Friday, August 19, 2016

Out of Many, More

Many on both the left and right argue that Arab states can't handle democracy. Corruption fueled by tribalism is too bad to allow democracy. Are we headed that way, too?

I don't believe Arab states are incapable of handling democracy. Latin Americans, Asians, and East Europeans largely achieved democracy despite experts saying the weights of culture and history were too great to overcome and achieve rule of law.

The problem is that everyone with democracy was once too tribal and corrupt for rule-of-law-based democracy--until they overcame that. Saying that democracy must await rule of law and suppression of tribalism neglects the role that beginning on the road to rule of law and democracy has on rolling back tribalism and corruption.

So it is with great concern to see how successfully Democrats have revived tribalism and corruption in our democracy. Oh, it is called interest group politics, but it is tribalism.

Through it all, this strategy to mobilize tribal loyalties relied on the majority to maintain a democracy based on rule of law to enable newly awakened tribes to gain ground.

If the majority as a tribe, too, the majority tribe could corruptly slap down the minority tribes, eh?

The corruption that Hillary Clinton represents is too obvious to detail yet again here. Republicans and Bernie Sanders fans agree on that if on nothing else.

The rise of Trump is the last stage of the revival of tribalism here rather than "nationalism" as many think of the Trump phenomenon. Jonah Goldberg put it well:

Every year, liberal pundits metaphorically rub their hands in glee at the latest demographic projections forecasting the dissolution of the white majority in the United States. Is it so shocking that some white people might not greet that prospect with the same glee — particularly when they have not seen tangible benefits from the immigration that is the source of all that diversity? ...

If nationalism is supposed to do anything, it’s supposed to unify the country. When I look at these so-called nationalists, though, I don’t see a unifying force. I see the latest entrants into a decades-old game of subdividing the country into tribes seeking to yoke government to their narrow agendas.

So what happens when we are all tribal, tolerant of corruption to benefit our own tribe, and convinced that the system is zero sum?

We can't handle that stress. America was designed to allow a sort of tribalism--the states pursuing policies to suit their people--to look to their own benefit with the blessings of the Constitution and the federal government ensuring rule of law.

But now with the federal government extending its powers into virtually every corner of state and local government authority, the federal government is now the ultimate prize for gaining an advantage in ethnic, racial, and religious tribal-based warfare (and the communists who infiltrate groups like Black Lives Matter give us low-level street fighters) rather than the force that defends rule of law.

And now white people have decided to play the game by the rules the Democrats wrote long ago. Instead of a country built on the idea that we could build one nation out of many, we will now make as many as possible, each out for themselves.

How long before people say America just isn't capable of handling democracy and rule of law?

How long can we even remain a single nation under those conditions?

Have a super sparkly day.