Thank you to the majority of Alabamians for loving our country more than you hated Democrats. Thank you for voting as citizens, not as members of a tribe.
.. I have peered into this tribal abyss.
.. Back in the late 1970s, when I was covering the Lebanese civil war, a story made the rounds in Beirut that the Lebanese Christian Phalangist militia had come up with a novel way of discovering a Palestinian trying to pass through one of its checkpoints. The Phalangists would show the driver a tomato and ask: What’s this? If the driver used the standard Lebanese pronunciation, “banadurra,” he was allowed to pass. If he used the Palestinian pronunciation, “bandora,” he could be pulled out of his car and shot on the spot.
That is tribal politics at its raw essence: It doesn’t matter how you live your life or what you aspire to for your society. All that matters is your sectarian or tribal identity, revealed by how you pronounce the word for tomato.
Middle Easterners have a saying for this kind of thinking: “Me and my brother against my cousin. Me, my brother and my cousin against the outsider.”.. Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya tell CNBC on Tuesday that social media is creating a society that confuses “popularity” with “truth.”