“And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”
– Mark 3:25, King James Bible
“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself falleth.” – Jesus of Nazareth, Luke 11:17
If you wish to diminish the power of a group of people, the easiest, most efficient method is to set them at odds with each other. In order to do this, you need some distinguishing factor: gender, skin color, religious belief, language, accent, dialect, custom, or some imaginary line drawn on a map or on the surface of the Earth. Anything will do: a lisp, a twitch, a six-pointed star, a hijab, a turban, a dress or trousers, or the birthplace of one’s parents will distinguish “us” from “them.”
Born in Angola, Africa, my father could have been Angolan, Portuguese, Canadian, or “American,” as the people of the United States like to call themselves. Once he chose American, however, it was difficult for him to live in Lebanon past the Six Day War with Israel. My mother was mostly of German and French ancestry. My grandchildren are really mutts and the next generations will probably include a lot more differences.
So, as we begin to see past these arbitrary differences between each other, our leaders need a new way to distract us from the hand in our pocket. That new distraction is ideology. We now have red and blue states where polarized citizens face off over the extremely thin veneer of rhetoric which covers a consistent policy of war and treachery from both sides.
Only one senator with a politically independent affiliation voted against authorizing Bush 43 to invade and occupy Iraq. 73% of voting Americans supported this bad, misguided, foolish and destructive idea. The idea appealed to our misguided belief in heroes and good guys, guns that solve problems weekly if not more often, and heroes having the right even when they are wrong. Wars, as shown by our movies, are heroic and noble; necessary to maintaining order and democracy; and efficacious (despite massive evidence to the contrary) in solving just about any of the world’s problems.
©David N. Dodson, May, 2016, Phoenix, AZ