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Them and Us: Why Our Nation Is Divided

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They are taking away our nation.

I am still trying to find out who they are. So many people complain these days that it is hard to hear any rational ideas.

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I went to a group of concerned citizens recently to listen to their concerns. I kept hearing accusations that President Obama wasn't obeying the Constitution, that people needed to stop them from taking their guns and that big government is a disaster.

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Unable to muster any enthusiasm to join them or even to take part in their discussion, I I left at the meeting's end still wondering: what unites these and other groups across the country?

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Is it really the Constitution?

I don't think so. I never heard from any of these people when the Bush Administration thumbed its nose at civil liberties with its almost unlimited use of phone taps.

Is it really about the Second Amendment?

I doubt it. These people like to interpret this amendment strictly but their take on the Fourth Amendment is much looser since few, if any, contest the use of X-ray machines at airports.

Is it really about big government?

No way. Again, look at the Bush Administration, which expanded Medicare and added the Department of Homeland Security.

It is even more basic than all of this. I sense a strain of self-righteousness when I hear people complain of these matters on television or when I listen to concerned citizens.

These people chomp at the bit to be more right than others. No matter the issue, some people feel a need to at least appear to be morally superior to others.

Hence, the long-windedness (for maximum rhetorical effect).

Hence, the appeal to emotion (it is easier to provoke than to reason).

Hence, the put-downs of others (not everyone is good enough to be right; otherwise, we would all have to share everything).

People get upset because most of us are more concerned about our own rights than those of others. If rights were equal, there would be no us and they.


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Dean Hartwell's book, "Planes without Passengers: the Faked Hijackings of 9/11," reached the top of Amazon's charts for large print books on history. He has authored three others: "Facts Talk but the Guilty Walk:the 9/11 No Hijacker Theory and Its (more...)
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