Sunday, November 13, 2011

Welcome to the Revolution

I'm currently writing for the Washington County Observer. Here's a recent column:

The revolution begins immediately.

Right after "Dancing with the Stars."

Class warfare -- the dream of Marxists everywhere -- is supposedly taking root in the United States.

After all, Tea Partiers, marching in the streets holding signs dripping with unprintable hatred, are livid over the election of the first black President. And local communities are fielding police in riot gear to protect the masses in case Granny gets a bit rambunctious waving the Flag.

Occupy Wall Street claims to represent the masses as they speak, drum, protest, and make sure the generators are running to feed their hungry corporate-spawned iPods and laptops ("Power to the people!").

We're on the brink. It's brother and against brother. The Nation is ripping itself apart.

The horror!


We've seen worse. Even the founding of the Nation couldn't bring a consensus -- many people remaining loyal to King George felt a need to flee to Canada. Uprooting and voting with one's feet is serious business.

Then came the sixties. The eighteen sixties, that is. That's when the country really was torn apart and heated slogans turned into a horrific bloodbath. It indeed was brother against brother. And army against army.

And the nineteen sixties were no picnic, either. People lamenting alleged divisions of today often are unaware or forget the trauma of some forty years ago -- coast-to-coast burned cities, assassinations, campus riots, and strong generational splits.

True, there are strong differences of opinion today. And probably more than one holiday has been disrupted by a political dispute or two (Last year, my brother-in-law's pre-Thanksgiving dinner welcome to family and friends included this command: "No discussing politics. No politics in my house!").

But overall, typical American mutual respect and unity among one another remain.

But there are certain kinds of division going on. They are artificial divisions. "Astrosplits" I'd call them, much like the Astroturf protests of a rent-a-mob.

That's because dividing people brings confusion, discord, problems, and, if left unchecked, ultimately defeat. President Lincoln got it right when quoting the Bible's statement regarding how a house divided cannot stand.

Astrosplits pit political party against political party, men against women, race against race, and social and economic classes against one another. Astrosplits demonize certain people -- bankers and Wall Streeters, for instance. Because what's morale outrage without scapegoats?

But most people go about their business -- consumed with jobs, families, church, and social activities. They're not indifferent or apathetic, mind you (witness how the Tea Party came on the scene). And despite differences in politics, gender, race, ethnicity, income, and status, most Americans do a pretty good job of getting along.

Today, however, there is one new twist. We have a man in the White House who seems to revel in dividing us; indeed, to stoke it.

Because his desire to remake this nation according to his own ideology seems grounded in that old biblical fact: a house divided cannot stand.

Yet the President can huff and puff but he cannot blow this house down.

Because once again, Barack Obama does not understand the people he claims to lead.

The people of the United States of America.

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