Amer­ica should tran­scend trib­al­is­tic ten­den­cies

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - - OPINION -

Pat Buchanan’s col­umn, “Peo­ples, na­tions fight­ing com­mands of democ­racy” (Opin­ion, Aug. 3) misses an op­por­tu­nity to speak with clar­ity about one of to­day’s ma­jor is­sues: trib­al­ism. Trib­al­ism is as old as the hu­man race. Since we de­clared our in­de­pen­dence in 1776, Amer­ica has de­fined it­self by an ideal – a propo­si­tion – that all peo­ple are cre­ated equal. We have strug­gled since then to move to our un­re­al­ized ideal of equal­ity. Lin­coln re­minded us of our anti-trib­al­is­tic ide­al­ism: “Con­ceived in lib­erty and ded­i­cated to the propo­si­tion that all men are cre­ated equal.” No doubt we have tried trib­al­is­ti­cally to im­pose our ideal on the world. Think Woodrow Wil­son and Ge­orge W Bush. Buchanan mud­dies the wa­ters by drift­ing off into com­ments on cul­ture wars. Amer­ica is chal­lenged as per­haps never be­fore to ex­em­plify its tran­scen­dence of trib­al­ism. If we are ex­cep­tional, now is the time for demon­stra­tion.

JOSEPH D. HERRING, JOHNS CREEK

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