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Tribal America


Tribal America

John Atcheson

Increasingly, pundits, politicians, and columnists are attributing America’s ills to tribalism. Google “tribal politics” and you’ll get pages of articles detailing how tribalism is turning us against one another or showing just how divided we are, most of them written within the last year. It’s become the go-to explanation for what’s wrong with us as a country.


All the deregulation over the last 40+ years has destroyed the media and their having to be accountable for content. Its turned into commercials with a bit of opinion interspersed between adds for things we don’t need. I shy away from any source with sponsorship by advertising, Then all one is left with is what the sponsors want you to see between adds. It won’t get any better anytime soon as neo-liberal selling of public owned assets to the highest bidder is allowed. If anyone has an idea to change this we need to hear about it now. I sure don’t. The net neutrality is the latest to suffer from deregulation. I’ve written to my Congress people and sent several letters to the FCC to no avail, yet anyway. The GOP is just too powerful these days.


What the corporations, their media and their politicians label media and financial industry “deregulation” during the past four decades is actually DECRIMINALIZATION.

More than 1,000 bankers served jail time for their roles in the 1980s savings and loan crisis, an event that negatively impacted TENS OF THOUSANDS of Americans, yet no bankers were even indicted for their roles in the 2008 crash that continues to negatively impact BILLIONS of people on every continent and most nations. What changed in 20 years ?

All forms of financial crime including fraud was decriminalized during that timeframe.


The coup was a day in November of '63, in a place called Dallas. Loose ends were tied up in '68.

Brutus was left - and the hippies came to mourn - and it is now - and the world ocean is heating up and acidifying - while the band plays on.


And this article shows how they got that way!


And, at the same time, petty victimless crimes became rigorously enforced! Example: Eric Garner busted and murdered for selling loose cigarettes.


Not only was gambling decriminalized, it was encouraged by the likes of Alan Greenspan and Robert Rubin.

And not only was it encouraged, it was re-encouraged post-2008 by the mother of all bail outs.

And not only is gambling now being re-encouraged, the main gambling houses are guaranteed a future bail out by virtue of having become even bigger TBTF entities.

Jeebus H, Wall St owns DC, lock, stock and barrel.


There is a progressive political party that does, not accept corporate money; namely, the Green Party (GP.org).


Now if the Green Party could only win elections. Well I guess you can’t have everything, can you?


It is no coincidence that Bill Clinton signed both the Telecommunications Act and the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999. He betrayed the interests of working class Americans. (he also pushed and signed NAFTA)


An article strongly the opposite of what I have understood to date.
Identity and tribalism go back a long ways. An early example would be the Molly Maguires and Fenians of the Irish, against oppression and exploitation of the Irish.

But up to 1960 most everyone wanted to “melt-in”, fit in to American society and get ahead. Beginning in the 1950s and picking up steam in the 1960s Blacks began organizing that they were eternally excluded, and demanding their rights. “United, we shall overcome.” Soon many other aggrieved groups were doing the same, and by 1988 the Rev. Jesse Jackson was trying to assemble a Rainbow Majority of such groups. - Many people remarked during 2016 that the Democrats and Hillary Clinton were trying to appeal to Identity Groups (Tribes) and assemble them into a winning majority, all on the basis of “fundamentally changing America” and taking back what rightfully belongs to them. That the only basis for uniting Hillary’s coalition is opposition to the red-neck desperately clutching deplorables.

BTW, there is an error that seems to be committed too often by people in this forum, believing that the mass of people are to the left of both parties. Could it be that the mass sits in-between the parties? and is ill served by both or either of them? See this book review, and the book it reviews:
Wall Street Journal Weekend 1-6-2018 page A9 ‘Moderate Voters, Polarized Parties’ Big text = "The author of ‘Unstable Majorities’ argues that if the public seems fickle, it’s because the politicians are too ideological.


The R and D wings of the Capitalist Party have conspired for decades to prevent the rise of any viable opposition, and have granted themselves exclusive gatekeeper status on admission to the political arena, by law, on behalf of their patrons who hate and fear small-d democracy.

In spite of this, and contrary to your glib assertion, Greens HAVE won elections, and will continue to do so.


Although Lrx can often post interesting observations, her commentary essentially amounts to support for the establishment-controlled status quo.

That means Lrx is defending her party’s current strategy and tactics. You know, the strategy and tactics based upon fighting the ghost of St Ronnie, identity politics, and abandoning the working class to court moderates like her. Now let me review how that’s been working out for her party:

Having lost in the vicinity of 1,000 seats nationwide, they currently hold the fewest elected positions since 1926.

They lost the presidency to the candidate with the lowest favorability polling since polling began.

They just caved in on an issue supported by more than 80% of voters, based on a promise from Mitch McConnell, because their big donors ordered them to.

Their once huge lead in generic 2018 ballot polling has dropped by more than half in the last 3 months.

They continue to marginalize the left because it’s better for fundraising to lose with conservadems that win with progressives.

For my own part, I state once again that I hope Lrx’s party stays the course. That way, developing an alternative to them will become all the easier.


Agreed—or, as somebody reminded us recently of Napoleon Bonaparte’s dictum, “Never interrupt your enemy when he’s making a mistake.”


No such Party exists? What about the Green Party? Couldn’t get much more Progressive than they are!


Yeah, it is just a shame they are so marginalized to the point that in many states you can’t even vote for them. Of course that is by design. The U.S. was set up to have a two party system that discourages third parties.


Just like the Democrats, right? When you run crap candidates like the Shillster, shit happens, right? Guess you can’t have everything, right.


I agree, and the egregious and elite, political fascists that orchestrated that coup are more powerful today than ever, albeit with different fascists. Just imagine how different America would be now if all those responsible had been brought to justice and been indicted for the assassinations of JFK,MLK and RFK!