Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite Save As Favorite View Article Stats
8 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

Divided We Fall

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

Headlined to H2 11/30/09
Become a Fan
  (1 fan)

opednews.com

What is happening to America? Why are we yelling and screaming at each other in town hall meetings? Why have television and radio talk shows degenerated into shouting matches? Why do hate-filled messages permeate the internet? What has happened to us?

There is a poison flowing through the body politic of America and it will cripple our democracy unless each of us acts as an antidote. Those on the far-left accuse the far-right of being fascist Neanderthals while those on the far-right accuse the far-left of being heathen communists. This kind of infantile stereotyping threatens to tear the fabric of America apart.

Actually, the far-left and the far-right have more in common then they would want to admit. Both sides are absolutist in their ideology and uncompromising in their politics. Each side believes that they possess absolute truth and each side refuses to compromise on its beliefs.

But the fact is that America is built upon compromise. Our great experiment in democracy is founded upon the belief that each issue has many sides and that the most workable solution comes from a compromise that blends together many disparate views. Compromise is the glue that holds America together.

What is particularly troubling in today's political environment is the level of anger and even outright hatred that is being displayed. I have been trying to figure out the source of this anger and hatred for some time now. Some of today's rabid emotionalism can be traced to old-fashioned racism but I think for many people it goes deeper than that. I would suggest that this anger and hatefulness is really a response to the fear of change. Fear is an emotion we don't like in ourselves and anger is a way of covering up our fears with an emotion that makes us feel more powerful.

We live in a world where society, technology, the economy and demographics are rapidly changing and this change is deeply threatening to many people. They are frightened that the world they have known is disappearing. This deep internal fear of change produces an anger response that is directed toward an outward target such as Wall Street bankers or immigrants. We repress our fear by directing our anger toward someone or something outside of ourselves.

If we want American democracy to survive, we need to grow up. We need to stop projecting our fears onto other people. We need to stop yelling at each other and learn to start listening to each other. We need to accept the reality of change and begin working together to find productive ways of dealing with a world that is constantly changing.

Change is inevitable. It's the way the universe is constructed. The fact that time exists means that change must occur. Rather than fear change, we need to make it work for our benefit. Rather than trying to go back to the past, we need to work together to create a better future. If the American experiment is going to grow and mature, we the people have to grow and mature. We have to put our irrational fears behind us and start working together as mature adults in order to deal successfully with the challenges that change presents to us.

It's time to stop the name-calling and to start having rational discussions about the issues before us. It's time to turn away from those in the media and on the internet who feed our fears and fuel our hatred. It's time to start respecting each other as fellow Americans. Each of us must stand up for a fundamental American truth---united we stand, divided we fall. As Americans we must stand together. We must reject the anger and hatefulness that is dividing us and start using our common sense to work together for the common good

 

Joe Parko is a retired college professor who taught for 28 years in the School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. He is a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and serves on the steering committee of Cumberland (more...)
 
Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Israel's Nuclear Weapons

What is Community Organizing?

Class Warfare in America: The Upper Class is Winning

Strange Bedfellows: Ayn Rand and the Tea Party Christians

Israel is illegally using U.S. weapons in its attack on Gaza

The Psychology of Conservatism

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
7 people are discussing this page, with 8 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Change--global and national--is happening. Apparen... by Margaret Bassett on Monday, Nov 30, 2009 at 6:55:31 AM
I don't agree with the author,the far right is evi... by liberalsrock on Monday, Nov 30, 2009 at 9:40:24 AM
It's obvious the far right ignores facts, doesn't ... by Joe Parko on Monday, Nov 30, 2009 at 10:27:32 AM
for that discussion on a national level.The countr... by sommers on Monday, Nov 30, 2009 at 1:07:26 PM
This debate is not between the right and the left.... by Jeffrey Rock on Monday, Nov 30, 2009 at 6:18:41 PM
Remember how together we all were? How we were all... by Ian MacLeod on Tuesday, Dec 1, 2009 at 12:21:39 AM
It's time to stop the name-calling and to start ha... by Perry Logan on Tuesday, Dec 1, 2009 at 6:11:03 AM
You CAN'T negotiate with people who WON'T negotiat... by Ian MacLeod on Thursday, Dec 10, 2009 at 10:51:04 PM