Glenn Beck, Michelle Bachmann, Rush Limbaugh, and others like the are seeking to destroy the United States by replacing citizenship with tribalism. I do not think most of them intend this consequence, but they are so intoxicated by their self-righteousness that they are blind to the deeper consequences of what they are accomplishing. Richard Poplawski’s murderous rage is one result. Almost certainly there will be others just as bad. An awful lot depends on hoew many.
They are taking us backwards in time, to tribalism, and our salvation may be that theirs is a very small tribe. Even so, they can do enormous damage. It has happened before.
The break up of Yugoslavia showed it is possible for divisive
politicians to destroy a country. All they and their media allies
needed to do was gradually convince people that their differences
between one another were more important than their similarities. The
Tribalism has been the chief barrier to establishing viable democracies in many parts of the world. Most African countries’ boundaries were drawn ignoring who lived there. As a result peoples who lived peaceably with one another were divided, and lumped with peoples with very different cultural and political identities. Chaos and dictatorship resulted. When boundaries respected tribal divisions, democracy succeeds. Botswana is a good example.
We see the same problem in Iraq today where Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds form three groups with little sense of mutual identity. What sense they once had as Iraqis has been eroded by ambitious politicians. Violence is down in Baghdad at least as much due to ethnic cleansing having separated whole peoples as to Bush’s ‘surge.’
The same took place in Yugoslavia, another country where divisions were deliberately exacerbated by ambitious politicians, with incredibly lethal results. There was little likelihood of this carnage until politicians with the aid of their media allies began convincing Yugoslavs that many of their fellow citizens were no good.
Their American equivalents are the media stars and leading politicians among the “Christian” right and the culture warriors in geenral.
For a tribal mentality, loyalty to one’s tribe, not one’s country is what counts. This can establish a viable country when it is homogenous, but the stage is set for trouble when it is not. When one group wins they seek to install permanent rule: one man, one vote, one time. Then the other group feels tyrannized over, and rebels.
Republicans and American conservatives are increasingly acting like tribes hostile to the rest of us, not citizens. Never in the lifetime of anyone now living have the losers of an American election done so much to discredit the electoral process, deliberately prevent government from working, and encourage a wide ranging sense of crisis and danger among their followers as have the modern Republican Party and its allies. Never.
Utter nutjobs like Michele Bachmann, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and others have done their level best to instill panic fear and rage among those stupid enough to believe them. And yes, ‘stupid’ is the right word. Bachmann calls for revolution. Beck says we are headed to either communism or fascism , depending on the day he speaks. Then, when the weakest minds among their audience lash out lethally, they claim innocence.
Compare what they say, and say daily, in the name of a false ‘patriotism’ with how they reacted when the Dixie Chicks said they were “asahmed” George Bush was from their home state of Texas. They were pulled from the air because of right wing outrage.
We now know right wing terrorist and murderer Richard Poplawski liked Glenn Beck enough that he posted “a link to [neoNazi] Stormfront of a YouTube video featuring talk show host Glenn Beck talking about FEMA camps with Congressman Ron Paul.” Encouraging violence, Beck gets prime time week after week.
The Republican Party would rather the people of Minnesota go without a fairly elected Senator than allow Al Franken to take the office he fairly won even though there is now no way his Republican opponent can possibly win through counting votes. If EVERY still contested vote went to Coleman, he would still lose.
Sarah Palin wants a new Senatorial election in Alaska because Sen. Stevens was tried by Republicans, and later had the case thrown out due to serious prosecutorial misconduct. Elections count only when their side wins, as we learned in 2000 when imported mobs of Republican goons prevented vote counting in Florida. They haven’t changed.
A country lasts about as long as people can agree to be good winners and good losers. It dissolves when that mutual trust breaks dwn. Worse than any communist during the Cold War, these people and their allies are undermining America.
What country were these people in during their last lifetime? Rawanda?