In our family our son thinks his younger sister is a dork and she thinks he is mean. Typical teenagers, they bicker quite a bit. Sometimes they are at each other, day and night. It’s enough to drive adults crazy. Mom and I find fault with them, too, as do all parents with their kids during these trying years. We understand the meaning of the phrase “parenting is not for the meek.”
The kids sometimes get rather brutal with each other. Their criticisms are harsh, unforgiving, lacking understanding, blameful and sometimes outright cruel. You wonder if there is any affection between them at all.
Yet despite their differences, her dork-ness and his mean-ness, and their disagreements and their harsh judgment of each other, when someone outside the family harasses or does something hurtful to one of them, the other rises to the defense. When brother’s girlfriend treats him badly, suddenly younger sister is irritated at the girlfriend. When someone ticks off sis, big brother is ready to take the jerk down a peg. It’s the natural way of families to disagree amongst themselves, but to band together when attacked from the outside.
Here in the U.S., we find the “family members” – Republicans and Democrats and other factions - behaving like families do, criticizing each other, belittling each other. This “inter-family” bickering is the way to make things better. The big difference between what happens in a real family and what is happening in the “American family” is that when the attacks come from outside, the opposition takes sides not with their countrymen, their family, but with the outsiders, joining in the accusations and ready to believe the worst of their brothers and sisters, instead of defending their fellow Americans.
There is all manner of dancing and dodging, and stuttering and stammering in a vain effort to justify this absence of national loyalty. It’s easy enough to try to excuse this behavior with the rationale that “this is wrong and we must oppose it.” But even the best explanations and excuses do not change the fact that there is a lack of national loyalty.
On the afternoon of September 11, 2001, President Bush said that at that moment we were not Democrats or Republicans, we were Americans. I have no doubt that Mr. Bush sincerely believed that at the time. I have no doubt that every sensible American also believed that.
But that wonderful togetherness brought on by those cowardly, murderous fanatics was a fleeting moment.
Part of our family now believes that their brethren lied about the reasons for going into Iraq, just as the outsiders in Europe and elsewhere have charged.
They blame the administration and the military for “abuses” of enemy combatants, who are the relatives of the terrorist bastards who hijacked planes and killed thousands of innocent Americans.
The opposition is armed and ready to accept as truth any blame fired at the U.S from outside. They are ready to accuse and to blame, just like the outsiders. They may believe what they wish. And, while they have the right to say so, they ought to give some thought to what joining with the critics outside the family does to their family, their country.
The people of the United States elected the President and Vice President. They won their positions. They are part of the family.
Among members of the opposition where is the sentiment FOR America, FOR their brothers and sisters, FOR their family members? Where is the loyalty for one’s country? Where is the outrage at those who now attack the United States? Why will the opposition not defend the honor of their own country against outsiders, and work quietly and effectively within the family to correct what they believe is wrong?
If our brothers and sisters side with the outsiders who attack us, if they take sides against their own family, their own country, isn’t that the definition of “anti-American?”Let the rationalizations begin.