Sunday, November 17, 2002

For the past several weeks I've been reading the letters written to the editors of our local paper, the Ann Arbor News. Not so much to gauge local opinion on national issues - such opinion around here is overwhelmingly of the left. Rather, I've been observing how this opinion is expressed, the type of arguements that are put forth, and how the writer views those who hold opposing opinions.

Typical examples: one writer finds little solace that our governor's house is now occupied by a Democrat, for he is convinced that the Republican White House and Congress will now "do their best" to start the war with Iraq, and "totally disregard" the problems of a sluggish economy. Another writer suggests that the Bush administration's reservations about, among other things, the ABM treaty, signals Bush's intent to use smallpox. "...[It] seems no weapon is too horrific," she writes, "for them to contemplate employing against anyone they deem an enemy". Yet another writer finds the roots of hatred and terror toward us caused by our government's use of military force to maintain our world of haves and have-nots.

President Bush will use smallpox. We bomb to deny others economic opportunity. The Republicans will deliberately ignore the suffering of Americans. Wow. Do we eat our young, too?

How do people get to the state of mind where they imbue their leaders and fellow Americans with such evil intentions? Does the Left function essentially in internal exile, sharing no common ground of values and beliefs of the society in which they live?