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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Divisiveness is the New Racism

One of the longest running smears in politics in America is to claim that one's opponent is racist. But there is a new smear that is challenging the dominance of racism and that is divisiveness.

Almost once a week, I hear a Democrat claim that Bush or Republicans are trying to divide the country. Yesterday John Edwards said
"You have to give Bush and Cheney and gang credit for being good at politics -- you know, good at political campaigns. They're very good at dividing the country and taking advantage of it."
This smear goes both ways of course. Republicans often accuse Democrats of being divisive.

But I have noticed something about this claim of divisiveness: those who accuse others of divisiveness are in actuality the most guilty.

By its very nature, politics involve issues of great passion and are therefore very capable of dividing people without any help. However, those accusing others of divisiveness are generally the ones trying to rachet up the heat and rhetoric to the point where we are unable to reach any common ground. It takes a real leader to reach across the divide and bring people together in spite of our differences.

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