The Squad would take us back to tribalism

OPINION: John R. Smith

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Enlightenment ushered in a time when a significant number of barbaric, brutish and inhuman practices were forced out of human interaction and governance.

This movement was an intellectual and philosophical revolution in the 18th century, heralding a New Age which promoted human dignity, reason, liberty and the greatness of the individual. The Enlightenment rejected superstition, “the divine right of kings”, and advocated the rise of natural individual rights and the scientific method. Adam Smith and capitalism rose to the front ranks of economic thinking.

Prior to the Enlightenment, tribal mores and customs dictated much of human behavior and how humans treated each other. Under tribalism, above all else, people were loyal to their own social group, and often showed animosity or violence to other groups. “Tribes” shared common lifestyles, habits and interests. There was usually a strong ethnic or cultural identity that bound the members together. The Hoover Institute’s Victor Hanson, a historian, expressed it this way: “If we were to go back to the pre-Enlightenment, that’s how we used to identify ourselves: as tribal people that our first loyalty is always to the people with similar superficial appearance.” In short, tribalism involves more primitive instincts that protect the group. And the Enlightenment helped to move the human race away from those damaging behaviors and beliefs.

Now, shift, and put the spotlight on the behavior and pronouncements of The Squad, which Wikipedia defines as the “informal political grouping of four (freshman) members in the 2018 United States House of Representatives elections”, supported by the so-called ‘Justice Democrats’ (a progressive political PAC which seeks to replace every business-backed member of Congress).

The four are Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Ayanna Pressley– with Palestinian, Somalian, Puerto Rican, and African American ethnic backgrounds. The word “Squad” arose from East Coast hip-hop culture and millennial slang, and refers to a group of young people who choose to identify as a youth social clique with a common culture. Cortez used the term “Squad”, since her Bronx home-borough “was the origin of a hip hop group called Terror Squad, formed in 1998” and organized by people named Fat Joe, Remy Ma, Armageddon, DJ Khaled, Triple Seis, Cuban Link, and Cool & Dre. Huh?

The Squad advocates “progressive” policies like the Green New Deal and abolishing ICE. With opposition to this group growing, a Fox news host referred to them as “the four horsemen of the apocalypse”. The Squad has been on a campaign to define themselves as “progressive women of color”, which allows them to claim victimhood and racism when they are criticized. The problem, of course, is that the criticisms have nothing to do with skin color; they have to do with behavior and the radical beliefs and utterances of the individuals within the foursome.  They don’t want to be judged on their merits, or how effective they are as a Representative, because that’s tough to defend. Instead, they want to claim the criticism is based on their ethnicity.

This fits in with pre-Enlightenment tribal instincts: if someone with a different skin color criticizes a tribe member, that makes it a “racial” criticism. The Squad refuses to see each American as a unique individual. They believe all of America should belong to “collectives” that group “oppressed” people together as a flock, under a gender, race or class banner. This is a radical identity-politics agenda promoted by many progressives. The Squad, embracing tribal concepts, wants the U.S. to become a country that forms exclusive political alliances based on race, gender, social culture, sexual orientation and possibly religion. Karl Marx had similar social class notions.

The Squad and its followers are ignorant, backward-thinking people who don’t understand that politics based on keeping groups at each other’s throats only breeds hate, fractures civil society, promotes disunity and actually works against creating genuine opportunities that end injustices. The Squad is a dangerous, threatening enemy of The American Way, an enemy who fails to see that upward mobility and economic success can be achieved by any American through hard work.

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.

John R. Smith

John R. Smith is chairman of BIZPAC, the Business Political Action Committee of Palm Beach County, and owner of a financial services company. He is a frequent columnist for BizPac Review.
John R. Smith

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