Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Us Vs. Them


If one has a yearning for mythology, they needn't look to ancient Greece & Rome; the United States of America is full of it.  From young George Washington ratting himself out over a vandalized cherry tree to Betsy Ross single handedly designing our flag, our history is liberally peppered with extra-factual stories and ideas.  One such idea holds that our country was built upon the spirit of cooperation & compromise. 

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When I was in grade school, I was taught Americans would debate back & forth, then come together to do what was best for the greatest number of people.  I don't know, maybe it used to be like that, to some extent.  It's not like that today though. 

Today, a party will declare a filibuster to kill a Senate bill, simply because it was proposed by the opposing party.  They don't even have to execute the filibuster to kill a bill, they only have to declare their intention to do so, and the bill is dead. There's no high-minded debate or negotiation involved. American politics has solely become about us denying them a victory.  That’s it.  We HAVE to beat them.

Even more tragic is the fact that the us vs. them mentality has oozed beyond the borders of Washington, flooding everyday life.  We are always on the side of the angels (or  enlightenment if the we are atheist), and they are marching in Hell's army.  They must but given no quarter, for we are the righteous. 

OK, we've always suffered under the yokes of racial & sexual bigotry and religious intolerance.  They just seem to more visible today, and people seem less willing to tolerate people with differing points of view.  Whether, or not, people get a shot to avoid disease has become a political question. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm scared of COVID-19.  I took the vaccination.  However, I see anti-vaxxers losing jobs, and being denied entrance into; restaurants, sporting events, schools, etc...; I wonder if we're not creating another underclass, another them.  

Sure, they could take the shot to, instantly, safeguard their job and other rights. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.  Of course, all the Jewish people had to do, in the fifteenth century, was to deny their beliefs to have the hot coals removed from their balls. 

Personally, I believe that part of being a good American is doing what's good for the country.  If we all got our shots we could shed the yoke of COVID-19, and our masks, and return to business as usual.  However, if someone due to; religious belief, personal belief, medical condition, or simply fear; can’t find themselves to take the shot, I can’t ostracize them for it. 

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