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Divide And Conquer

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         By Hal O'Leary


It's a strategy as old as the human race and maybe earlier than that among the other species. It's known as "Divide and Conquer," but never has it been practiced with more eloquence and success than in present day America. Not only have the American people been divided, they have been shattered into multiple warring factions rendering each not only incapable of coping with the oligarchy that has made of the constitution a "G. . .D. . .scrap of paper" as G.W. Bush is reported to have described it, but has blinded the factions to the omnipresent and real danger of having the nation reduced to a third world status. Never has this strategy been more effectively used. I would like to point out just four of the issues currently being used to divide the body politic. These are abortion, gay marriage, immigration, and gun control. They are nothing but side-shows perpetuated   through the media by an administration bent on manipulation.


On the question of abortion, the "Right-to-Life" faction has been so radicalized that even murder is not too extreme in their effort to abolish abortions. So radical are they in their religious fervor that they oppose any and all practices that would reduce the number of abortions. The Pro-Choice faction offers Planned Parenthood, as opposed to   conception left to the fates; Contraception, which does work as opposed to abstinence, which does not, and sex education to combat the ignorance responsible for unwise sexual behavior. All of these are proven methods for the reduction of unwanted pregnancies and subsequent abortions. How can there ever be a solution when the other faction obstinately and vehemently rejects them on religious grounds that reason cannot overcome?


The gay rights issue when it comes to the question of marriage is really a non-issue.

There are simply no legitimate grounds for denying a certain segment of our population the constitutional rights and privileges afforded to others who just happen to be in conformity with the majority when it comes to what constitutes a legitimate marriage.

The beauty of our system is that it is designed to protect minorities. To insist that the significant-other of a gay hospital patient can be denied admittance afforded to legal family members only is not only stupid, but cruel and inhumane. To suggest that a gay couple's relationship lacks commitment, sincerity and yes, love is to deny their very humanity. Two of my closest friends in this world happen to be a gay couple, denied the right to wed, who have just celebrated their thirty-third anniversary together. This is considerably longer than many heterosexual couples can manage in this all too hectic society.


In short, we are a nation of immigrants. The first ones came over on the Mayflower. Unfortunately, they immediately declared war on the indigenous people and set about to   displace or even eliminate them, a rather egregious beginning, but now we celebrate them and their privileged descendants as the first and truest Americans. That being the case, I find it difficult   to even consider the question of legality when it comes to who might be more deserving of citizenship. I do admit that it might be necessary to establish certain procedures to insure an orderly admissions policy, which by the way has undergone timely revisions in accordance with changing   demographics, but the hue and cry seems to be over the terms legal and illegal. It would seem that arriving at a reasonable policy to satisfy all but the most fanatical would not require more than an adequate desire and the application of a little common sense. However, this issue continues to command an unreasonable amount of our time and attention.


Speaking of time and attention, can you imagine the furor, dissension, intolerance and downright hatred caused over the issue of gun control. This too is a non-issue. With over 300,000,000 guns in the country, can anyone with a modicum of realistic thought even imagine that guns can be kept from the hands of anyone who wants one? The Chinese let the genie out of the bottle in the 15 th century with the discovery of gun powder, and there is no hope of putting it back. No technological advancement in the history of man has matched the innovation and urgency of the march to a more efficient means of killing. This is an issue for which there simply is no solution other than to develop a society in which killing becomes so abhorrent that a desire to commit such an act would become unthinkable. We American, of all peoples, are a far cry from doing so.


That last sentence brings me finally to the point that I set out to make. These   really   rather benign issues are compared to things like the certain destruction of our middle class which will eventually lead us to a third world status. Does not the trashing of our Constitution with indefinite detention, abolishment of habeas corpus, invasion of privacy and even outright assassination of American citizens, all without due process, present a much greater threat to the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness we profess to enjoy? Even these dire realities cannot begin to equal the horrendous misery and death, not to mention costs, brought about by the state of perpetual war finally achieved by and for the express purpose of satisfying the greed of the already obscenely rich.

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Hal O'Leary is an 88 year old veteran of WWII who, having spent his life in theatre, and as a Secular Humanist, believes that it is only through the arts that we are afforded an occasional glimpse into the otherwise incomprehensible. As an 'atheist (more...)
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