Us Against Them

Recently, you may have heard about certain alarmist crap being circulated in the guise of educational information to people in so called “swing states” in the upcoming 2008 election. Usually this crap doesn’t get an audience, but some of the kooks have been coming out of the woodwork, bitching at the top of their lungs about “islamic fundamentalism” and terrorist, and “oh! think of the children!”

Some people already think that the September 11, 2001 attacks were false flag attacks, but regardless, it couldn’t have played better. We have a long and illustrious history of taking the stupid reaction to anything bad happening. Look as far back as the Revolutionary War or any of the conflicts with Native Americans. Demonize the other guys, we get to be the good guys, who can argue with that?

The United States could have cared less about World War II until the Pearl Harbor attack … and even then America wasn’t involved in WWII because of Nazi atrocities, but more because we wanted to kill Japanese people (and all of their colleagues), to “put right” the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Even before the end of WWII, we were already focused on the “new evil”, being Stalin’s USSR. For years, “communists” were “them” and “capitalists” were us, despite our habit of disposing democracies in favor of dictatorships depending on their supposed strategic worth. The most important part of this was that most people hadn’t met a “communist”, but were willing to blame all of their problems on them, to the point of holding witch trials.

But the next generation of hatred started with the Iranian hostage crisis, when we decided that the guys in the middle east were a good target for us to hate. In the last ten years or so, guys like the PNAC have been pushing for us to assert our American way over the supposed “savages”. Reminds you of another time, doesn’t it? Be afraid of the scary dark people, they’ll chop your heads off and blow up your buildings!

Of course, those don’t hold any more water than saying that the KKK is an accurate representation of Christianity, but it doesn’t even slow down the fearmongering. It’s just amazing that we’re all so xenophobic and hatefilled that we have to blame all of the world’s problems on a group of people we don’t understand very well. Economy sucks? Must be the blacks and the Muslims! Thinking of voting for something a little different for president? If you do, the blacks and the Muslims will get you! (We can always blame “the minorities” for everything, but we’re obviously not racist because we have at least one friend from that minority.)

This is the kind of thing that makes me hate Nationalism, and hate sports teams. It’s all the same concept as racism, after all. Divide people up with artificial distinctions, and give yourself a reason to dislike people.

But it’s amazing how the herd instinct is so powerful in is that it keeps us from looking out for our own good. Look at the number of people who voted for Bush in 2004 because they were afraid of terrorism. Mind you, people have been doing terrorist-like things here for years, but white Christian guys doing the same thing apparently isn’t the same thing. Or maybe we can’t tell by his face that he isn’t one of “us”.

There are already a number of attempts to equate one of the Presidential candidates with terrorism (them). It’s crap, of course, since all of the attacks have been debunked ad nauseum, but when has that ever stopped “us” from going after “them”? I would have been more upset with the other guy talking about the death of social services, since that affects people, but what do I know? People actually living with the assistance of social programs still vote Republican — I have no idea why, but they do.

The thing I worry about is that social darwinism is a crock of crap, as is pure capitalism. But we’re operating on the idea that the possible worst case scenarios, “welfare queens” (which is code for “black”, even though no one really wants to use that word) are a fringe, not the majority, but somehow that has eeked its way into the public consciousness. Why should we, as honest hard-working Americans, pay to support other people? Because we’re going to be paying for some sort of programs, and I guess its up to us whether we’re paying for Wall Street execs or people who actually *need* the money. Or war, we can spend it on war…

Please, everyone, don’t vote with a herd mentality. It hurts my head to think that people are that petty and stupid.