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Uniting Against Hatred

by Marvan Buren (Principles: Politics is a contact sport) - 11 month ago

Powerful forces, both inside and outside the government, are provoking Americans to fight against each other. Let's follow Captain Kirk's lead and fight them instead of each other.

White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon made a rare public appearance at  the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and revealed his chief strategy by telling the attendees; “If you think they are going to give you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken.”

On the surface, this sounds like little more than a partisan call to arms but there is a much deeper meaning. Through the use of the term "give you your country back," Bannon is separating Americans into two groups; one to whom America belongs and the other who, by disagreeing with President Trump's policies, isn't truly American. Based on the audience to whom Bannon was speaking, one might draw the conclusion that Bannon believes America belongs to Conservatives, but that would be a wrong assumption. Trump’s entire campaign for the Republican nomination was built on the premise that the Conservative establishment did not represent America. As further evidence, Trump didn’t even attend CPAC in 2016.  

So what is really happening?  To understand that, we must recognize that the term "take back our country", has a distinct purpose. It is intended to instill fear on both sides of the political spectrum that the "other side" is fundamentally changing "our America" in some terrible way. Bannon's cynical calculation in using this term is that provoking LIberals and Conservatives to fight each other increases the chance that his agenda, which is neither Liberal nor Conservative,will be adopted. 

This is, of course a tried and true and very effective tactic used throughout the millenia. The Romans rarely had to conquer territory – they were “invited” in to mediate local rivalries. The British perfected the approach pitting Muslims against Hindus in India, Jews against Arabs in Palestine, and Kurds against everyone. Millions (billions?) of people around the world continue to pay the price for this horrific policy.

Bannon, of course, is not the only provocateur. There are far too many people on the left who are spewing hatred against those who hope President Trump succeeds in addressing some of America’s problems. They would prefer those problems fester rather than be solved by solutions that are outside the liberal toolbox. Parts of the media are also complicit. When CNN does a split screen with a Trump surrogate and a Trump opponent, they are not looking to educate their viewers. They are looking to start a food fight to improve their ratings.

There is, however, a way out. In the final scene of the classic Star Trek episode “Day of the Dove” the Klingon leader finally realizes that an alien entity, for its own evil purpose, is manipulating him to fight a war with Captain Kirk and the Enterprise crew. To defeat the alien, the long-time enemies throw away their swords and join together in a show of good humor and common purpose. The alien slinks away never to be heard from again.

Liberals and Conservatives, Trump supporters and Trump opponents, need to do the same if we are to save America. We have fundamental differences on how to solve OUR country’s problems but we are not each other’s enemies. Our enemies are the forces that are currently succeeding in dividing us. They are the ones who encourage us to accuse each other of being traitors and to insult our ethics, our intelligence and even our humanity.

Good people from all parts of the political spectrum need to unite and say unequivocally, that this must come to an end. 

Comments and Responses (3)

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By  Jayef Kennedy - 11 month ago
Trump nominated a Supreme Court justice who is more Conservative than Scalia. He selected a cabinet filled with people who want to gut voting rights, shift funding from public to private schools, drastically cut back the EPA's mission, and deport people who have lived here peacefully and productively for years. Isn't this exactly what Conservatives have always wanted?
Discussion Leader's Response : This comment is relevant to the discussion. (Commenter's rating is increased.)
Discussion Leader's Explanation : Trump wants to spend money on infrastructure and a border wall and dramatically increase defense spending. He doesn't want to cut Social Security or Medicare or any of the benefits of the ACA. He also wants to cut taxes. Liberals believes in more taxes and more spending. Conservatives believe in less taxes and less spending. Trump, who believes in more spending and less taxes is neither.
Reasoning used for ARGUMENTS presented
By  Hickory Jackson - 11 month ago
If you think Steve Bannon is the one taking away your country, you're sadly mistaken. While you do make some good points about what's ailing America, you make it seem like it just started with Trump and Bannon. It didn't. It goes back to Roosevelt and I'm not necessarily talking about FDR. Government is supposed to provide for our national defense and our "general" welfare. Thus, government is supposed to be a uniting force. But as it gets bigger and bigger and controls more and more resources, it goes from being a force for good to being the source of rationing. Once that happened in the 20th Century, Americans began fighting each other for a piece of the pie. As the government has grown, the fighting, and hatred, have become more intense. A show of good humor is not going to solve anything. Shrinking the government will.
Discussion Leader's Response : This comment is relevant to the discussion. (Commenter's rating is increased.)
Discussion Leader's Explanation : I accept your constructive criticism that the current divisiveness started well before Steve Bannon. However, if you think smaller government is going to give you your country back, you're sadly mistaken. Ronald Reagan, after 8 years of desperately trying to cut government in California wrote that all his efforts accomplished was to slow the growth of government. You are right that the government has become the source of rationing but who better than a democratically elected government? Do you want a Russian kleptocrat? How about an ISIS thug? Maybe the Wild West and whoever can draw their gun the quickest? No, for better or worse, the government we have, unwieldy as it is, is our best hope to protect and promote prosperity. By all means, let's argue about how large and intrusive that government should be but it is on us to respect both the government and our fellow citizens who have different views. There are no magic solutions like shrinking government.
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By  Cool Calvin - 11 month ago
Thank you Hickory for a wonderful analysis. The only thing you left out is that shrinking both the government and the monopoly that the political establishments have on Washington is exactly what Bannon, and more importantly, Donald Trump, are doing. They will get the government out of the business of rationing while at the same time growing the economy to the benefit of all Americans - rather than just the well connected insiders. Those of us on the Trump train don't hate anyone. Those of you who want an America where we don't have to fight each other for the scraps the government doles out, are welcome aboard.
Discussion Leader's Response : This comment is relevant to the discussion. (Commenter's rating is increased.)
Discussion Leader's Explanation : Ah, Calvin, I do love your sunny disposition and your kind invitation to join you for the ride. But you only need to look out the window to see that your train is moving in the wrong direction. With each new day, there is another attack by the Trump administration against citizens who oppose them, whether in the press, the government, the entertainment industry, or anywhere else. America right now needs leaders who will respect and engage with those with whom they disagree. It would be great if this started with the President but, if not, it's up to the rest of us to take up that mantle. I'll make a deal with you. I'll wait right here by the station and when the train returns to the station and is going in the right direction, I'll be happy to hop aboard and buy you a drink.