The past weeks have seen an increase in violence domestically, people angry about health care issues, employment, economy, foreign policy, etc., and our elected leaders seem to be more interested in taking cheap pot shots at each other than finding solutions. Is this healthy? Maybe, since if we all thought alike, or took the same positions on everything, then being a jingoist would truly be a dangerous thing. Again, going to history, anyone reading about Japan in the 1920s up through December 7, 1941, would find that being a jingoist is a very bad thing, since it was they that believed that we were worth attacking. Meanwhile, in this country, isolationism and anger over things like the New Deal set the stage for the world (specifically Japan) to see us as vulnerable, weak, and unlikely to ever take a stand. We were viewed as lazy, just as some view us today as obese. This was a bad combination then, and could be a bad combination now. Keep in mind that our founders wanted us to bicker, and wanted us to keep each other honest, but that doesn’t mean the world at large gets this concept.
Regardless of your specific viewpoint on an issue, you have to respect the process, but more importantly, you’d better keep your guard up and keep it from getting personal. Once the world starts to see you as weak and vulnerable, or you are seen as being disjointed and unlikely to take a stand, then things have a way of getting ugly. I point to World War II, but you can go much further back through history to the most ancient wars. Would Sparta have marched on Athens if the Athenians weren’t seen as weak in mind and spirit? The list of examples from history are endless, which means we’re likely to see it again. So be pissed off, be angry, but never let it get to the point that the rest of the world sees us as incapable of coming together. We shouldn’t need a Pearl Harbor or a 9/11 to bring us to a common purpose, but historically, that has been what was required. Do we really want to go down that road again? ~ Michael S. Pauley