S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Greatest Political Divides

When will it stop?
Violence spreads. Several groups of people are trying to kill each other today. Some of them are in the military, some are extremist militants. The divides between them are vast and wide.

An era ends. Yesterday many of us watched the moving funeral service for Coretta Scott King. In death, as in life, she united many disparate people and groups in that large setting.

Reconciliation? Mrs. King's late husband's life was all about reaching across great divides to reconcile different peoples. Today there does not seem to be anyone in power capable of doing what the King couple symbolized--uniting rather than dividing.

The differences seem too insurmountable:
  • Between the West and the East: Radical jihadis attack Westerners as infidels. It is what they call the "far war", according to Professor Mary Habeck. Jihadis feel power-down. Their "near war" is against fellow Muslims they believe are aligned with the West. The attacks have happened all around the globe. We wait for the next.
  • Between war makers and peace makers: WaPo "The Long War". Our Long War officially started September 11, 2001, though it had begun in the minds of powerful neocons some time before that. The prediction is that we could be in this so-called war on terror for decades.
  • Between Republicans and Democrats: Yesterday's service for Mrs. King saw polite and not-so-polite confrontations of our captive current president, over deep political differences. And Democratic leaders got loud applause from the funeral audience. The polarization never seemed so stark.
  • Between major religious elements around the world: Muslims of many types are protesting against Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad. People are dying as a result.
  • Between rich and poor: The Actions Speak Louder website details the impact of the proposed 2006 Federal budget on poor people, as opposed to tax cuts for the very wealthy.
  • Between women and men: The Taliban in Afghanistan have systematically oppressed women. Diarist "judbrowni" at dailykos, wrote a very moving post yesterday about her mom and the place of Betty Friedan in her own and others' lives. Tensions remain between women and men, even today, given the upswing of fundamentalist religion in these times.
  • Between the old and the young: Last year's Social Security debates engendered some interesting discussions about youthful workers against retirees.
Reference: Sunday on the "In Depth" program at C-SPAN2 Book TV, Taylor Branch was interviewed about his landmark three-volume biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. - 20 years in the making.
My "creative post" today at Southwest Blogger is about the mystery of community.

No comments: