Days of Divisiveness
As the Middle East Unites, Arizona and Wisconsin Pull the United States Further Into Divisiveness
America seems to be becoming more divisive as evidenced in this file image. Image by David Shankbone.
By John Guzzon
March 1, 2011 — The past couple of months have brought about a plethora of protests and revolutions around the Middle East.
People throughout the region have awakened in ways few thought possible even six months ago. It happened because the people united in demanding a free and open society where they are the masters of their government. The masses in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and other places in the Middle East put aside their petty differences to work together for the common good and to assure that in the future, their heirs will be ale to speak their minds and have a role in their government.
Here in the world’s oldest continues republic, on the other hand, we are ready to implode because we have totally forgotten that government should be for all the people. Not just a select few.
From Arizona to Wisconsin, there is a battle underway for the soul of America. No, not in the religious sense, but in the political one. For decades, our two-party system has been creating a polarized, divided house where the people are classified into political dogmas and those that are elected from one or the other political machine elevate their ideological differences into wars of no surrender. Never before has the “middle ground” in politics been so vacuous. There is virtually nothing in the political bailiwick these days that is not solidly in one camp or the other.
Some in the media have tried to compare the protests that have gripped Wisconsin to the Middle East revolutions/protests, but they could not be any more different. In the Middle East, those people are putting aside differences, here we are exacerbating them.
Where the Middle East has been about gaining rights, freedoms and permissions, the U.S. battles are being fought over one side trying to take away the rights or freedoms of the other. In Wisconsin, new Gov. Scott Walker wants to remove bargaining rights for public employees and their unions. In Arizona, the legislature wants to take away the rights of the federal government (SB 1433), illegal aliens (omnibus and other senate and house bills) and anyone else who stands in their way (Salvador Reza).
Republicans feel it is their time to take back what they have lost. Some also call it the spoils of their war against the democrats in the 2010 midterms. This argument goes that from 2008 to 2010 the republicans were the victims and the democrats the bullies. By their sheer majority, from 2008 to 2010, democrats took away the right of health insurance companies to work in a virtually unregulated marketplace. They also began the march toward the regulation of greenhouse gases and the right of the oil, gas and coal producers to sell their goods and services.
Paybacks are a bitch.
Maybe that is what happens with a few hundred years of “freedom.” Eventually, the battles of the past become so great, you have a few factions seemingly beating each other’s brains out. If those in the Middle East have truly removed the shackles of oppression, they should take pause and remember that a republic is only as grand as the generation which it serves and in these times in the United States, complacency and apathy are the norm.
In a true republic, the protests are never over.