If we are at war, who’s the enemy?
Two recent letters to the editor in our local paper take the position that we are in an ideological war. If that’s true, in war both sides bear the responsibility for dehumanizing the other.
Political conflict is not war. It isn’t treason to oppose the current administration. There is a covenant of community at risk when we view our neighbors as un-American either for calling into question our government or for supporting it. Meanwhile there are 100,000 dead Americans due to a virus that may have only existed in a population of bats in a cave in China just six months ago. As a result, our economy is in collapse. We are in danger of bringing about a civil war that we should working to avoid.
The American experiment is a Republic based on mutual respect and comprise. The authority to govern rests on the foundation of the informed consent of the majority. That consent is measured by voting in a free election. Winning at all costs is not the goal. The Republic surviving to the next election is. For now, your First Amendment rights have not been revoked neither have mine.
The Russian and Chinese governments have the most to gain from our self loathing. In this free society, we are saturated in the market place of ideas. The article you read may have been placed into circulation by a propaganda operation to inspire alarm, anger and fear. Before reacting, it would good to ask “If what I believe to be true is actually false, would I want to know?” Or is it more important to be offended, to have someone to blame, a justification for cruelty. Caveat Emptor remains good advice. Our real enemies want us to hate each. Let’s not, in this time of pandemic, give them the civil war they want.