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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/4/22

The Sad Answer in the Indian Wars

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The End of America Dance Parties
The End of America Dance Parties
(Image by Kevin Tully)
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Thinking about the meaning of July 4th and how this year it is severely tainted. I'm talking about the real meaning of it, not polyester flags and fireworks and cheap hotdogs.

When I was in school, I wrote a paper for a cultural anthropology class titled, "Tribalism in American Society." I don't remember much about it except after doing the research on tribalism, as it related to Native American tribes, I came to the conclusion, which probably didn't require much research, that the glue that holds a tribe together is a common set of values and an accepted mythology.

Societies or countries are not tribes. Tribes are subsets within a society or country. To be accepted into the tribe one must adhere to the tribe's accepted code of values and the group's mythology.

All the handwringing going on now on the Left, liberals, and progressives, over the conservative blitzkrieg is warranted. Because the Right has absolutely become a tribe. And this should scare the sh*t out of us.

A tribe is self-contained. It doesn't operate on the larger society's generally accepted mores or ways of being -- in business, politics or personally. Once the tribe's way of being in the world is codified and mythologized, it becomes absolute and heretics are not tolerated -- think Liz Cheney. The SCOTUS ruling on the abortion issue is a perfect example of tribal orthodoxy. One cannot be pro-choice and maintain good standing in the tribe.

With apologies to Native Americans, that history is a much more nuanced and complicated story, however also a perfect analogy for the moment. If you want to understand what the Left of America is up against, research the Plains Indian Wars.

The Comanche, the Lakota, the Cheyenne, the Apache and many others fought like hell against the white usurpers for many reasons, but the paramount reason was because they were defending their land and the way of life it provided.

Sound familiar? The parallels between 1870's Native American rhetoric and the current rhetoric of the Right is chilling.

Our President, and some in Congress, have made a horrible, possibly fatal blunder. They have sought bi-partisanship. There has not been and, going forward, there will be no possibility of bi-partisanship. America is now tribal.

If you want to understand our current situation google: Geronimo, Sitting Bull, Quanah Parker, Red Cloud, Manuelito, Tecumseh and others. Look into what the solution to the various conflicts was.

It is so tragic that we have come to this place. There is the possibility of some collegial outcome, but not likely.

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Kevin is an Artist, Writer, Carpenter and Gallerist in Texas.

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