Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A House Divided

James Q. Wilson of Pepperdine University has a long and thoughtful essay about the political divide in our nation. He argues against the idea that a wide middle ground with homogenous political views exists in our country. He walks the reader through a lengthy analysis that he says proves that the political rift in the nation is very deep and extends to just about every level of society. His evidence is strong and he presents his argument well.

Noting that others once thought that stark political contrast would be a better state of affairs than two nearly indistinguishable parties, Wilson says that it is actually dangerous for the nation. He suggests that not only is our national security at stake, but global security as well.

Aptly noting that the U.S. is currently the world’s sole superpower, Wilson asserts that it has special responsibilities both to our nation and to the entire world. But he argues that our sharp political polarization threatens the ability to carry out those responsibilities.

While offering no solutions to the problem he perceives, Wilson concludes with an ominous warning:
“What Gen. Giap of North Vietnam once said of us is even truer today: America cannot be defeated on the battlefield, but it can be defeated at home. Polarization is a force that can defeat us.”

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