The War at Home

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The wars abroad, the elections, the economy, and fears of threats to our Constitutional liberties, are all coming together to create a war amongst Americans here at home in the U.S.A. CNN News today has video clips of folks punching others in the face at political rallies, threatening gestures with vehicles, acts of vandalism toward others who post a political support sign, and even the use of those signs as weapons against political opposites at demonstrations and rallies.

Egregious election crimes are becoming commonplace in the headlines.

Thus it seems that the violence is not just against political supporters of the opposition, but, against the laws of our land as well.

Almost the entire history of the United States reads like a history of warfare of one kind or another, from the Revolutionary through the Civil Wars, the World Wars, Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and a host of smaller events like Grenada and the former Yugoslavia. But there have been internal wars as well, women's suffrage, civil rights, and labor unions movement, the war on crime, the war on drugs and of course the Red Scare which is still being fought today as partisans accuse other Americans of being Communist or Socialist for uttering differences of opinion. If the first casualty of war is the truth it would seem the truth has had little opportunity in America. But, a read of American history also demonstrates that the second casualty of war is the Bill of Rights.

America is at war yet again, and the Bill of Rights is under attack, yet again. But the attack on the Bill of Rights is coming on two fronts today, as the Patriot Act usurps our right to privacy and a host of other rights under the banner of investigation of possible terrorist activity, links, or associations, as well as the right to freedom of political expression without being clobbered, hazed, or intimidated by our fellow citizens. When our government establishes the right to infringe upon the Bill of Rights under circumstances of potential threat, what is to stop citizens from exercising that same right to infringe upon the rights of others when as citizens they feel threatened by the vote and expression of other citizens? Very little is the answer the news cited above seems to be responding with.

And it is difficult to find any mending or end to the political civil strife here at home for years to come. The Electoral College has become a broad based point of contention, and if this election is thrown into the House of Representatives where Bush is guaranteed to be appointed by the one state, one vote method afforded in the Constitution, yet another rejection of our Constitution's ability to deliver democracy today will fuel the political war at home. Our Congress is also engaged in this political warfare, so much so, that one of the most important tasks before it, overhauling the intelligence community so that we can be afforded some measure of protection from terrorists, has come to a halt. The Washington Post reports

Lawmakers yesterday abandoned efforts to pass legislation restructuring the U.S. intelligence system before Tuesday's election, with some warning that it may be impossible to reach an agreement even in time for a lame-duck session in mid-November, according to lawmakers and staff members.

America is divided more deeply than in anytime since the 1960's, and some would argue that what we are witnessing today is just an extension of the culture clash that was begun in the 1960's. And there appears to be no event or leader in our future to prevent this internal strife from growing and growing as we move toward a breakdown of the Social Security and Medicare safety net programs, the continued loss of educational competitive advantage to schools overseas in India, Taiwan, Japan, and China and the partisan wars that cripple our government's ability to plan and implement long term solutions to large and protracted problems.

Some might say this article is full of doom and gloom and that this writer has nothing to offer. There is no shame for this writer that a detailed plan for solving all of these problems isn't forthcoming. There are no claims to genius or extraordinary leadership that can be professed here. Sometimes in the course of history and Burke's Connections, it is enough for a person to simply elevate the problem for others to solve. To raise the issues so that enough ostriches remove their heads from the sand to notice that something must be done and begin demanding that something be done before doom and gloom become daily companions as in the 1930's. The first step toward solving any problem is recognizing it exists.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on October 29, 2004 7:19 PM.

Clinton as Secretary General of the U.N. was the previous entry in this blog.

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