Stop tribal mentality; think like Americans – New York News

 


On Sept. 5, in an article about Hurricane Harvey relief, the following statement of Texas Sen. John Cornyn was reported: “The first order of business is to make sure that we do everything we can to make sure the federal government is providing the support that’s needed for Texas and for Texans to heal.”

What’s wrong with this statement?

First, it starts with the implication that you can’t trust the government of the United States. This is the old, unpatriotic, Ronald Reagan lie that the government of this country is “the problem.” Apparently, neither Ronald Reagan nor John Cornyn ever heard of “We the People” and the rest of the document that follows.

Second, and more importantly, the senator is talking about support for Texas and Texans. This is the classic tribalism of the Republican Party. Define small tribes and tell them that everyone else is the enemy. What should be said is that the U.S. government can be counted upon to provide support for Americans in need.

It’s only when we stop being small tribes and think of ourselves as Americans that it becomes possible to think of ourselves as something more, as being “human beings.”

Bill MacTiernan

Schenectady

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