Finding a New Common Enemy After the Election

Linda - Anacortes, District of Columbia
Entered on October 22, 2008

This election is killing me. I like to consider myself a peaceful person. I want to be respectful of others, honoring the differences between us. But as I have watched this political process unfold, I have seen hatred, judgment and fear in the eyes of the people attending the rallies. I have experienced my own judgment and anger against those who think differently than I do.

The mob mentality is in evidence in these days. As we watch the news of the campaign, we can see the energy in the bright eyes of the people as they raise their arms and their voices against the other candidate, smiling as they do it. The excitement is evident. It’s obvious that it feels good to be working together against the enemy.

Recently, I remembered a conversation I had with my Mom before she passed away. I asked her what it was like during the years of WWII. She told me it was fun. I said, “How could it be fun to be at war and to live with rationing, and to see your family and friends dying?” She responded “It was fun because everyone was working toward a common goal, and everyone was in the same boat. We were united.”

I have been thinking about how it will be after this election has passed. I believe our country is on the edge of a precipice. In the recent campaigning, there has been so much anger and hatred against the opposite side that I wonder how we can ever get past this. The divisiveness we are experiencing will not soon be forgotten.

That is the chasm we face. We can either let the darkness of hatred and separation take over, or we can allow a new way of thinking to lead the way. We need to find a new common enemy. What if we could unite to expend all this energy, not against one another, but against some common enemies like hunger, poverty, disease, global warming, illiteracy, domestic violence, prejudice—the list of enemies is long. What if we could take other humans out of the hatred equation and put all of that energy toward things we can solve.

What if we were to work side-by-side with those who believe differently, toward the resolution of these problems that affect all of humanity? What if we could set aside our religious and political differences to work on something together that could raise the level of our common good? What if, as we worked together, we found that we really weren’t so different after all? What if we found, instead, that there is no one to fear?

It could happen. We could do this for the betterment of our country and the world.

This I believe.