Saturday, June 05, 2004

The Banana Split 

In his column today, New York Times columnist David Brooks made the following confession:

"I hope to figure out how deeply split the nation is, and what exactly it is we are fighting about — questions that leave me, at present, confused."

Circling the Wagons
By David Brooks

Perhaps it's your partisanship, David, that leaves you "confused." For the most part, we on the "other side" are painfully aware of how split the nation is, and what exactly it is we're fighting about. Your side reminds us every day.

Have you forgotten that your side declared a "culture war" against liberal America, or is your "confusion" a result of your penchant for being deliberately obtuse?

What did you expect? In the span of two decades, your side turned a bridgeable gully into a treacherous chasm. For the sake of power, your side abandoned the rules of fair play. Like a cult, they built their base by vilifying the opposition--liberal America in this case. (There are other ways that your side resembles a cult, but I'll leave that for another time.) The "split" you mention is deep enough to cleave a people in two. That's what happens when one side makes it policy to treat their fellow citizens like enemies.

Without considerable subterfuge, your side would never have been able to dominate the nation, as they do today. By itself, the subterfuge is a sign of their radical intentions, and a warning about the toxicity of their ideology. But after four years of virtually uncontested dominance, the reason for the subterfuge has become abundantly clear: they are indeed peddling a radical brand of poison. Practically everything they touch turns to dirt. And you claim to wonder what all the fuss is about.

What is it about your side that attracts you, David? Is it the Christian folks that want to turn the government into a theocracy? Are you turned on by the thought of "shock and awe" diplomacy? Is it their unconditional support for Israel's every desire? Are you in favor of big, intrusive government with the power to condemn any group it chooses to second-class citizenship? Do you find foreigners offensive? Is it that liberals terrify you? Do you believe in making the rich richer and eliminating the middle class? Are you the kind of guy that needs an enemy to make his day? Or, did you just inherit the attraction from your parents?

I'm attracted to my side because it hasn't declared war on everything I hold dear. Your side has.

The depth of the "split" is a consequence of a war your side declared. If you really don't know exactly what it is we're fighting about, then perhaps your obtuseness is not deliberate.

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