What This Country Needs is a New Evil Empire!

Near the end of the Soviet Union, Premier Gorbachev said, “I’m going to deprive you Americans of something you value very much.” “What’s that?”, asked the American diplomat or journalist. Gorbachev replied, “An Enemy!” And think about it. Ever since we lost the Communist bogeyman, we’ve turned on each other. This is a very common story in history. See the Greeks when they drove out the Persians; they then turned on each other in the Peloponnesian Wars and self-destructed. See the former Yugoslavia after their feared dictator Tito died. The wide variety of ethnic groups slaughtered each other in a genocidal civil war. See how our own Democratic-Republican Party turned on itself after the Federalist Party disappeared. We would be wise to realize the source of our discomfort with each other today lies in the absence of a common enemy. If we could see and understand the larger picture, if we could learn from history, we might avoid similar tragedies in the future. I find it ironic that in the absence of the Soviet bogeyman, we’ve got Red folks calling Blue folks “socialists” and “communists”!  Blues call Reds “fascist”! That’s just too funny given where we’ve been with the former “Evil Empire” or “Red Menace” and before that the fascist Nazis, Italians and Japanese. How quickly we forget, almost to the point of mass stupidity on all sides. I think Hegel had it right though, “What experience and history teach is this – that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it.”

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