Friday, September 12, 2008

Going tribal

The politics of this country are going tribal, and for extension, the whole country is going tribal, even if some of us refuse to be part of any tribe.

Space, place, and pace of politics have become a tribal battleground. Look around, and you can see the war paint on their faces, hear their chants, and their feet stomping on the ground while they dance to the rhythm of political slogans.

The democratic party and the republican party are both going tribal.

Either you are an Obamunista, or a Clintonista, tribes that have reached a truce before they go cannibal on each other again. Wait and see. They already ate all the other tribes in their path, and want to force mental slavery on the survivors.

In the republican camp, either you are a Paulista (not related to Brazilian football) or you are a Georgian (related to the loyalists of King George) or Mac-Pal, or whatever else is in the spectrum. Now they have a wide cast of characters, that include Tancredistas, Newtonians, and reconstructed or unreconstructed Reaganistas. Ultimately, they have been all corralled under a big confederation of tribes, until they go mau-mau on each other.

In none of the camps is any space for what once was the pride of America: the independent thinker. No, they would love to wipe away any vestiges of individualism, and they would love to have you marching to the voting station in a very compact block. You cannot walk on the opposite sidewalk, even if you go in the same direction, you cannot walk alone if you chose to. No. They want you to be part of a large contingent, as your individuality didn't count. It really doesn't, at least not for the polticians. If they all carry black umbrellas you cannot carry one with psychedelic designs or with an abstract painting on it. You either part of one of the big tribes, or you are nihil.

I prefer to be nihil.

The political tribalization of this country will inevitably lead to its political trivialization in the international arena.