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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

She who must be destroyed

The rabbi wrote a nice "mesage" in response to the tragedy in Tucson, but these 2 paragraphs put me very much in mind of my own situation a year and a half ago, when someone who disagreed with me decided that I was the "enemy" who must be vanquished.  Instead of having civilized conversations, and reaching reasonable compromises, every disagreement, no matter how minor, was treated exactly like this - a life-or-death struggle that was resolved, if you can even call it that, through an endless cycle of mutually assured destruction.  With generous dollops of backstabbing, gossip, undermining, insulting, and generally unproductive behavior.  Makes me absolutely sick, even to this very day.

Our society seems to have forgotten the difference between opponents and enemies. Those with whom we disagree on a particular issue or set of issues are not our enemies-we do not wish them harm. Rather, we see them as adversaries. We view those with whom we may hold even the deepest of disagreements as the opposition, but never threats to our very existence.

Ours is a nation built on the freedom to disagree. We Americans gave the world the unique gift of a representative democracy where all are free to support or oppose a policy without threat of retribution. That gift has languished of late, and today we live in a world where the other side is no longer a respected rival but now viewed as evil, one to be destroyed.



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