We have become such a fearful nation. I’m not talking about being fearful of terrorists or of a nuclear Iran. We have become a nation who is fearful of his neighbor. No, not Mexico. That guy next door. The lady across the street. The new family in the house that Marge and John lost to foreclosure.
We’re fearful of each other. We are afraid of ourselves.
We think that everyone else wants what we have and are constantly scheming to take it from us. So we begin scheming to keep it. We ally ourselves with organizations and entities with values that we abhor in order to gain an advantage over our neighbor or our aunt and uncle or our parents as we clutch desperately to that which we have deemed to be rightfully ours and watch as the vultures that we have empowered circle around the expected plunder.
Democrats swear that Republicans are trying to line the pockets of the rich at the expense of poor old grandma and little Timmy, and the Democrats will ruin democracy as we know it and usher in the second coming of Sweden, according to the Republicans.
Billions of dollars pour out year after year in an effort to stifle the other half of the ideas out there while we lament the hunger and suffering and lack of education that plagues our cities.
Our politicians campaign without end as our roads and our schools fall deeper and deeper into disrepair. Immigration and health reform are not addressed because every year is an election year and no one has the courage to take bold action for fear of angering a small but vocal special interest group or a union or a corporation.
We keep sending them back to office regardless of their failures because we are fearful of giving that position to the opposition. We allow them to make ridiculous proposals and accomplish nothing and then reward them with job security. They may be lousy at what they do, but at least they are OUR guy.
Are we destined to remain a “Throw the baby out with the bathwater” society, a “This is the best we can do simply because that is what we’ve become accustomed to” society? Are we destined to run our business in such a paranoid manner?
I hope not.