Jewish World Review Nov. 8, 2004 / 25 Mar-Cheshvan 5765
The enemy next door
Remember that kid in "The Sixth Sense"? He saw dead people wherever he looked? America, based on our recent election, has become like that kid. Only we see enemies. Wherever we look.
And they frighten us.
Conservatives see liberals and fear they want the whole country barefoot, Communist and living on welfare.
Liberals see conservatives and fear they want the whole country to look like "Leave It to Beaver."
Poor people see rich people and figure they must have scammed the system to get all they have.
Rich people see poor people and think they must be scamming the system to get their tax dollars.
The pro-war crowd fears the "peaceniks" will lower our guard and invite terrorists to our shores.
The anti-war crowd fears the "hawks" are creating new terrorists every day.
The pro-Bush crowd thinks the other side wants to destroy a faithful, honest public servant.
The anti-Bush crowd thinks we're being duped by a former frat boy who uses religious hot buttons to license his cold heart.
Religious types fear stem cell researchers are on a slippery slope to baby killing.
Stem cell researchers fear religious types are on a slippery slope to the Crusades.
Poor people get mad when rich people find ways not to pay their taxes.
Rich people get mad when poor people don't have to pay taxes.
The pro-war crowd hates critics who "undermine our troops."
The anti-war crowd hates neocon hawks who "misled our troops."
The pro-Bush crowd thinks his critics can't stand a man who is firm in his convictions.
The anti-Bush crowd thinks his supporters are morons who admire stubbornness because it's easier on their brains.
The people who never travel think the rest of the world can take a hike - who needs 'em?
The people who always travel think the rest of the world is ready to take a hike - and that's what scares them.
Gun lovers see their critics as nerdy, liberal girlie men who only want to take away their rights.
Gun critics see their gun-loving crowd as yahoos who would rather fire than switch.
Evangelical Christians feel the country was started by people like them, and by golly, it ought to stay that way.
Evangelical critics feel the country was started by people escaping religious persecution - why repeat it again?
Conservatives hate the fact that there are so many best-selling liberal books.
Liberals hate the fact that there are so many best-selling conservative books.
Pro-Bush types think America has been saved.
Anti-Bush types think America has been sunk.
And there we are. We see enemies. Everywhere.
But here is the problem: We are looking at each other.
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© 2003 DFP