Letters to the Editor

Powerful people want to polarize us for their own benefit

Glen Anderson/ 2019 Olympian Board of Contributors
Glen Anderson/ 2019 Olympian Board of Contributors sbloom@theolympian.com

Our community, nation and world would live better if we recognize and appreciate that all people are one human family.

Powerful forces deliberately provoke divisiveness for their own political advantage. They want to polarize us so we will fight with each other – to distract us so we won’t recognize how they are abusing and cheating us.

They want to pit nation against nation, religion against religion, race against race. When the 1 percent gets us to fight each other, we don’t join together to protect the 99 percent from the 1 percent. As a result, our society suffers in many ways.

Our society’s deterioration was underway long before the 2016 election, but President Trump and Republicans have used their “divide and conquer” strategy to make America worse, not “great.”

Although every person needs good, affordable health care, clean air and water, a decent paying job, honest democracy, and other basic human rights, the polarizers believe government should not solve problems.

The bipartisan Military-Industrial Complex promoted the Cold War between the U.S. and the USSR to polarize “us” vs. “them.” The Cold War gave them immense wealth and political power. They deceived us into spending money for a global military empire instead of ending poverty, providing health care for everyone, and protecting the environment.

After the 40-year Cold War collapsed in 1989, the Military-Industrial Complex needed another gimmick to continue enriching itself. Soon after 9-11-2001, Vice President Dick Cheney promised a “War on Terror” that he said would last longer than our lifetimes. Many unwinnable Endless Wars began and still escalate with bipartisan support.

Both big political parties get huge funding from weapons manufacturers, so they keep supporting wars based on lies. These corrupt, counterproductive scams serve the same political and economic powers. They do not serve ordinary people, nor our well-being, nor our best values. The Cold War and War on Terror abuse our rights and rely on contrived polarization and demonization (communists then; Muslims now).

Actually, all people are one human family

Oppressors’ classic tool is to polarize us by race, religion, nationality, etc., to prevent us from joining together and challenging the oppressors’ power.

Therefore, to solve any of society’s big problems, we must debunk the polarizations that have been imposed upon us.

All people worldwide are one species. We all breathe the same air and suffer from disruption of Earth’s climate. To survive, we all must recognize our common humanity and work together to solve global problems. We must join together and empower the human family against the forces that want to divide, dominate and oppress us.

Fear-mongering hurts our society

A dictator makes people afraid of “the other” and asserts that only he is strong enough to protect the public from those dangers. This is exactly what Trump has done.

Trump keeps provoking fear and anger against vulnerable people. He has even urged his supporters to use violence against them. He provided fear and anger and said that – the big, strong man – would protect us from Mexicans, Muslims, blacks, feminists, and gays.

Trump and the Republicans refuse to actually solve problems. They want to take away our health care and women’s rights, unleash more pollution, suppress honest science, and prevent federal agencies from solving problems.

To make progress, we must expose and reject the fears that keep people apart. For example, a deep fear of crime causes some people to demand “tough-on-crime” laws. Their fear imposes a psychological barrier against learning about how horribly unjust and racist our criminal justice system is. Such fear prevents solving the problems.

Many of our nation’s problems – climate, racism, nuclear weapons, the unjust criminal justice system – are rooted in fears. To help the public and politicians and media solve problems, we must understand the fears that have trapped them. Let’s compassionately help them get unstuck so we can all be free to thoughtfully consider the facts and choose smart solutions.

Glen Anderson is a lifelong Puget Sound resident (in Lacey since 1975), with a long career in state government. Since the late 1960s he has worked for peace, nonviolence, social justice, and other progressive issues. Find his blog at www.parallaxperspectives.org. Reach him at glenanderson@intergra.net