The American Tribe: Lost, Strayed or Stolen?

Not so long ago most Americans felt they belonged to a proud tribe that held traditional American values as sacred. The tribal centerpiece was a sense of patriotism that transcended race, ethnic origins, and politics.  The popularity of the TV Series Band of Brothers, attests to an appetite on the part of many viewers to watch how a group of brave Americans in life-threatening circumstances could bond in a form of brotherly love that transcended race, ethnic origin, and politics. Also, the unusual familiarity of so many Americans with the speech by English King Henry V on the eve of the Battle of Agincourt (1415) bears further testimony to a popular desire for more brotherhood and less division.

To quote Shakespeare: “This story shall the good man teach his son; and Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by, from this day to the ending of the world, but we in it shall be remembered — We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for he to-day that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother…”

The King even shot a barb from France back at those who stayed safe England: “And gentlemen in England now a-bed [snowflakes] shall think themselves accursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap [no testes] whiles any speaks that fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.” Nota Bene: [Comments mine.]

In Vietnam, my monsoon-soaked airmobile infantry company was mostly White, with about 13 percent African-Americans, and about six percent Hispanics. Two platoon leaders were White. One was African-American. One was Hispanic and our First Sergeant had some Cherokee blood. Yours truly, on both sides, a Scot.

During those hectic, scary moments as we assembled on the pick-up zone (PZ) for, yet another, helicopter-borne combat air assault, we were all of one color: Jungle Fatigue Green. The crucible of actual combat creates an absolute meritocracy. When life is in the balance whoever can best do the job gets the job irrespective of race, ethnic origin, or politics. We had no need of Social-justice Commissars enforcing quotas and diversity.  We were simply a band of brothers. Or, in other words, a united tribe.

Regrettably, America is no longer a united tribe. We are divided by race, ethnic origins, and highly partisan politics. Our Ship of State is floundering on the stony shoals of Critical Race Theory, Cancel Culture, Transgenderism, Wokeism, Ballot Harvesting, a Puppet Press aligned with one political party, the FBI, and a rogue Intelligence Community using social media to censor free speech, and a military in which fewer and fewer macho males (the kind needed to win wars), want to serve.

To revive the American tribe, some speak of a second American Revolution. The problem with armed Revolutions is that they are destructive. We do not need more destruction like the BLM riots of 2020 that cost 35 lives, $2 billion in property damage, with hundreds of police injured. Forget MAGA, what we need is an American Restoration like what Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) did (only without the violence) to restore order to an England fractured by a Civil War. But who and where is an Oliver Cromwell when America needs him?

Suggested reading: Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger, 2016. The Chronicle History of Henry the Fifth , and the Life of Henry the Fifthby William Shakespeare, 1600.

©2023. William Hamilton. All rights reserved.

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