Slow Slide Toward Citizen Separation

Posted on January 12, 2013

So many of the issues we have made important in recent years have eroded trust and an ability for citizens to work together for the greater good.  The polarity that exists now among many seems beyond repair. However, do we have to accept the inabilities of those in the public eye to successfully hammer out their differences and begin to voice our own abilities to heal?

Were I to look for an underlying public culprit to today’s extremes I would point to our national press.  It is out for the kill on every story.  Nothing can work out; nothing can have a happy ending.  All is suspect.  Paranoia and platitudes are the order of the day.  Reporting is dead; editorializing on every page thrives.

In the blogosphere, writers – good ones- such as Voting Female at have become very aggressive in their attacks on the left.  She styles herself as an “attack kitty” for the right.  But what boots it to be a good writer if you get knocked off iReport or Twitter because you become so virulent in your attacks?  Better to write in a manner that could achieve the same purpose but keep ideas in the forefront.  VF’s blog used to get the message out through clever satire and the great dialogue among visitors.  We can hope it takes that turn again to the credit of the right.

However, it is almost impossible to write these days about any issue and maintain friendships.  SamHenry tends to take the middle of the road – always has.  Therefore, recent articles such as the one below are encountered with great disappointment and fear for the future:

A group of like-minded patriots, bound together by pride in American exceptionalism, plan on building an armed community to protect their liberty.

The group, named Citadel, intends to purchase 2,000 to 3,000 acres for the project in western Idaho.  The community will comprise of 3,500 to 7,000 families of patriotic Americans who “voluntarily choose to live together in accordance with Thomas Jefferson’s ideal of Rightful Liberty.”

According to the Citadel website, Rightful Liberty means that “neighbors keep their noses out of other neighbors’ business, that neighbors live and let live.”

Citadel explains that residents in the community will be bound by the following:

  • Patriotism

  • Pride in American Exceptionalism

  • Our proud history of Liberty as defined by our Founding Fathers, and

  • Physical preparedness to survive and prevail in the face of natural catastrophes –such as Hurricanes Sandy or Katrina — or man-made catastrophes such as a power grid failure or economic collapse.

Building a “fortress,” emphasis on patriotism, American Exceptionalism, preparedness to survive and prevail…all suggest a mix of fear, superiority and isolation and at the same time point to coming disaster.  A community erected in fear is one that cannot be healthy.  Patriotism has been taken hostage to one form of belief.

The left’s greatest spokesman, the President himself, has alternated between the middle of the road and the farther reaches of the left.  He would get dumped from Twitter if he tweeted as he presents issues at times.  Certainly the way he handled the Cambridge Police at the start of his reign is an instance of this.  He stormed through the halls of Congress with his health initiative and now he cannot present gun control in a way that does not make citizens head for the hills with their guns.  If this continues, school children will be back to “duck and cover” and it will have nothing to do with Soviet bombs.

We are all uneasy about the future but it seems in the majority of the cases, our growing distrust of one another and our rush to demean and humiliate each side can only end badly.  Yes, it is impossible to write in these times because there is only one thing that happens:  you end up defending yourself when you wanted to present ideas for discussions, not codified rules others ought to be following.  SamHenry does not feel free only boxed in.  It is not only illness that has caused her to take time off from her blog.