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The Enemy - a person who feels hatred for, fosters harmful designs against, or engages in antagonistic activities against another;
Merriam-Webster - one that is antagonistic to another. especially: one seeking to injure, overthrow, or confound an opponent. - a person who hates or opposes another person and tries to harm that person

In pretty recent history (circa 1980 forward) America has seen an ever-increasing number of its citizens refer to each other using the word enemy. The context is usually political, but culture war themes and religion are also contextually big. Much more recently the word enemy includes the concept of existential threat. The keywords and phrases defining the word enemy include Hatred; fosters harm against; seeking to injure; hates, opposes and tries to harm. In the above definitions, these are not hyperbolic words, there is significant harm between the parties intended.

How have we come to the point where one American is looking at other Americans as his active enemies? How is it that we are so aggravated by each other and our views that we believe that we may need those guns we’ve been stockpiling to kill other Americans or find ourselves killed?

This may seem unbelievable today, but there was a time when the two parties were amiable towards each other, friendships of years crossing the aisles. Then in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a faction of one party began to grow in influence, they wanted to win and were tired of losing and decided they needed to force their members to 'get hard' and “choose sides”, not talk to the opposite side, stop compromising, and eliminate their left and moderate wings keeping the hard right. Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh encouraged this hostile atmosphere.

From the Civil Rights and Vietnam War eras of the late 50s, you see white America for the first time, on defense. And make no mistake, the changes from then to now were/are traumatic to many, they see life from a different perspective or set of beliefs. To find that everything around you is changing is to be as if you were adrift in an ocean with nothing to stabilize your position. Certainly, seeing the Democratic Party open its doors to every group with a banner gave them a discomfort deep in their very being. And played into the hands of a now very different political opposition.

Yes to all of the above. But it’s not enough. Every American knew then and knows now that these political players were not role models, to be emulated among your social encounters. Only the weak of character ever went down those paths.

There is an enemy. It is the person and parties who tell you that any other American is your enemy because of what they believe. The person who says that any other American is a lesser citizen because of their vote or their religion or lack thereof. These are the real enemies of the nation we call The United States of America.

Of course, some of this is being helped along by outside influencers, amateur and professional, and other Nations. Our Nation’s enemies have never been able to split us into two large parts. But today’s reality is that we are effectively at least in a cold civil war. We are looking at our own people and seeing enemies.  At the time I write this the cyber-attacks from China, Russia, and the Middle East are beginning to ramp up for the 2024 elections or maybe something new. All certain they can use our disunity as a people, against us.

We can do a lot as a nation. So much, so that it is only with us crippled with a disunity being intentionally exploited against America, that anyone would even attempt to do us wrong.

The solution is to become a person of both wisdom and perspective. A person of character and intellectual strength. You owe it to yourself and your vision of the American Dream. Learn to be a person of goodwill in your community. Fight for what you know is right and has substance worth fighting for. Don’t be led into fights that are not your business.

Another part of the solution is to remember this nation’s words at the time of its Declaration of Independence, words since amended in our Constitution to be all-inclusive, but still iconic in their original form: We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal. America’s eternal motto is E Pluribus Unum, Latin, for: Out of Many, One.   Our national aspiration at our very founding was to say “All people are created equal” and that what binds us is not an ethnic grouping, or religion, but a set of ideals and aspirations. We are many in every ethnic, religious, or other grouping, but because of our beliefs, we are one nation.

There is no other way forward for America except as we already are: a multi-ethnic democratic republic, one nation with a common set of ideals for freedom and justice, enshrined in a constitution, and governed always and only, with the consent of the governed. Let’s quit the petty squabbles, we ARE family. We can do what America does best, leading the world by actually being the best, freed from having a system pitting one against another and instead enjoying a system where we are one, helping each other achieve our dreams.

So, solve this problem by first making sure you are no longer a part of it, and then working at your fellow citizens. Our group’s name includes Old, so we may avoid the threats we see forming against our country by simply dying soon! But our experienced vision is that you have some housekeeping at home to do before those who would wish us harm execute their plans.

Your fellow citizen is not your enemy unless they pose immediate real harm to you or yours. So treat people with goodwill, assume they’re just wrong about what they believe and go about your business. Better yet, keep in mind that unless they want to tell you, it’s none of your business what they believe. Stick to your own life.

At one time, just before the 1980s and for decades before that, there was a proud saying of patriotic Americans that went something like, I don't agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it. It has been mistakenly attributed to Voltaire, but its essence is so much in the spirit of what it meant and still means to be an American. We individually stand for all of our rights, acting as one. Again, that ethic of E Pluribus Unum.

DEC.04.2023 - TB © 2023 Old White Men of America, Inc. Permission is given to repost, copy, and distribute with attribution to Old White Men of America.

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