The Power of the Tribe
Yesterday, January 6, 2021, will be remembered as a dark stain on American democracy. A day when angry and frustrated people gathered to release those emotions in an unhealthy manner on the very place that represents the core of American freedom, The Capital building in Washington, DC. It is the cumulative energy of the group that fed off each other and incited choices that caused harm to people, property, and social systems. Negative energy charged by and supported by leaders that spend their careers manipulating others emotions to behave in ways that will ultimately benefit them. Leaders which are sinister persons devoid of empathy for the people they enrage. A modern day Svengali.
The disenfranchised group of January 6th that caused harm are unfortunately victims of a sociopath. They were easy targets that were misguided because they admire any person that makes them feel supported during times of challenge. Very much like cult leaders and dictators of the past. Consider Jim Jones, The Peoples Temple, and his incredible power to compel hundreds of people to commit suicide as a result of his persistent push of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories in 1978. It was through misinformation that this vulnerable tribe of Americans were convinced to die. One of the largest acts of loss of American life just behind the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. More than 900 innocent people that sought support through common beliefs followed a tribal leader that had no regard for their safety or the sanctity of human life. They paid the ultimate price.
The term "tribe" is not limited to some far away land of people wearing loin cloths and speaking in clicking sounds. A "tribe" is simply defined as:
- a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader.
In American politics, Republicans, Democrats, Independents... can be categorized as tribes given the commonalities that tie the supporters together. Commonalities such as economic uncertainty, political view, racism can all factor into which tribe best suits you. Under healthy leadership, participating in the American political process can be spirited and informative. It offers opportunity to see topics through the lens of your neighbor. It offers the ability to speak your truth and participate in government to bring change to communities. But, under unhealthy leadership opportunity becomes opportunistic. The leadership of a Svengali is self serving at the expense of those that have been manipulated. Misinformation fuels anger and becomes the catalyst for unhealthy events that inevitably will cause harm to the tribe. Yesterday people died. People were injured. Property was damaged. Democracy was challenged. Many of the tribe may falsely believe they did good. They believe their actions were warranted. But, history will reveal they were merely puppets of a sociopath. Strings were pulled and they followed the leaders orders while the leader stayed back and watched. Secure in his house of the people.
Moving forward, the anger and the frustration will continue and the tribe will remain in a perpetuating state of hostility. The leader will continue to bark and the sound will become more and more distant. New Svengali's will try to fill his shoes and the tribe will rise up in protest once again. An endless cycle that will not be broken as long as hatred and divisiveness are fueled by power hungry leaders that are aroused by the control of others psyches.