
Now we see why so many Americans voted “To Make America Great Again.” America will be great again when the press “tribe” and political correctness are put in their proper place by a powerful leader like President Trump and we all become super-tribe AMERICANS again rather than “diverse” and alien sub-tribes acting like scorpions in a bucket.